Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Germany; Sark; Pontevedra; Rodents; & Laptops.

I've mentioned growing tensions between Germany and Brussels over quantitative easing. But this isn't the only gripe Germany has. The leader of the SPD - Mrs Merkel's coalition partner - has come out strongly against the country's 'unmeetable' emissions targets. The country's energy policy, he says, is putting basic industries at risk and it's not possible to phase out coal-fired power generation on the planned timetable. Meanwhile, Germany has the worst of all worlds - energy prices are very high and rising strongly; the grid system is ever more reliable; and CO2 emissions are actually rising. Something has to give. Other than the pockets of the consumers, one hopes.

At the other end of the spectrum . . . The island of Sark, in the English Channel, has a newspaper all to itself. It regards the local government as akin to the Nazis and the Taliban. It's not surprising, therefore, to read that the paper is of a Marxist bent. You can acquaint yourself with its fascinating philosophy here. Without any apparent irony, it cites these countries as beacons for others because they broke away from imperialism and capitalism - China, Yugoslavia, Cuba, Albania, and North Vietnam. Some group!

I've mentioned that Pontevedra's pavements are festooned with stainless steel poles, aimed at stopping illegal parking. At one junction in particular - the one with the half-useless roundabout - there are over 200 of these things along the 5 roads which approach the junction. If a Spanish friend is to be believed, these cost €450 each, meaning a total outlay of around €100,000. Which is probably a lot more than granite blocks would've cost, given that there's no shortage of the stuff in Galicia. Truth to be told, we live with the constant risk of radon poisoning.

I'm being book-ended by rodents. There's mice in the garage and a mole in the back garden. As the young say today, the latter is really taking the piss. I usually catch the creatures quite quickly but this time there's been 7 or 8 mounds so far and no success on my part. But fortune will surely favour the persistent.

Finally . . . Yesterday I knocked a cup of coffee over my groin and today I knocked a glass of shandy over my laptop. Not a good week. And it's only Monday. The good news was that my laptop still worked. Until this evening, that is, when several keys declined to respond. Thinking heat might eliminate stickinesss, I trained a hair-drier on the keyboard. Whereupon several of the keys buckled. For some reason, my visiting daughter was reluctant to let me use her laptop but she eventually relented, after the signing of a formal Agreement as to what I wouldn't do while using it. Drink, for example.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

200 x 450 = 90,000 €

And them Limeys complain of the Spanish school system…


Colin Davies said...

You should read more carefully, Alfie. I deliberately said 'more than 200' and 'around 10,000'.

Colin Davies said...

You should read more carefully, Alfie. I deliberately said 'more than 200' and 'around 10,000'. So it's a typo for 100,000. Obviously.

Perry said...

A new keyboard is £10-08 & free delivery in UK.


Jasper has good advise re moles.


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