Sunday, December 02, 2012

As mentioned yesterday, the Spanish government has announced that next year's pensions won't be increased in line with inflation. This is despite regular assurances over the last year that pensions wouldn't be touched. Including one – suitably ambiguous – from President Rajoy only a week or so ago. Is it any reason that the Spanish regard all their politicians as about as trustworthy as Pinocchio?

Is this a new departure for Facebook? I opened my page this evening to see a message on my wall that George Badboy had shared a link with me. There was also a small foto, consistent with the name Badboy. When I tried to get rid of the bloody thing, I got, firstly, a message that the advert had been hidden and, secondly, this request – To help us show you a better advert, tell us what you like. With a hyperlink, of course. Are they serious? Is this intrusion part of their plan to get their share price back up? Much more of it and it'll be Bye Bye Facebook.

So, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to settle with the New York maid to the tune of several million dollars. He'd better be careful wherever he goes now; women will emerge from the woodwork to throw themselves at him. Or at the lower part of him anyway. It reminds me of the time, in the hills of Indonesia, I paid for a chicken which our dog had killed after it had come under the gate. I knew I'd grossly overpaid when the villagers started to hurl various fowl over the wall.

Bankia, as you might have guessed from its name, is a Spanish bank. But no ordinary bank; it was formed from the fusion of 7 or 8 smaller banks and savings banks. To say this hasn't been a success would be a gross understatement. One day recently it lost 25% of its value on the stock market. Meaning that Spain not only has a 'toxic bank' but also a 'shit bank'. The former has a balance sheet full of properties no one will buy and the latter – Bankia - has a balance sheet full of, well, shit.

Iberia is the bit of the BA-Iberia merger which isn't doing very well. It's losing a boatload of money every day, is grossly overstaffed and pays salaries – especially to pilots – which are way above industry norms these days. Attempts are now being made to trim the airline and to make it profitable but some here see this a British conspiracy, an attack on the Spanish national flag carrier. Presumably they feel the company could have continued as it was/is indefinitely. Whatever, the employees are going on strike just before Xmas but, as they do this every year, it's hard to say whether the developments are connected.

Over the years, I've more than once thought it was a miracle that our antecedents survived to procreate us, given how dangerous their toilets must have been in the absence of the new, improved cleaners that are launched virtually every week these days. I was reminded of this thought when listening to some expert or other saying that an average toilet seat would have only around 400 E Coli germs on it, whereas your kitchen sponge would have them in the billions. And the chopping board too, I imagine. The moral is clear; eat as many meals as you can off your toilet seat.

Which reminds me . . . I learnt recently of the 2 (or 5) second rule, under which you won't be at risk if you pick up something that's dropped on the floor within this timeframe. Wrong, said our expert. The second it hits the floor it becomes home to a billion germs. Not worth taking the risk.

Finally . . . A Confession: I'm so in love with Darcey Bussell, if she brought a ballet troupe to Pontevedra, I might even go and see it perform.

1 comment:

Azra said...

Darcey looks lovely.

I don't know what is up with Facebook lately. And all these changes and privacy laws etc. have had be re-thinking my membership too. There's just too little (or too much) transparency however you look at it.

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