Wednesday, 21 September 2011

He's not the father of modern wisdom, he's a very naughty boy!


More and more, Greece is being vilified as the enemy of European unity, the weakest link in an otherwise world-class currency and caricatured as lazy and feckless. This wave of enmity is beginning to serve but one purpose, lining the fingers up in one direction. While Europe points in one unified direction they can avert the scorn from themselves.


The Greek people are not lazy or, indeed, feckless. Yes, they do like their afternoon nap but they will then return to work until 9 or 10 in the evening. They are as hard-working as anyone in Europe, go on have a look round your office or place of work now, how many are skivers? What are you doing? Reading my blog that's what! As for feckless, well they managed to pull the wool over Brussels' eyes, didn't they?

I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me of his chronic insomnia, "How can you sleep with all this going on?" thing is, this isn't the first person who has told me this. Since I started haunting my own house I have discovered that I'm far from alone.  

It is a convenient oversimplification to say that Greece is bringing down the Euro, it was a flawed plan from the beginning, synchronising such diverse economic strategies was always going to be a tough challenge. It is not Greek laziness or fecklessness that is at the root of an economic avalanche that could, possibly, destabilise even the Dollar. Let us remember that Lehman Bros was brought down by some of the smartest suits in Wall street, Iceland was bankrupt without a siesta or a moustache in sight. 

The clever suits' austerity measures are not working and the same people are telling us that we have to bite down a bit  harder. 

There is no more faith and precious little hope, all we see at the end of the tunnel is a toll. The managers aren't managing but we've all known that for ages. 

Greece doesn't need any more lessons, it needs someone who can teach!   





Some of you who regularly look me up will have notice that I've been a bit lax, well, I'm back. 
Come back soon to find out the fate of our own feckless revolutionary, will he finally take office or is he doomed to wear football gloves in the prison showers.    


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Faith



The US owes over $14 trillion, the UK owes £900 million, Greece now owes another €340 billion, I owe nearly €100,000. How much do you owe, how much have you spent that you didn’t have and when will you have it.


National debt is calculated as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product), this is to say how much you owe compared to how much you make. For me that means 2-3 years of giving every penny myself and my wife earn to pay off our debts, nothing for food, fuel, mobiles. Then there is the interest, this would put another year or so on that scenario. But, of course we have to eat and clothe ourselves and the fridge needs a beer or two. Take a look at your finances, how many years are you in the hole for. 
Twitshot

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Exam Madness


For over two and a half thousand years Greece has had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and wisdom, in fact as the saying goes ‘Greece gave light to the world’. This time of the year is the acme of that achievement with the national Panhellenic university entrance exams. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Money makes you Stupid



Even small amounts can
be dangerous.
Money can reduce your IQ, a new study by eminent behaviour psychologists Bummet and Phelch has concluded. The research, commissioned by the banking and finance union and the American banking association has discovered that otherwise well-educated, intelligent individuals are in grave danger when in close proximity to currency of any kind.

Twitshot

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Salary On Steroids

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salary on steroids
 Tired of being poor?
Tired of seeing other people make it big

The boss telling you to take another pay cut while he's just got back from the Bahamas and renewed his Bentley.

You are not alone.
We have the answer. 
Did you know that hundreds of thousands of pounds are just waiting for you to claim them, all you have to do is know how to ask.
Twitshot

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Not Waving but Drowning

Not waving but drowning...


Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.



....opah! 



words by Stevie Smith 
pictures by Matt Taylor http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattat/ 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Vorsprung durch Störung!



Does this man spend too long in your toilet?

I am a fixer, I’ll hook it, stick it, grease it and screw it. I can't help myself. And if I’m in your bathroom too long it's probably because I’m fixing your flush. Those who have worked with me will be all too familiar with my mantra of there must be a better way or surely, there is a machine for this!

 

The other day, while in the shower my corrective compulsion fixed itself on the chattering extractor fan. Its clangorous and apparently ineffectual service would be tolerated no longer. I fetched my tools and set about it with a Phillips screwdriver. Once completely removed, I tested its performance. It spun briskly and mutely and I realised that it was not the unit which was at fault but the lack of pride and craftsmanship in its installation. I routed all the wires into their proper channels and clipped the connection block securely into place. I then proceeded to screw the unit back into the wall taking great pains to ensure that the insertion was achieved without let or hindrance. The fan was now flush to the wall with no protruding wires to pose any threat and ready to perform its task as designed. I flicked the switch and the fan spun, clunked and ground to an abrupt halt. I removed the fascia and looked for fault; none. I flicked the switch and the unit tapped to life but stopped shortly after. I then loosened the screws and gave it a turn to bed it into position; nothing. I noticed that there was a correlation between the movement of the wires and its effective operation so I disconnected the wires from the connecting block, trimmed them to length and reconnected them. Still the fan refused to spin. Now with the switch left on so I could register every effectual adjustment, I stood in a bath    with bare feet. A couple of jolts later I had concluded that for some unfathomable reason the fan would not spin if the connector block was seated in its designated position so I allowed it to hang.

Hang it all!


I now set about reassembling the unit but each time I tried to screw it back into place it cut out with a clunk. I tried the old mechanics trick of screw it all the way in then screw out until the desired effect is achieved. Finally, with the fan held by just a few turns of the screws it spun, no more quietly than before but it spun. I replaced the fascia, hung my head low and went back to my life. 



A maintenance engineer comments
The taunting irony of this episode was far from lost on me as that very day I had spent my third consecutive fruitless morning at the tax office. 
The metaphor that hung precariously from my bathroom wall had taught me a valuable lesson. Tomorrow, with a renewed sense of impotence and abject futility I shall once again continue my quest for a rubber stamp.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The cost of enlightenment


Hard day at school love?
 It's about 11 o'clock on a cold night in a dense residential area. I'm heading for my car, key at the ready nervously looking over my shoulder. Suddenly I spot a group of teenagers coming my way, I fumble with my key but it won't find the hole. The teenagers are getting closer and I can see their hoods raised against the cold winter breeze. I try to calm my nerves and focus on getting onto the safety of my car. They are carrying backpacks, some dragging inches from the floor some bobbing around on their backs, tools, but for what heinous work. I get the key in the lock and turn. The buttons pop but its too late, they're upon me. I look for spotty glue sniffer mouths, no. I look for the paint stained hands of graffiti vandals, no but they are ink stained. The car is unlocked. I could leap in but that would now mean swinging the open door into their path, this could rouse them, anger them. I feel like I’m in a tube station at midnight but I’m not and there really is no need to be afraid. This is Greece and these kids are going home after classes, English, physics, ancient Greek. Why so late? Well here in Greece children’s schooling is not finished with the last bell, if anything that's where it starts for many.  

From Under Dark Clouds

The Century of DIY