At the End of the Day

The pool is open. Hurrah. The pool has problems. Ooouurrgh.

The filtration is blocked. The pump is underachieving. There are two very dead toads doing the necrophylliac jive in the backwash system. The skimmers are overflowing. The circulation is farting like the cowboys in Blazing Saddles.

Let me tell you, it’s a hard life being a bloated plutocrat.

Today has been what my mum used to call “one of those days”. On the one hand, the cherries are turning from green to yellow: the next stages will be pink, red and then dark claret. On the other hand, I went for my siesta this afternoon….and this was the signal for everyone to visit me.

The painter wanted to discuss the colour palette for the shutters. The pool bloke wanted to explain why the circulation had a severe wind problem. The electrician wanted his money. And a lawyer rang (just as I was returning to bed) with news of no great import….although she seemed quite excited about it. Perhaps I’m missing something, but when I need to siesta, what I mainly want is for everyone else to bugger off.


From New Zealand comes the news that Prince Harry has been speaking Maori. This must represent a move on from the lachrymose rubbish he’s been spouting for the tabloids of late. He’s an interesting bloke, but has sadly inherited his mother’s penchant for alternatively loathing and using the gutter press.

Nigel Farage suffers from the same affliction. What all moths who fly too close to the lightbulb of publicity almost always fail to understand is that, in the end, the surface of the sun (or the Sun) burns the feathers and melts the glue. Having fallen foul of the tabloids by promising much and delivering nothing, Farage is now crashing back to Earth….a modern-day Icarus…or even Ukiparus.


Former Goldman luminary Jim O’Neill has popped up again as an adviser to the Treasury….with a peerage in the offing. But as ever – despite his cv – O’Neill seems to be on the side of the good guys.

“For many years I have described London as the BRIC capital of the world: the city that is the greatest beneficiary of the growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China,” he said late in 2014, “But from a national policy-making perspective, it is quite easy to think that perhaps London is doing just fine and that it is elsewhere that needs policy support….. Over a long period, under governments of all political colours, our economy has become unbalanced and our capital city has come to dominate more and more. We can reverse it – and create a balanced, more healthy economy for working people across our United Kingdom.”

I do like Jim. He’s a nice bloke. We should let him get on with what, I’m sure, is a well-intentioned piece of putting things back.

Earlier at The Slog: Javid, Murdoch, Hunt, Feral Shapps & Partners

10 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Hi JW, as a Manchester resident, I would ask for a little caution on Jim O’Neil – he’s one of the main movers in the New Economy group which basically tells the Labour one party state in the town hall what to do. New Economy is thoroughly neoliberal and has tried on a number of occasions to get Manchester City Council to invest in municipal bonds. Look at the mess such funding streams caused in the States and then remember that O’Neil is ex Goldman Sachs. Manchester has gone from somewhat grim but friendly place full of original culture to yet another sterile corporate playground full of property developers, lawyers and accountants. I am not necessarily saying O’Neil is duplicitous but that he is definitely stuck in the old way of doing things.

    To rebalance our national economy spatially we need REGIONAL development not more neoliberal aglomeration economics based on cities alone. You migth want to check out Neil McInroy’s work in this area:



  2. My friends who have pools seem to find a way to insert some plumbing, skimming, filtering, chemical imbalance, or pool boy problem into the conversation. I’m not sure that they are vexed by the latest disaster or want to remind you that they have a pool. and you don’t. Either way it’s best to keep these boring stories to a minimum..


  3. Didn’t all your workers and business associates know that yesterday was a public holiday in France?


  4. One of the saddest tasks for me was extracting hedgehogs from the skimmers. Over the years, I had to drag out a couple of dead dogs, cats, a pine marten and other various fauna. On the other-hand, I managed to rescue several hedgehogs, snakes, deer (yes, deer), plus bats and swallows which had ‘dipped’ the surface of the water to drink, and misjudged it somewhat.

    We ‘gave up’ our pool, which is old-style (very big and deep), around 10 years back. When I say ‘gave up’ I mean that we gave up using it for swimming. It’s now used for l’arrosage of the gardens, and has lily-pads growing on it…oh, and ducks swimming on it! Dangerous things swimming pools.


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