Sunday, 27 June 2010

summer holidays

I have never understood this obsession people seem to have with going abroad in the summer. It is true that the English weather is variable and can be appalling but as I bask in the current heatwave I can't help thinking how stupid you would feel if you if you where sweating in some awful airport, being treated only one up from farm animals on the way to the slaughter, in order to go abroad and sit on a beach in the sun.  No - the time to go abroad is in Febuary or March when the long winter seems never ending and I strongly suspect the suicide rate is at its peak, while if you want to see the Mediterranean at its best then April or May or early June is the time to go when the hills are still green, the wild flowers are spectacular, and the temperature is about that of a hot English summer day.   But fortunately for the travel companies I appear to be in a very small minority. The main reason of course why people all rush off in August and July is that that is when the school holidays are.  If you wonder why there is this long summer break from education I will tell you.  It is because when compulsory education was mandated towards the end of the 19th century it was realised that farmers would never send their children to school during the summer as they were needed to help with the harvest so someone had the bright idea of making the whole of August and July into a school holiday in order to win the farmers support for more education.    

Friday, 11 June 2010


I admired a new pair of shoes a friend was wearing today. " Oh yes"  he said " Are'nt they smart - very cheap too a Daily Telegraph special offer -unlike yours" He said rudely pointing down to my immaculate black brogues - "I can't afford handmade shoes from  Germain Street"   But he was wrong. For a moment I was tempted to allow him to continue to think that I was the sort of person who could afford to spend two or three hundred pounds or more on a pair of shoes - but only for a moment.  In my world presitge is won not by paying silly money for clothes, shoes, wine, or cars but by paying as little as possible. So I said; "You are so very wrong - my shoes may look like they cost a fortune but actually they were only £17.50 +VAT  in Makkro a couple of years ago!!"   Victory was mine and how sweet it tastes