Why do I listen to the news? On Radio 4, on my Internet radio? Given the horrific nature of the Spanish torrent of corruption which daily emanates from our television screens, the calming voices of the presenters on the Today programme, even though they are talking about the horrors of life in the twenty-first century seem, by comparison, balmy.
I always remember foreign holidays in the distant past as being a time when, not only was there unaccustomed sun, but also there was a true holiday from the news. British newspapers were absurdly expensive; smart phones did not exist – indeed mobile phones did not exist – and the idea of phoning home was one fraught with problems and therefore did not happen. So, for a week or more generally a fortnight there was a dislocation from normal life, a true holiday indeed!
Of course, on one’s return to normality it was amazing how quickly one got up to speed again and the depression of knowledge settled firmly on the rapidly evaporating holiday euphoria. But, and it is a big but, I always preferred to know, rather than not. For me real depression comes from worrying about what I don’t know as I usually find that my imagination is far more apocalyptic than reality – however horrible!
With some news items I can experience them in a sort of geographical stereo: for example, the failure of emergency departments in British NHS hospitals and the ‘parking’ of patients in corridors is matched by news from our local emergency hospital. The television pictures look strangely familiar. And depressing.
What is worse is watching television pictures of families that cannot afford the mortgage payments being forced out of their homes by the banks who were rescued with OUR money when they were in trouble. And, to make matters worse, having taken the home, the banks then take action to get the mortgage payments that they are owed. So the banks sell the house and then demand that the people they have made homeless continue paying for something that the banks have already sold!
The people are forced out of their homes by a judicial order from a system of justice that has been irremediably politicised by a corrupt government. The order is enforced by masked police, who have been filmed clearing people with astonishing violence. Which of course is the reason that this morally bankrupt government has made it an offence to film the police in situations where they are behaving with violence. Unbelievable , but true.
I have been sent information about a forthcoming set of British stamps which are going to feature British bridges. There are ten stamps in this set which will be issued in early March. From the illustrations in the booklet that I have been sent by the Philatelic Bureau they look impressive but I do note that some of bridges have been featured before on British stamps. Because of the ‘fairness’ of giving each of the countries that make up the United Kingdom a place in each set it is no surprise to see the Menai Suspension Bridge feature again, though another stamp for the Humber Bridge is a surprise.
One of the stamps features the Tarr Steps which, in a set of British bridges stamps issued in 1968, was described as Prehistoric, but in the forthcoming set is described as a 15th or 16th century gritstone clapper-bridge! Interesting change!
With each new set of stamps I wonder about what I will do when the present Teutonic pretender to the so-called throne of Britain finally has the good grace to follow her mother and shuffle off. I am disinclined to buy anything with Charles or George or whatever he is going to call himself finally ascends – and that goes for any of his offspring too. I think that my collection of QEII will go up to her funeral, if they decide to mark it by an issue of stamps. And no further.
I have to admit that I might weaken. And given the way that the present holder of the title is clinging on to life, I might have a long time to consider my course of action!
One of the restaurants along the paseo on the beachfront has burnt down. This is the second time that this has happened to one of these restaurants. It does make you wonder and if I was an insurance inspector I would be suspicious to put it mildly. Though obviously, as I know nothing about the circumstances of this conflagration, I am not assuming wrongdoing. I merely question.
One of the surviving restaurants is offering a menu del dia for €10.90 and, in the interests of adding another entry to Toni’s blog at http://catalunyaplacetoeat.blogspot.com.es/
we should obviously try out this place, especially as the restaurant that was previously our favourite on the beachfront at our end of the town has fallen far short of our expectations in recent months. It has changed hands and the standard has gone down and the prices have shot up. It is unlikely to feature in Toni’s blog!
I have not yet had the strength to go back to the notes that I made last night towards my next poem. There is something there, but it is not crystalizing at the moment. I have the ideas but, at the moment, I have a series of oddly shaped jigsaw pieces and not a coherent picture. But I have a hammer and the pieces will fit. Eventually. When they do you will be able to read the results in
And this time I hope that the link is ‘live’ and will get you there in one click.