Ahead of a 400th anniversary in 2020 there's an odd spat taking place between the ports of Harwich and Plymouth in the UK. Each of them claims to be where the Mayflower was built. They agree that the ship sailed from Plymouth but Harwich insists it was only there to take on supplies and to pick up passengers from an accompanying ship that had sprung a leak. The Plymouth brethren dismiss this as tosh. Each town has plans to build a replica ship, So, could we see them fighting it out in the Plymouth Sound? Or just racing to the US coast?
The natives are getting restless:- Italy’s new premier Enrico Letta is on a collision course with Germany after vowing to end death by austerity, and warning that Europe faces a “crisis of legitimacy” unless it charges course. . . Mr Letta said Italy would abide by EU budget pledges but in reality he seems to have broken with the core demands of the EU fiscal compact. His anti-austerity drive takes the eurozone into uncharted waters. It comes as France, too, appeared close to breaking ranks with German-imposed policy doctrines. A leaked version of French president Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party’s text openly attacked “German austerity” and the “egoistic intransigence of Mrs Merkel”. More here.
Spain's economy shrank another 0.5% in the first quarter, which is not a good start to the year. As to the future, here's one pessimistic view:- It's hard to see anything resembling a case for optimism. . . This is one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen. Spain needs shock therapy for its labour markets, but that's an impossible political sell when more than a quarter of the population is unemployed. In an ideal world, Spain would pair major reforms with major stimulus; in the real world, it will drag its feet on reforms, try to cut its deficit, and fall deeper into depression.
During a long walk to a shop on the far side of town today, I found myself contemplating some major questions:-
- Is there really a God?
- If so, why is faith in him so divided (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Zaroastrian, Bahai, etc., etc.)?
- Do all these worship the same God?
- If so, why is His message so confused and divisive? And
- Why do only women have a VPL problem and not men?
I don't want to sound paranoiac but I suspect Facebook is trying to alienate me. It's bad enough having 'Suggested Pages' but today I had to get rid of the same one no fewer than 8 times. Each time I was told - This story is now hidden from your News Feed. Clearly not. If I were to quit Facebook, I wouldn't be alone, it seems.
Finally . . . I may have invented Pineapple Porridge today. Here's the recipe:-
Cook a bowl of porridge
Take this from the microwave and put it next to an empty glass
Take pineapple juice from the fridge
Pour some of it into the bowl of porridge instead of the glass
Decide not to make new bowl of porridge and pour excess juice off the one already made.
Not quite up there with my Krispy Kipper (3 minutes in microwave instead of 30 seconds) but tasty nonetheless.