From frivolity to frugality?

I don’t normally play at taggy games, but the dinner party one is an interesting idea. I am meant to have five guests but I can’t possibly do that.Thanks to the history tourist for this.

And anyway it would be a buffet, so rather more of an intermingling as and when. Food for dinner party already posted on Clouds.

George Eliot

I studied Middlemarch at school and enjoyed it. But for my senior school exam we had an extract from Mill on the Floss that involved Maggie, Tom and the rabbits. Never liked the book from thereon.

However the complexity and the characters in Middlemarch did appeal to me. So, my first author invited to the extremely vegetarian dinner party.

Emily Bronte or Anne Bronte –
or maybe all the Brontes.

Wuthering Heights and Tenant of Wildfell Hall were so powerful and full of raw emotion. Very different to Eliot’s restrained characters. Interesting contrast between the authors.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

“the savage lives within himself; the sociable man, always outside of himself, knows how to live only in the opinion of others; and it is, so to speak, from their judgement alone that he draws the sentiment of his own existence.”

One of my university courses was about the history of political thought. Rousseau was one of many that we studied. I love this quote, which I have memorised for the last 30 years or so.

My interpretation, is that more than ever, people live only in the opinion of others.

Beethoven

How on earth could someone produce such brilliant music when they were deaf?

Bit of a problem re the dinner party, we’d either need to write down our conversations or have a crash course in deaf and dumb language. Or maybe use computers?

Tchaikovsky

Another wonderful composer, and I wonder what he would have had to say to Beethoven?

Lenin

Continuing with the Russian theme, and one of the most influential politicians of the 20th century. I’d like to speak to him first-hand.

Arthur Scargill

I think he is a total toe-rag and would prefer him to bring his own sandwiches. Rose to fame on the back of the Lofthouse Pit Disaster which happened a few miles away from me when I was a kid. The local view was that he milked the disaster for all it was worth. At some point, as I vaguely remember, he was arguing for more money for miners for working in dangerous conditions. Surely the point is to make the conditions safer rather than pay people extra for risky work?

But I’d be interested to hear what he would have to discuss with Lenin.

And from one extreme to the other, although in some cases maybe not.

Enoch Powell

Renowned, or rather remembered, for his infamous speech in Birmingham against immigration.

Reviled for that speech as being racist.

A man who was a professor in Ancient Greek at the University of Sydney by the age of 25. Who spoke 12 languages, or ten, or 14, depending on what you find on the internet. His mother taught him ancient Greek at the age of five?! He spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Urdu to start with, before we even get into European languages.

He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, and, in his first year, won all the main classical prizes open to undergraduates: this achievement was, and remains, unique.

The truth is, this was a man of superb intellect, and basically above the rest of us in terms of intelligence. He was also ahead of his time. Many of his predictions have come true. European Union? Single currency? Race riots in Britain – Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, South London, Yorkshire (I’ve lived in half of those areas). I don’t agree with racist policies. I also don’t agree with the fact that I can no longer go back to the UK and qualify for benefit and health care – a system I paid into quite heavily – when other people from wherever can turn up at the drop of a hat.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9329245/Behind-Enoch-Powells-monstrous-image-lay-a-man-of-exceptional-integrity.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/obituary-enoch-powell-1143867.html

If Enoch was known as being a monetarist before the term was invented, how about Nige? Enoch was anti-inflation, Nigel was the opposite, but did me a big favour in the 80s. An eighties babe me. Gotta ask him to dinner on those grounds alone.

Nigel Lawson

And …

Horatio Nelson

Not sure who he will chat to, but as he died off Gib and his body was brought into Rosia, and my dad was in the navy (and served in Gib), he gets the dinner party gold-printed invitation too. Actually, he would probably get on with Enoch.

And the odd one on the list (Or maybe they are all odd!):

Danielle Steel

The current best-selling author worldwide.

Early years
Steel was born Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel in New York City, the only child of Norma da Câmara Stone dos Reis and John Schulein-Steel. Her father was a German Jewish immigrant, a descendant of the founders of Löwenbräu beer. Her mother, born in Portugal, was the daughter of a diplomat.

Steel was raised Catholic and had wanted to be a nun during her early years. She spent much of her childhood in France, where from an early age she was included in her parents’ dinner parties, giving her an opportunity to observe the habits and lives of the wealthy and famous.

[wiki}

But I read a Danielle Steel novel recently. Wings. Courtesy of our informal pass-books-on club. At least it didn’t involve details of cutting of gory bodies. Or cutting up bodies gorily.

dinparty

It was about a woman who wanted to be a pilot in the 30s/40s in spite of her father’s opposition – he owned an airfield. She also had an older man fixation, the guy she married was 14 years older than her, and the one she really loved was 18 years older than her. I don’t care about disparity in ages, but older man = good, older woman ≠ good sends out bad messages. Little girls do not need protective men, thank you very much.

Anyway, she got to fly, so it wasn’t a bad result. But I wonder what the Brontes would have made of Ms Steele?

Speaking of flying, both Mariano Rajoy (Spanish pres) and Cristina Kirchner (Argentinian pres) appear to be flying by the seat of their pants.

Rajoy has been accused of accepting backhanders.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9840176/Spanish-PM-faces-corruption-scandal-over-secret-party-slush-fund.html

Meanwhile, what is happening with the economy in the eurozone’s fourth biggest economy? Oh yes, highest unemployment rate in Europe now. The highest in Spain since the 70s when stats were started.

We have now achieved a prestigious total of 60% of people under 25 being unemployed and overall, 26% of the population are jobless ie six million. More than double the EU average.

In 2012, an average of nearly 2000 people a day lost their jobs in Spain. And the country has overtaken Greece for the highest unemployment rate in the EU.

But still, it’s ok if you are a Spaniard working in Gib. Because you know what, you will keep your job while a local is sacked. Once a Spaniard is sacked, it is a bit difficult to get around the paperwork to explain why a Spaniard gets preference over a Gibbo (although not impossible). So, Spaniards don’t get sacked and Gibraltarian residents do. The bottom line is that firms continue to employ cross-border workers at the expense of local residents.

Just up the street from me there is a block conversion of a five-storey building. Carried out by a Portuguese firm. Using Portuguese workers. Who live over the border. Vehicles registered in Portugal. What on earth is that doing for the Gibraltarian economy? I met a neighbour who said no-one local could carry out the work. As if. I can think of ten Gib firms who could do that job.

But if you do get the push, and you live in Spain, there is that lovely Spanish dole. Mmmmmm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment_benefits_in_Spain

Used to be 80% I think, but has dropped to 70% for the first six months, now down from 60% to 50% for the remainder – of the two year period. That’s right. Two years of benefit. Two whole years.

If anyone wonders why the Spanish economy is fucked, this is one good reason. I mean it’s nice to get a couple of years on 50-80% of your previous salary for doing stuff all (don’t forget the obligatory redundancy payment too) but it isn’t doing a lot for the national debt is it?

Best to save for that rainy day in Spain
Best to save for that rainy day in Spain

Here in Gib the dole is a statutory figure for 13 weeks. It’s around 85 quid for a couple. We know a guy who happily claimed his dole in Spain (been working in Gib) and drank and smoked so much he had a heart attack. Another one has said quite happily that when he gets laid off he will register in Spain. (He lives in Gib but has a Spanish home too). ‘Why don’t you do that?

Well, I know it sounds slightly old-fashioned but we have some principles. Yes, I know it is not financially sound, but I am not interested in scamming the system. Even though all the systems are a scam. I want to be able to sleep at night.

Kirchner is still claiming the Falklands and is adopting the Spanish tactics of wanting to ignore local views and representation.

Similarities:?

Two Spanish-speaking countries with domestic and economic problems choose to intimidate British Overseas Territories.

But I’ll end with the Cordoba Agreement (2006)

about which I doubt any Brit, let alone anyone else, knows about. Britain is paying Spanish pensions. Get that? Because my pension has been put back five years (if not more) while Spaniards get paid by the UK.

“Under the Cordoba agreement the UK has made payments totalling £63,607,954.35 between April 2007 and December 2012. During this period pensioner numbers have fallen from 5,175 to 3,592. The figure covers both quarterly pension payments and one-off lump-sum payments that were made to Spanish citizens in connection with their withdrawal from the Gibraltar social insurance fund. The one-off payments made in April 2007 and April 2008 totalled approximately £24 million,” said Baroness Warsi.

[Gib Chron]

I mean, sixty three million pounds? So that ‘planes can fly over Spain into Gib airport, and we can have our own telephone system (part of the agreement). Well thank you Spain. That is really helpful. One day I will work out why the UK is paying for Spanish pensions for people who have lived in Spain and worked in Gib, received a higher wage than they could in Spain and take it out to spend in Spain.

Answers on a postcard. Spanish or English equally accepted.

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43 comments on “From frivolity to frugality?

  1. The answer being that the U.K. binds itself into all sorts of legal agreements with third parties…and then makes cuts on its own citizens to pay for it all….no legal agreements with us, you note.
    And why I can’t access the NHs having paid for it most of my working life raises my blood pressure to the point of needing the NHS….

    The dinner party looks fun…I’d certainly go for Enoch…a brilliant far sighted man and, being such, demonised.
    But if he hadn’t put party loyalty above personal ambition he would have been PM instead of that ghastly object Heath the teeth and U.K. history would have been very different.
    One example of where decency on the personal level made for a disastrous political outcome.

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    • You pay into the Uk? So what? Who cares? Entitled to nothing.

      You come into the Uk from wherever – hey have some benefits.

      You spend a few years abroad, you want to come back and have health care, no silly person. Go away.

      I picked Enoch for his sheer intellect. Way above my head, but still, I would like to hear him, a bit like an undergrad with an amazing professor.

      I looked for the story about the speech where it was said someone else had written it for him that I read some time ago, but couldn’t find it. I think he was too intelligent to be rascist.

      He totally went for principles. Whether we all view them rightly or wrongly now is a different matter. Both Ted Heath and Thatcher have said he was right.

      Too bright and too ahead of the times. I don’t agree with all his views. But interestingly he had the strength of mind to be able to change too. That’s why I think he would be devastatingly interesting. He got on with Michael Foot and Tony Benn! Known for one speech? No, needs a bit more respect than that.

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      • I’d like Tony Benn there too…it would be a civilised conversation rather than a slogan shouting match.
        And in respect of Mr. Barry’s comment, I can’t find my reference but didn’t Wellington on return from India find himself in the same waiting room as Nelson and was disgusted by his vainglorious chatter…until Nelson nipped out to ask who he was and the tone changed completely….
        I suspect the same might be true of some combinations of dinner guests.

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        • The list was getting pretty long but yes, Benn should have made it too. (I’ll send him a retrospective invitation). Fascinating guy. I was brought up by my parents to loathe him. My father was terrified the banks would be nationalised. Ha! Banks?

          A friend at university was seriously in love with him (well, thought he was brilliant). In terms of intellect, I think we need to look above politics. But whoever does that. Few, if any to match Powell. Benn, close. Foot? no.

          Anyway, Benn is veg so at least wouldn’t whinge at the food :D

          Wellington and Nelson? seriously?!

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  2. The one thing I was thinking while going over that interesting list of dinner party people was, “would any of them actually LISTEN to one another?” It’s not always the case but many of those ‘great’ people who have so much to say are not so well endowed in the aural department :>)
    –have you ever noticed how people who are trying to monopolize the conversation insert ‘ugh, yeah’ into the mix each time the person speaking pauses? It’s because they are trying to get the other person to stop so they can resume. It’s funny (in an annoying way) to watch once you pick up on it.
    Anyway, I can just see them all: ‘yeah, ugh’ x infinity at each other. Could get interesting!
    BTW–Rousseau was such a cad :>) I’ll show up if you add Jean Vanier to the list.

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  3. I think you need to do something about all that anger! The system screws us all one way or another. It is the way it always has been and the way it always will be!
    Your dinner party list is interesting but seriously cheating – you are supposed to invite only 5 people. I was going to suggest Michael Foot but Helen beat me to it. My five would be Michael Palin, Mark Twain, Claudia Winkleman, Bill Bryson and Richard III because I’d be interested in what he thinks about all this recent news about him turning up in a Leicester car park! If I was going to cheat and invite a sixth it would be you because you would disagree with all of them and it would be fun!

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  4. But how would the ‘girls’ cope with all those fellas?
    Would they be able to make themselves heard above all the chest pumping or would they smile sweetly and sit it the corner taking it all in?? lol

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    • The women I chose would be more than capable of holding their own. In fact for an open feminist I’ve just realised how few women I included! Talk about shooting myself in the foot. Or maybe that is history for us. Ignores women so there are few major women players in the past? And the ones I did pick were writers? And used pen names? And George Eliot chose a male name to ensure she was taken seriously as a novelist?

      My list was totally random and off the top of my head. Interesting how few women I came up with though. But still, I think the ones I mentioned would be value for money. Or for dinner.

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  5. Interesting bunch of people for dinner! I’ve read a whole slough of Danielle Steel novels … while travelling, or when I simply want to escape reality for a while. Easy to digest, and not gory. They used to be all about extremely wealthy people, but I think she’s gone back on that a little, lately.

    I’d have to think long and hard about which ones I would invite, but Florence Nightingale comes to mind..

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  6. Well what an interesting bunch of guests. I think I would invite Alfred Russel Wallace, T E Lawrence, P. G Wodehouse, Karajan and W H Hudson. No ladies on my A list but not intentional. Perhaps Maria Callas? If we can have living people I’d invite Simon Barnes. How about Hedda Morrison? Perhaps Dante and Goethe. I simply couldn’t bear to have politics non-stop at the gathering. The only problem I see is that I doubt very much whether I’d get an invite. Tricky.

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    • I just really wanted a mix with a few vague links. If we added our lists together, Karajan could talk to Beethoven! I wonder if Beethoven would approve of his work? I’ve got a few Karajan recordings of Beethoven. Bit heavy on the naturalists for five people, and even a taff included! Of course you can have living people, although Barnes will make your birders even more top heavy :D

      I’m not fond of Maria Callas. If I was going for singers it would be von Stade and/or de los Angeles. Possibly Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Marianne Faithfull and Dusty Springfield. I didn’t think of any photographers, or even artists, but they would be another interesting genre. And sculptors too, Barbara Hepworth (an old girl of my school), Henry Moore, Michaelangelo, Rodin fly off the fingertips.

      If I went for poets, it would have to be mainly British – Owen and Larkin in the first instance. Possibly Walt Whitman as the first American to make, as he could talk war poetry with Owen.

      I wasn’t really inviting the politicians to hear politics! Powell for his sheer intellect and breadth of experience in life. Private to brigadier in six years. Youngest brigadier in the British Army. That would be fascinating before you even get into the politics. Classical scholar. He would probably recite the Aenead at us in Latin all night :D Scargill because he strikes me as a total arse, and I’d like to see him spouting at Lenin on the one hand and Powell on the other. But who knows, while I might not like him I don’t think he’s stupid living rent-free in the Barbican for ever and a day. Well, he was until he lost the claim just before Christmas. Lenin because I like Russian history and culture. Perhaps I should chuck in Bakunin to spice things up.

      The rules for this state that apart from only having five people (but I’ve already said mine’s buffet style), that people have to be in the public eye. Does blogging make us in the public eye? :D

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      • Well if you want Russians (German actually I believe) Catherine the Great would be quite interesting. (Siegfried) Sassoon any good to you? If you accept Karajan and Beethoven then Anne-Sophie would presumably want to tag along. Now Dusty would be a good one but not Lulu please. And if it Lulu then make it my dog Lulu. I may be wrong but I have a vague feeling there may be two Welsh born guests in my famous five (Wallace & Lawrence).

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        • How about Rasputin? Saw the film a zillion years ago and thought it was fascinating. Not as keen on Sassoon as Owen. Prefer pianos to violins, but you can have AS if I get to include Richter. I never mentioned Lulu! (Or Cilla). But your Lulu would be extremely welcome. She could lie next to Pippa waiting for titbits.

          I didn’t realise Lawrence was Welsh, I had to look Wallace up anyway, which was how I knew. Given the amount of writing he did, he’d probably be scribbling instead of talking :D

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          • Actually Lulu doesn’t have a bad voice, but not my taste. Yes, I like Annie Lennox, she’s fine. I could always add Sandie to my list of 60s Brits though (I’ve still got my 45 rpm of There’s always something there to remind me.

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  7. I fear all this is a bit much over my old under eduacted head. I am not big about the classics, etc. All of the commenters I assume or British or former Brits. I must be the only American screwball hillbilly that is finding what you write quite fascinating. You see, I am reading your blog probably for a far different reason than all of the other subscribers/viewers/readers/ lurkers. I can get an education about the current thoughts of people outside the US and I find it quite interesting. Perhaps there is another American that commented but I did not have the interest to look at their “abouts”. So much intellect on your blog. Odd that I like you and your blog.

    But back to your invite list or list of the invited. The music people I would like very much. The rest could be kite fliers for all I care. This is not a personal assault to you. I think somewhere a week or so ago we both agreed that we are frank and ernest not to be confused with individuals with those monikers. :-) So, what is this thing about having lived in another country and you can not go back? As in, have you been black-balled for speaking/writing your opinion, given up citizenship, or don’t want to go back because you like where you are? If I lived abroard, I think I would continue to receive my retirement check from the US government for which I worked (35 years) I don’t know about if I gave up being a US citizen. So why can you not receive your money if you paid into the system? I am not trying to be a smart a– here. I am not getting it! If Great Britian is like that what the hell is going on there?

    Nice post by the way- even if most of it was waaay over my head :-)

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    • One Brit in England, two expats Brits, one Australian, one Canadian, one ex-pat Swede in Canada … so you get the prize for first American to comment although I do have a few others who pop in from time to time.

      I had a pretty classical education anyway (compulsory Latin) and going onto do Ancient and Medieval History and Archaeology probably just added to my historical perspective.

      Others have said similar to you, in that they find it interesting to read about life in a different corner of the world. I do too, so I like to read about Helen in Costa Rica (via France and UK) and Andrew in Hong Kong (via UK) and Rebekah in Canada (via Sweden) and Maurice in Newfoundland just for example.

      Apart from the composers, the others are novelists (19th century), a philospher, a few mixed politicians, and a famous British sailor. All of whom I find interesting, to some extent, for whatever reason.

      As for the UK, according to newspaper reports from some years ago, if you have lived out of the country for x years, you are no longer entitled to return and receive state benefits, eg unemployment and health care. There is more detail to it than that, but you get the idea. I too paid in to the system (not for 35 years) but at one point I was paying a high rate of tax. What is annoying is that the UK continues to accept all the world’s immigrants who apparently are entitled to benefits. Uh?? Since I left the pension age was changed – upwards obviously, and retrospectively – which didn’t exactly help with my financial planning.

      Hope that helps explain some of it a bit more. And thank you.

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      • Thank for the repy. I do not understand it – but I do understand it (what you wrote about being out of the county for a certain number of years). It is so infair and I would be downright hostile about the situation. Maybe you should learn for sure about the number of years things. There could be exceptions. But maybe you have already investigated all the laws etc. Wonder if you could challenge the government in court if you coud find a pro bono attorney. So can you get aid or health care from Gib or Spain if you have lived there for a while?

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        • I was also unaware that after paying in my contributions for 29 years I might lose access to the UK benefits system. I doubt if I shall ever return to the UK to live but they do owe me a pension, which I might or might not claim. I definitely want a free bus pass.

          I think my ‘secondary’ school was the last year the grammar school system as was survived. I did the 11+ and my school did offer Latin but it was not compulsory. I chose to study it for 2 years to O’level along with Russian. I regret enormously not doing history. My late brother studied archaeology and was the curator of a well-know English cathedral for many, many years. He would have been the first to admit he was never considered particularly academic but when he found his passion he excelled at it. Never wanted to do anything else.

          Yvonne, you are certainly not under-educated. You are highly educated just in different areas from the rest of us. I honestly believe that I’ve learned more that is useful and interesting in the last ten years than I did in the previous 40-odd. Reading blogs is just one element of learning and writing one allows me to indulge my passion for photography and to write a little. The dinner table guest list is fun but a different circle would come up with very different guests. Rough Seas and I are of an age, I suspect, as we have similar memories. As a chivalrous Brit I shall state that I probably go back a little further but no matter.
          Enoch Powell was clearly an important figure even to my young eyes and ears. I mean, he even featured in the Giles cartoons and I have a collection of those here with me. They provided a wonderfully amusing but insightful social commentary on our time. I think perhaps I may add Peter Cook to my list of invitees for his role in Private Eye. Where would we be without political satire? Long may it survive.

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          • What to say? Yvonne, I made my choices when I did. I just get hacked off that the government changes the parameters. Pro bono lawyers? As if.

            Andrew, if I can get anything out of what I have paid in, I will be there. Banging on the doorstep. a) I will need it and b) the bastards retrenched on the deals. I didn’t pay 40% tax for nothing.

            I did like Private Eye. We subscribed to it in our civil service office as it occasionally mentioned us although I think it was really to entertain most of us.

            As to both you and Helen, no Giles here.

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  8. I think your historical dinner party guests, and Danielle Steele, would be interesting to listen to for their views of the current day, their own areas and general life. I’d especially enjoy the Brontes. There would be such a lot happening, I think it would be a long dinner party to make the most of each guest… like my Come over for a barbie virtual dinner party, where I also covered off historical (aka dead) guests, you’d be up to the wee small hours.
    Pensions and government benfeits are topical in Australia as well – http://www.humanservices.gov.au/corporate/publications-and-resources/budget/1213/measures/international/10555… seems to be a worldwide trend. Australian pension rules in generally are becoming more and more parsimonious. People born since the 50’s are expecting to have some sort of superannuation with the amount expected increasing the later they were born after mandatory superannuations were introduced. Problem is the superannuation industry is basically the financial/share markets and many people are taking baths. Currently our super is in cash as even moderate risk is volatile.
    My Dad has been tangling with the Centrelink system re his age pension since he was entitled. The requirements and reporting appear to be quite onerous if you are not a straightforward full time age pensioner couple, with little resourcing and infastructure alloted to assist people to navigate through it. It seems you need to be very internet savvy, as that is where most of the resources are, and of course many of the current OAP generation aren’t.
    On a more domestic note, your garden looks wonderful. We were just discussing a similar type of garden structure of raised beds… for one day in the future :)

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    • It was a mish mash of invitees to cater for various tastes. Music, literature, politics, got to be something there for most people.

      Will check out your link, although I will prob get depressed. I hate pension stories with a vengeance as all they are is ‘you haven’t paid enough so you will get stuff all’.

      We were talking about building a new raised bed on the other side of the terrace. Post to follow, at some point.

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  9. Lovely romp with the ideas and comments today.
    How annoying about no assistance if you leave the country! i know they advise people here who retire to the compounds in Mexico to keep up their passport/medicare/insurance/social security so when they get old and ill they can return and get care. Wonder how long that will hold up? They are adding so many newcomers (and they are allowed to bring in elderly family members who have never live/worked here, but will be eligible for assistance)) so fast, the current system won’t manage. Sounds like a massive crash is coming – word-wide? We are just trying to set things up so we can take care of ourselves – but recent changes are making it difficult to save – the more we work, the more the gov. takes so we don’t gain any reserves.(We both were laid off repeatedly for almost 10 years during the late 80’s to mid 90’s. Never took public assistance as we we raised that was for those worse off than us. Worked ugly jobs as needed. Always paid bills – using retirement savings. And lived very frugally – like riding bike to work and doing without car) It’s very discouraging.
    On a lighter note, the dinner party sounds great. Strong personalities in many directions. i always like Rousseau – that quote is even more real now with all the social media?
    Nelson would be interesting I think.
    (So annoying about paying to fly over Gib…Spain has always been about thwarting England, though, right?)
    Giggled a little over the young girls don’t need protective older men. It’s the generation difference. For so long that was the reality of life. Women lived at home and then went into their husband’s care like demented children. Oddly it’s still thought that way in some regional areas – cultural traditions. My sister in law (east coast) was appalled I was driving myself back and forth long distances and living alone in college (she has been dragged into this century). The women west of the Mississippi seem to have always been more independent – perhaps its the available space? I think maybe that women must be protected concept was the reason my mother was so angry and depressed most of her life – she was limited by family/society with what her goals(wanted to be an archeologist/scientist, but not for girls) in life could be – and that she would be defined by her husband. Oddly, she tried to continue that with me – and was angry that I wouldn’t listen/cooperate.
    I don’t think these women at the party would sit by themselves in a corner and chat politely.
    Noting better than some conflicting ideas – mental dessert.
    Well, used up enough of your space – great read as always

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    • Such a romp we needed a holiday!

      I think the gripe of many expats – certainly mine – is that we pay into a system, and we can no longer take out. Yet, other people enter the country, no paying in and can get welfare under the sun! Not that there is any sun in the UK.

      Unfair? To me. I don’t claim benefits in Spain (although every other person seems to) nor do I claim them in Gib. I don’t have an issue with people in need claiming benefit, but moving to another country, taking out of the government pot, just strikes me as morally wrong. And a country that allows that, or has to allow it (EU rules) is stuffed anyway. But there is still no common denominator within the EU.

      Doesn’t sound like a dissimilar system eh? Or dissimilar lives.

      I think the dinner party could have got a bit noisy! Or argumentative.

      I thought east coast women were clever and independent and the rest of you were just looking for a lovely man. Just shows what watching too much Dallas does for stereotypes.

      Both my mother and her grandmother worked, although no great ambition. My mother did chuck her teaching career however (to act out the good little woman role) and later said to me it was her favourite job that she had loved the most. Hmm.

      Thank you.

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    • What a lovely party ms. I do like your list of invitees. Albeit above my intellectual plane on so many levels. But I would stay in there for a fighting.

      I would like to see in your mix a great musician of our time of course. Maybe because of the eclectic mix a bluesist. Guitar not necessary.
      I have been on a Snowy White binge of late but I am thinking maybe my personal favorite pragmatist and smooth hand Gary Moore. I think he would be an entertaining table mate, a great conversationalist. So, if you are doing a seating arrangement please seat me accordingly.

      The US & The UK have many things in common. One of them is putting our noses where they do not belong financially. At the extreme costs to our own people.
      When will we learn?
      Oh by the by, Danielle Steele? I have read, and re-read all her books. So many times that I had stopped reading her. Maybe it’s time again. What a nice prompt.

      As always I so enjoy your posts.~

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      • Ha! No need to fight, just a general chat and about many different topics, I would hope. Have to say a current musician never came into my head. They are too recent and too celebrity status for me. Apart from the women I mentioned above in reply to Andrew.

        Actually the only place the UK puts its nose these days is up America’s a***. Which I would rather it didn’t.

        I’ve only ever read that one Steele book. I was surprised to see her best-selling status, but still it was a good, easy and interesting read. Wouldn’t be my choice from the library, but if I am given them, I’ll read them.

        Thanks.

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    • well, mainly because he’s had free coal allowances, free accommodation in central London, stuffed up the NUM totally, so I don’t see why the hell I should cater for him – but I would be interested to hear him speak, assuming he would let anyone else get a word in edgeways

      Like

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