An Idiots Guide to Global Economics

Oh, I wish I wasn’t so thick. You see, I’d really love to be able to understand all the clever maths that economists, politicians, business gurus, city traders and the like are always spouting on TV, but I’m just not bright enough to get it at all and it really depresses me, because I can’t see a way out of the horrible mess we’ve gotten ourselves into like they can.

I was watching TV today, for example, and that strange little bloke who lodges with the PM – wassisname, Clegg or somesuch (?) – was on talking about ‘austerity measures’ and the ‘triple-dip recession’, and I’m so dim I hadn’t got a fricking clue what he was talking about. Now to be fair, I’ve got to say I do find him hard to listen to at the best of times, because he’s such an, erm, how can I put this nicely, erm, uncharismatic sort of bod (he reminds me a bit of that PM we had after Thatcher – you know, the one who tupped Edwina Currie and ate lots of peas and gave us the ‘Not Very Qualified’ qualifications – but even more ineffectual, if that’s humanly possible) but even when I concentrate really, really hard everything that comes out of his mouth just sounds like gobbledygook.

Like today he was explaining how taking money from the poorest and weakest and most deprived in our country and simultaneously giving extra tax breaks to the richest was going to make the country a better place for everyone, and for the life of me I couldn’t get my big, fat dullard brain around it. I mean, I could see what was in it for the people getting the tax breaks, but it just seemed like a double negative for everyone else involved, which obviously can’t really be the case otherwise we wouldn’t have all these incredibly clever people telling us that’s the way to go, would we? Continue reading “An Idiots Guide to Global Economics”

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT…

After ditching the idea just last week I got rather taken with the notion of running with the ‘Tunbridge Wells Gift Shop’ theme after all. Given that this has turned out to be a multi-paged extravaganza it is clearly impractical to present the whole thing as a single blog, so this is an introductory page leading to an, erm, introductory page leading to what will eventually become an entire department store of in jokes about the town I live in. I hope that won’t put non-Tunbridge Wellians off, because there is, I think (and in keeping with the department store theme), something for everyone…

I’ll be adding items to stock on a semi regular basis – probably – and the pages presented today will almost certainly be tweaked a bit by tomorrow (Friday), which is my usual day for blogging on WordPress. The reasons for blogging a day early are a bit convoluted, but in a nutshell it’s because the Moonfruit blog (usually posted on Thursdays) hasn’t the storage capacity for all of the images, and I’m too tight to pay for an upgrade.

Anyhoo, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, they say (who they?) , so without further preamble here is the first link of several you will encounter as you explore the first few departments of the: GIFT SHOP [click to enter, obviously. *tsk*]

Meerkats, Music and Octogenarian Sex…

A Mixed bag this week…

Blimey, have you been watching that David Attenborough Africa programme? Amaaaaayzing stuff. I haven’t seen herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain like that since I last holidayed in Torquay!* Only three episodes in and we’ve had horny elephants (ooer, missus, you wouldn’t want to get in the way of one of ‘em), golden-eyed leaf-folding frogs, giraffe fights and ikkle baybee ostriches bob-bob-bobbing along like deranged outsize robins – it’s what High Definition was made for! Let’s face it, Attenborough is worth the beeb’s licence fee alone, and if the government bugger it all up for us by making that fee the only thing along with welfare benefits that doesn’t get adjusted in line with inflation they should be bloody-well strung up. Not that they shouldn’t be strung up anyway, but if they screw the BBC too they should be strung up twice. Continue reading “Meerkats, Music and Octogenarian Sex…”

OH, THE IRONY…

My local Twitter feed has been buzzing this week over the opening of a new branch of Prêt A Manger in Tunbridge Wells. With items like “Posh Cheddar & Pickle on Artisan” and “Wild Crayfish & Avocado Bloomers” on their menu they are certainly going to augment the increasing number of Middle-Class McDonalds’ already lining our Middle-England streets, but in these days of austerity is this really what we need in a town that already has, metaphorically speaking if not as the crow flies, a north-south divide bigger than the grand canyon?  The answer for many Tunbridge Wells residents, obviously, is yes (or if no it’s for a set of reasons that have little to do with catering for the needs of the entire local community and everything to do with sweeping prejudices against ‘chains’ generally and/or particular blends of overpriced coffee and tea), but for some the location of the new “Pret”, alongside a landmark generally patronised by surly school kids during the day and drunk homeless people by night, is already proving enough to dampen initial enthusiasm.

One of my own objections to Pret – i.e. that have/have-not north-south divide I mentioned earlier – was somewhat tempered when I read that they give all their unsold stock at the end of the day to local charities offering food and shelter to the homeless, but I suspect this information will have been less well received by some, who will begrudge giving even their leftovers to people worse off than themselves. It could be that they see free food as “encouraging” vagrancy, or possibly that they find the idea of destitute people eating posh cheddar and crayfish like wot they eat offensive, but personally I find the irony of that as delicious as an Italian Mozzarella & Pesto Toastie and hope that Pret’s stock controller turns out to be a bit over-optimistic and heavy-handed. Continue reading “OH, THE IRONY…”

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013…

Well that’s another year done and dusted, then. Another year older and none the wiser. Thank you Santa, by the way, for sharing details via the blogs of the 12 day lead-up to Christmas in your neck of the woods. From the huge amount of feedback I’ve received (hem hem) it seems people have absolutely loved reading them, and will be waiting with baited breath for next year’s thrilling instalments, assuming, that is, that the magic lightning-stricken modem can be persuaded via a good kicking to offer a repeat performance…

Truth be told, the Santa blog, according to the WordPress stats page, has scored quite poorly in terms of hits over the past year. The “Lies” section of the site seems to have attracted the most attention, but to be fair that’s 20 pages posted over several months counting as one so it’s a bit misleading. In terms of standalone posts I was quite surprised to see that the somewhat serious “Chip Therapy”, detailing my concerns regarding the woo and snake oil surrounding interventions for autism, took first place, having anticipated that my hilarious exposés on prevailing middle-class values and attitudes in good old Tunbridge Wells in the series of posts on Grayson Perry would have had wider appeal. Ah well… I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, given that two of the points addressed in those posts were “Disgusted’s” lack of a sense of humour and his inability to see past the tip of his own upturned nose to consider the bigger picture… Continue reading “Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013…”