At the End of the Day

ATEOTD reaches 100

I’ve been going through one of those stages over the last ten days when it seems possible that the Reaper may be on one’s tail. Medics were looking thoughtful, symptoms had been described, and several tests undertaken. I spent 24 hours with a BP machine strapped to my body (the pain in one’s arm after having 77 readings in one day is hard to describe adequately), and half a morning having blood samples taken. As I have some expensive dental treatment upcoming, I thought it best to get these results before shelling out tons of pointless money on vanity…should the end be nigh. It would, after all, have been so much better spent on a few bottles of early 1980s Vosne Romanee.

I am pleased to announce that, according to the NHS, I shall be a prisoner of the physical existence for some time yet. Astonishingly, my blood pressure is ‘within the normal limits’. Even better, my liver output is higher in good things, and lower in bad things, than it was. And my prostate is entirely normal. (It was the last of these that was concerning me slightly).

The lady who gave me these results was a frighteningly young but highly qualified Practice Nurse. Despite the improvement in liver behaviour, she did point out that it was still vaguely surprising that I could have such an enzyme output and be alive. I told her this was down to a long, arduous and well-paid apprenticeship in advertising during the 1970s, but she made no comment, having been born in 1986. For one so young, her attitude struck me as incredibly mature: there was no nagging Nannyism, and when she asked politely if I wanted help to control my alcohol intake, my answer – “I don’t need any help to be miserable” – didn’t seem to faze her at all. I thought her the perfect model for those dealing with hopeless cases like me in the mediaeval future we face.

At the other end of life, our new Norfolk terrier puppy – now firmly named Coconut – is settling in very well. In fact, as far as the middle dog Tiggy is concerned, rather too well for comfort. Coco is feisty – that was obvious within minutes of her arrival – and has taken to jumping at Tiggs, these assaults being accompanied by minute wuffs of pleasure. Tiggy’s reaction so far has been to back off, as if she thinks we may well have introduced a small nutter into our home.

Foxie is having none of it. As Coco does one of her jumps  – they consist of bounces whereby all four feet are off the ground – Fox curls her lip and snaps at the little person. Other puppies arriving here ran off to the safety of a cage with lots of histrionic squeaks in such circumstances, but Coco interprets a snarl as encouragement. She will need to watch out: Foxie may seem a bit of a Sloane generally speaking, but she won’t put up with much of that sort of blase reaction. I sense that, in the months ahead, there are going to be a few scraps. And then, as my wife always remarks philosophically, “They’ll sort themselves out”.


Late this afternoon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party voted to allow euro states to quit the currency area. As this is strictly prohibited under the EU Treaty, you can sort of guess where the German leader is going with this one. There will be treaty changes, and Merkel will get what she wants.

How odd we would think it here in Britain if the Tories voted for us to be allowed to tell Brussels to get stuffed. While that too is verboten under the EU rules, at least it would be a vote about something we might do – rather than presuming in advance to allow other States (whose business was none of ours) to do what we think they should do.

Reuters this morning referred to Merkozy as ‘EU boss Angela Merkel and her deputy Nicolas Sarkozy’. The news media in Europe now routinely refer to the GdF – the Groupe de Francfort….the self-appointed (and largely unelected) inner sanctum of folks who seem to be calling the shots about who gets what and when. These people between them have deposed two Prime Ministers in ten days, and replaced them with technocrats who have no membership at all of the Italian and Greek sovereign bodies. This could not happen in the UK, and it would also be unconstitutional in both France and Germany. There is not a lot of respect being shown here.

As I have written umpteen times before, listen not to what people say, but observe instead what they do. When people ask me, in seeming exasperation, “Why do you assume Germany would dominate the New Europe?” I am bound to answer, “Who the f**k else could?”

Whatever anyone tries to tell me, we are witnessing a democratic continent being taken over by a tiny, dictatorial oligarchy. The members of this are, in turn, wrestling for power with unelected money represented by bankers and technocrats. Whoever wins this Battle of the Daleks, it’s not looking good for the citizens.


37 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Democracy in Europe in 2011, now that’s a radical idea, but somehow I suspect we are entering a tunnel and its so narrow that there is no room for that hugely complicated thing called democracy.


  2. Well said. The other large entity in trouble,the USofA,is of course run by another unelected company,the FED,purveyor of banking, read,Goldman Sachs,and guess whose turned up to blow up ,Italy and Greece.two of the ex purveyors of Goldman Sachs.put in by Merkosy. You see we blindly followed the EU rules,shooting ourselves in both arms and legs,watching everything the Victorians built up destroyed,by France and Germany. Tell that to the farmers,the fishermen,and yes our industry too. Cameron, too late has realised,that he will never get elected again,the Liberals are too thick, too realise that they are in the same leaking boat, which that Labour will get in by default.


  3. Glad to hear your health’s in good shape John.
    I hope it’s good enough to fight the approaching virus they call Christmas.


  4. It’s a lovely to see the little puppies do that bouncy action, similar to the little lambs gambolling, very endearing. I hope you have continued success in monitoring your own health. As a wise young GP said to me ‘You know your own body best.’ shortly after I refused a drug that had horrendous side effects. On your earlier blog when everyone is trying to figure out viable solutions to this multi-upon-multi crisis, and a few gaskets were blown in the process, what are the great and the good doing? Were they calling emergency meetings, sitting in the cabinet room brain storming? Hardly. They were all dining and quaffing at ‘the Lord Mayor’s Ballocks’ not giving a s**t about the hoi polloi. Why should they? It’s an imponderable to them, if they could even muster up the energy to give a toss. It must change and soon. Time to round up the cavalry JW.


  5. Good to hear that you’ll be around for a bit longer to amuse, inform, bemuse and infuriate us in equal measure. I’ll raise a glass with you tonight, red, probably from oz, I’m a heathen.


  6. Yes, agreed, but even the conservative Spanish have had their Christmas street decorations up for a while now.

    Perhaps the EU could do something useful and find a way to ensure that Christmas is always constrained to December plus the 6 days needed to get to 3 Kings day. Definitely nothing in August, September, October, November…

    Good to hear that the Slogger is likely to be up to the task for a while yet!


  7. I recently introduced a new cat, aged 1, to our two cat household, it is quite fascinating to watch as despite a few squabbles they sort themselves out. All are neutered but clearly new Ragdoll likes my little Birman, aged 12, but she ignores him while my lovely moggy, aged 5, is feeling threatened but not quite sure what to do about it, they seem to take turns running away from each other. Nice to talk about happy sunjects since I despair of the current situation. I too had a brush with the grim reaper having incidentally been found to have totally asymptomatc lung cancer, well I have smoked for 52 years but don’t actually blame that as it all started after a traumatic shock. Anyway, had surgery when they eventually convinced me and seem to be fine now. I asked my surgeon about smoking, I did stop before the op. as advised and for a couple of months after, and he told me that for lifelong smokers they risk of recurrance is only 5% more than if I didn’t stop. I decided to carry on, no point in being miserable at my age for a 5% risk, so cigarettes and red wine will continue to be enjoyed with the use of my e- cig when required. Surgeon and GP are fine with this..


  8. Merkel doesn’t seem to be hiding what she is doing, or is she ?

    I don’t know anything about the conduct of German politics. Is it normal practice for the Chancellor to be OPENLY seeking permission from his/her Party on the negotiating points to be used in a Treaty negotiation ? Seems a bit odd to me.

    I can’t differentiate between the “tiny, dictatorial oligarchy [DO]” and “[the] unelected … bankers and technocrats [B&T].”. The two paratroopers dropped into Rome & Athens would appear to have a foot in both camps.

    JW – are you sure there’s a battle going on, it looks more like the pirates are dividing up the treasure to me, a few squabbles, scratches, then off to the pub for the party, perhaps


  9. John. Great bto hear we will get our daily dose for a while longer.

    On Merkel, I wonder is she the real thing or a Manchurian candidate acting as a puppet for others. She has never seemed up to the job to me, out of her depth and uncomfortable in her skin. So which poers are controlling her?


  10. Sorry Nerdman, I couldn’t decipher your comment. I am a slave to the logic, grammer and sentence structure I grew up with.


  11. Carol,
    You seem to have reached a state of peace with your life where you accept reality, responsibility and the consequences of your choices. Somewhere along the line, you must have accepted your mortality. No matter how virtuous your lifestyle, you’re going to croak it.


  12. (First post to this fascinating site:) Went to hear what advice my wife’s swiss banker would give her. Amazed to hear that a breakup of EZ should be part of all personal asset management reviews, now..I have been seen as a crank for years by friends; not any more.


  13. You seem remarkably relaxed about the anti-democratic putsch; they’re not all thatcherites, you know.

    If you haven’t done so yet, start on the ‘baby’ aspirin, 75/81mg


  14. Pleased to hear that Coconut is not after all John’s replacement.

    Do you have any 1980s Vosne Romanee in your cellar? Looked it up and nearly fell of my chair.


  15. While we see all the crap going on in the world it is nice to realise when seeing a young puppy that life is not all bad. Sadly, puppyhood is quite short so enjoy it while it’s around.


  16. John
    Glad to hear that you are still going to be around for some time.The pup will
    keep you cheerful no doubt.
    Last night Cameron said in his speech ‘we eurosceptics’. Was he having a laugh? As you said in the blog -go by what people do not what they say.


  17. Amusing reading back through the threads. I have a mental picture of Paul Tredgett’s reaction to his own spelling mistake in his criticism of Nerdman’s grammar! Or was it deliberate and I missed the irony?
    Love the juxtapositioning of Merkel and Coco. Bertram Mills would have found a place for both of them. Both running around in circles – for different reasons.
    Have often felt that Frank W Harvey’s famous poem was wasted on ducks – would have been better in my humble opinion to have aimed it at dogs or better still cats.


  18. To keep your blood pressure normal, John, it might be useful to think of people such as Mario Monti and Lucas Papademos as part of a political adjustment, rather than an attack on democracy.
    Earlier, nerdman commented about Labour getting in by default because of the poor quality of ALL politicians (my assumption). He is right about the UK and his observation certainly holds for other European countries.
    I have no knowledge of the management of Italian or Greek finances, but I am familiar with the headless chicken that is Portugal. In my view, Sr Monti is just the sort of (temporary) shot in the arm this blighted country needs (I admire anyone who can take on Microsoft, and win).
    Democracy is in a cul-de-sac, and we need to ‘think outside the box’ (sorry) to get it back to where it should be.


  19. Nerdman, I don’t know ’bout Labour getting in by default. It’s solid vote was in Scotland, but with the unionist parties taking a pasting in Scotland, and the various scams they’ve been up to while in power, their future is not assured up here.
    Times are a – changing.


  20. O/T,I have just been informed that,pursuant to the EU Water Framework Directive,I must register my septic tank,with the Environment Agency,who are ‘reviewing ‘ this matter for the next 6 months,even though the registration will result in ‘exempt’.Money will be paid,jobs created,doubtless,and with luck I will not be fined £20,000 for an offence that the madhouse has created from nowhere.


  21. SuperMario battle with M$ was on behalf of a Norwegian (not an EU member) Browser developer (Opera) whose predominant user base was in Russia. He got a menu of browsers in EU Windows installations and some small beer fines from M$. Cost – who knows, EU Commission doesn’t do sums.

    Opera market share is stagnant outside of Russia, and in Russia its declining in favour of Google Chrome an even bigger tentacle of the Evil Empire

    What a waste of f***ing time – gesture politics. He could been doing something useful like shoving some banking regulations down the throats of the ClubMed states.



  23. @William
    there is much EU legislation that works against the UK. Not because it is intended to, but because in some way, the UK system simply has as many holes as a Microsoft Operating system.

    I do not know the details on your particular point, but if you were to move to the Netherlands (where I live) you would get social benefits under the EU legislation. This includes the small statement “after five year’s registered residence”. If you come to live in NL then you will need to register and get a tax number et al. After five years you are then eligible for any benefits for income support and the like.

    Why is this different in Britain where anyone can turn up and get benefits? Because the UK government cannot prove that the person was ineligible – namely that they cannot *prove* the person claiming had not been in the country five years, and so must pay up.

    There are madhouses, and there are mad houses. Take your pick.


  24. @Reflective View
    there is one thing that characterizes the Nordeurozone: world-beating education systems. That in and of itself leads to intelligent electorates that can see through weasel words in an instant. It is the foundation of a good democracy – or at least the best one can manage in the circumstances.

    So: what about Britain? Where is their education system? Undervalued and lagging behind all of the Nordeurozone and much of the Südeurozone as well! What does this say for the perspicacity of your electorate?


  25. At the end of the day when i think the world as gone mad i read Ecclesiastes for the umpteeth time, how it made it into the bible i will never know.
    A good read and it puts life and the world, to rights again, till next time
    Great blogg John, but it is habit forming


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