The killer smog that made politicians clean city air up

THERE’S been a lot of reporting lately in the British media concerning the Great Smog of December 1952 which, as a twenty-two year old electrician, I experienced first-hand. Dense fogs had long been London’s particular badge of infamy, but the ‘Great’ version was literally, a killer.  Figures vary,...

An insane waste of dough

HAVE you ever wondered where your money goes?  Well for some girls in the US, part of their savings has gone on helping to raise money for a woman to marry a cardboard cutout of Twilight movie star Robert Pattinson. The lucky bride-to-be of a cardboard Pattinson raised over $1000 (€756) from the public. ...

Hard work trying to buy local in a Chinese dominated world

IN our house over the last month we have set ourselves a challenge to try and buy Spanish, or European, if possible.  Boy has it been hard. First off we needed to buy a fan heater for the bathroom.  Every model in our price range came from China.  And in the end we couldn’t stand shivering in the shower...

Red lights flash as EU high command consider Britain

ONE can imagine the High Command of the EU huddled down as it meets in secret conclave to decide what’s to be done about that turbulent and troublesome United Kingdom. Red lights are flashing, ticker-tapes rattle and messengers scamper to and fro, while a haze of smoke from cigarettes and fat cigars hovers...

The ghastly price of being a guest makes a wedding just too costly

  WHEN it comes to a wedding I really want to say ‘I do’ but sometimes I just can’t. I mean I want to get dressed up in a beautiful dress.  I want to walk up the aisle and take my place. I want to enjoy the party with all my friends, but the thing is – with finances as they are at the moment...

Keep that smile with savvy plan

OK, so many may have a smile on their faces because it’s the start of the month and their salary has arrived. But those grins could quickly disappear once the realisation sets in that it’s December and that means Christmas, presents and a whole load of unexpected expenses. So how to make December...

Random thoughts from bailout for Spain to the world of drugs

SO much seems to be going on, without resolution, that the news generally is difficult to follow.  Rajoy, after insisting since mid-summer that Spain does not, and will not, require an European Union (EU) bailout, now admits that one might be necessary but that he won’t know until the end of the...

Save the planet and then save those expensive material items

WHEN disaster strikes suddenly people are worried about the world around them and their own possessions. A perfect recent example is Hurricane Sandy and the amount of concern people are showing over the devastation left in its wake. Some people lost their homes, cars, belongings or liveli-hoods. Compassion...

When policy is reversed it takes longer for recovery

EVERY few months when the Spanish government announces the latest batch of economic and debt data, these numbers always turn out to be worse than expected and much worse than originally projected.   Ironically, this is exactly what we should expect under the circumstances. Foreign minister Jose Manuel...

A healthy investment to protect against summer

When it comes to spending money, it’s funny how we chose to splash the cash. On many occasions we’ll easily fork out for a nice meal, hand over our credit card for a new summer top, or rush to the bar to pay for the next round of drinks for friends. But when it comes to other types of purchases, we...

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