The desperate drudgery of all being in the same boat

Only the filthy rich get days without drudgery, and as I’m neither of those things my day has been like every other: chores interspersed with interesting stuff.

The interesting bit was getting some inside track on new Troika obscenities in Greece, and the appointment of MeteoGroup to replace the Met Office by the BBC.

The chores included hassling the tree feller to finish his work, buying a clock (for €5) because the previous one (€30) had died after four months, shopping in Aldi for fish (my tooth bridge is broken again), posting replies to the UK taxman who still can’t quite grasp that I left the UK in 2013, pulling up some couche grass from the herb beds, and repairing a sun parasol broken by strong winds in the Spring.

The last of all these activities today was by far the longest lasting. It was also knackering. I’d imagine you’ve never undergone crucifixion up a step ladder. I just did.

The problem is that your average cheapo Chinese sun parasol has a wingspan of around four metres. Whereas my arm-span is nearer to 2.5 metres. The difference between the two is a perfect measure of unhappiness stretched out on the rack.

There was a point in this afternoon’s proceedings where the only thing missing from my reenactment of Calvary was a Roman centurion poking me with a spear to see if I was dead or not. I’m not one of the best when it comes to DIY, but I defy anyone to grasp the intricacy of wooden struts under parasols. Being mad enough to attempt the task is why, sooner rather than later, the amateur artisan winds up suspended from a web of string, metal chains and swivel joints.

I had visions of being found months later, and a passing zealot placing a notice beneath the iconic tableau saying “He died so that we might have Eternal Life”. But as I’ve no desire to be a Second Coming, I waved my legs around desperately – eventually reestablishing contact with the stepladder.

The parasol is now back in business. True, it looks like a cross between a Pagoda and a becalmed Junk: but then, given its origins, that is entirely appropriate.

One piece of news that particularly struck home with me two days ago was the revelation that Mercedes car sales are now – for the first time ever – outstripping those of BMW.

So clearly, all this austerity economics is starting to bite very hard….such that even the fat BMW moggies are feeling the pinch. We must all thank the Lord, therefore, for those morbidly obese furballs driving the economy forward by coughing up their hard-earned offshore cash in return for top-end Mercs.

No doubt ‘Sir’ Phillip Green motors down to his new £100 million gin palace in just such a vehicle, happy in the knowledge that the sacrifice of 3,400 employee pensions was worth it, if it keeps Britain’s credit rating at AAa (-ab + A x d minor, stable).

As I was driving back from Villeneuve this morning, it was in turn hard to avoid the feeling that George Osborne was talking out of his rectum when he said we are “all in the same boat” when it comes to austerity. What made it so hard to avoid that conclusion was the never-ending queue of gigantic boats mounted on wheels, being transported down the N25 to the Mediterranean.

In Villeneuve itself, meanwhile, retail chains continue to close – the latest victim is Vet Affaires, a downmarket clothing store – and the bottom end fin de serie food shops continue to be packed with shoppers from all classes of society.

It’s obviously all going ever so well. So I’m off to bed for sound night’s sleep.