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.
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.
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?
Another wonderful composer, and I wonder what he would have had to say to Beethoven?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!):
The current best-selling author worldwide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.