Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Thoughts from Heald Green, England.:1.1.2019


I do have a post written on my laptop but there are internet problems. I can't be bothered to re-type it all on this phone (4G access) so all depends on Vodaphone.

Great start to 2019!


Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

The UK
  • I've mentioned the reaction I get when I ask for a small glass of wine in British bars/pubs. Here's 2 examples from the last couple of days:-
- We don't do a small glass. Would you like a medium or a large one?
- Would you like a 125ml or a 175ml glass?
  • Incidentally, in the latter case, the price of a 125ml glass was £3.75(say €4.2), or £22.5/€24.75 for the bottle. Which probably cost them around £5/€5.6. Quite a nice profit margin, then.
The UK/Brexit
  • The fact that support or opposition to Brexit is driven by culture, not economics or policy, is why bad news about the economic impact of Brexit didn’t win the last referendum for Remain and won’t be enough in the event of another one either.
  • Richard North today: We are in the hands of people in whom we have no trust or confidence, and of whom we have no expectations. I hope we are allowed to salvage something out of a situation that not a single one of us could say was optimal.
  • German car manufacturers have long seen the UK as 'Treasure Island', given the volumes they sell here and the profits on higher prices than elsewhere. If I were a CEO of (or an investor in) one of them, I'd be seriously worried about a Hard Brexit. Or indeed any Brexit. Especially as German car manufacturers already have other severe problems unrelated to Brexit. As it says here:- Germany’s dependence on exports leaves it egregiously exposed to the travails of its car industry and the headwinds of international trade. In the last quarter, both factors conspired to shrink the economy by 0.2% - its first contraction since 2015 - after Mr Trump’s belligerent talk of tariffs and the imposition of stringent automobile emissions limits.
  • After I wrote that, I read that 8 out of top 10 cars searched on Google in the last year were German makes.
This Mad World
  • A pious hope? - 2018 was a bumper year for invented problems and manufactured outrage. One example . . . Kleenex agreed to rebrand its “Mansize” tissues after complaints that the name was sexist. Let’s make 2019 the year we don’t take offence at nonsense. 
  • Our current era, with its hounding of heretics and dissidents against sexual, ethnic, intellectual and other secular orthodoxies, is one of cultural authoritarianism
Finally . . .
  • More signs that many people have too much money and/or not enough real things to worry about:-
- Seven top new health trends to try in 2019
1) The keto vegan
2) The vegangelist
3) Furniture that makes you fit
4) High Intensity Interval Skipping (HIIS) classes
5) Zero-waste cooking
6) Fat fasting for weight loss
7) Plastic workout wear

When you're bored with these, there'll be another 7 along in December 2019.

© [David] Colin Davies

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