A Sideways View

Driving The Car.

It is something most of us do: drive our car. We want to go somewhere, we jump in, turn the key and the motor starts. We can get in go anywhere we wish at any time and it’s better than the train because there’s no bother about timetables, tickets or having to wait for the next one – or worry about missing a connection.

Continue reading “Driving The Car.”

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Economics · Mind The Gap!

This Isn’t About Britain!

I’ve known this since I lived in Germany back in the 1980s: Britain simply doesn’t get Europe. Britain has this idea that the Continent of Europe somehow needs its appendage – its appendix? That is to say, Britain is in a place of its own and it knows that through its superior culture and business practices it is the envy of the world. In short: Europeans are crazy to even let us go. Leave alone demand terms.

Look at Britain! They have motorcar industries, banking and fisheries… but then, so does Romania. Albeit the banks aren’t quite as impressive, their connection to Europe by way of railways is actually a lot better than Britain seems to think. Continue reading “This Isn’t About Britain!”

Stories

Giving Him A Hand.

I’m not one for Halloween: a tradition where the youth of society visit their neighbors with threats, coercion and menace. It’s like having the Mafia living next door to you, only they’re normal human beings who work as car mechanics and fill the supermarket shelves. Only now they’re in masks with skulls painted on them and they’re about to damage your property.

I prefer the Dutch tradition, and yes, there are things they get right! St Martin’s day is the 11th of November when your neighbours’ children parade around the village with lanterns, singing carols to us all. Which would you prefer? Being coerced into giving them treats, or thanking them with treats because they sung you a lovely carol?

This is my tale, written originally for the Creative Writers. It’s my way of getting back at the people who think it’s nice to have your neighbours’ children acting like the terrorists their government funds.

Warning: this is not for the faint hearted. I published something of this sort, albeit a factual piece, but did so on my private blog because of the content.

Note: if the following does not chill you to the bone, read it again because you missed the point.

Giving Him A Hand.

Continue reading “Giving Him A Hand.”

A Human Menagerie · Our Subconscious

Geeks In The Basement…

Buying A Computer In Holland.

I’m using my old Mac at the moment, which I think dates back to 2004. Or something like that. Whatever, it’s old and it crashes with a regularity that is my new normal. I did buy a Minimac, but what with Apple’s ideas about older equipment and newer operating systems, it gummed up and remains gummed up to this day. No doubt there’s some malware masquerading as a solution – in the way you can stop the silly bubbles on Windows – but this is not something I want to enter into. I did try Linux, but that’s been trodden on with a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Linux is for the people who want a cheap playstation and not a small office at home.

Continue reading “Geeks In The Basement…”

Beyond Newton · Economics

The Twenty Cent Coin.

The new 20ct coin as issued by the mint in Utrecht: it shows Koning Willem Alexander with a band across his head to emphasize the fact.
Source: euro-muenzen.tv

As you can imagine, twenty cent coins in Europe abound. Even in the areas that are not officially the Eurozone, where the Euro is the official currency, twenty cent coins can be found. They can be found in Africa, too, because the Francophone areas of Africa lent towards the Euro as a sub-denomination instead of the dollar (as was the case when the Zimbabwean dollar fell to pieces).

Twenty cent coins aren’t anything special, then. So, when in my local supermarket the cashier handed me one, it should have dropped into my purse unnoticed. Only this one was shiny, a blikvanger as they say in Dutch, it was eye-catching. It interested me because here in Holland, any new coin usually means one of the newly minted Dutch coins with the head of the new king, Willem Alexander. He’s been maltreated by having his head divided to tell us who he is, but I doubt if it would make any difference to him. After all, he’s Dutch, and whilst a nice enough guy and all that, I’m pretty sure he’s as dim as the rest of them.

Continue reading “The Twenty Cent Coin.”