Friday, November 27, 2009


I can't help feeling a sense of schadenfreude about the demise of Dubai. Unlike it's fellow Emirates in the UAE, it doesn't have any oil. It doesn't really have anything except gaudy baubles built by labour verging on, if not beyond, slavery, a dubious - at best - record on human rights and only a flimsy relationship with democracy and press freedom.
The feeling of satisfaction that the house of cards is falling is tempered by the treatment of imported labour now going unpaid and unable to leave the place. Just don't expect any of the host of international celebrities with property out there to bring it up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Floody hell

It doesn't look great up Cumbria. Up to their necks in water, bridges washed out and all the other associated fun and games that come with winter floods have been making life a misery for a week or so now. The problem now lies that the main issues are only just beginning.

Houses take a long time to dry out and only then can work begin to put things right, but that time is as nothing compared to the agonising wait you can have for insurers. I was working in Hull today, a city which was underwater about three years ago. Some folk are still not back in their houses, according to the front page of the local rag, and one person I visited is still waiting for work doing on her house, though it is at least habitable.

Good luck with all that's coming in the next weeks and months, Cumbrians. Let's hope it's not years, but brace yourselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Don't write about nothing

Hello again.

My ire has been spiked enough that the 140 characters available on Twitter don't seem enough.
On leafing through the paper today, I noticed an advert for a large high street retailer which was advertising Miley Cyrus's autobiography. It really does exist.

My problem is not with Mme Cyrus herself. Here's the thing: she's sixteen. Sixteen years of age. There is no way that anyone has done enough by that age to warrant an entire book. Maybe Mozart, but he's very much an exception.

The only way this will work as a book is if every page has written upon it "I haven't really done anything yet".