I'm a disgrace, I said I was coming back with a ...pffft, and then I didn't.
Still, I'm here now. Popping in before I probably flit off again like a blogging butterfly. I do hope any of you who might be reading this are well and happy. No swine/type A flu I trust?
So what's the chat? Weeeellllllll. I'm thinking of retraining and becoming a goat herd. Possibly not a goat herd as one must get up early to tend to one's goats. But not doing what I currently do any more. I sort of woke up one day and it suddenly occurred to me that the every day, bread & butter part of my job bores the life out of me. Watch this space for news of goats.
The French government has, in its infinite stupidity, invented a new way to bleed our resources with taxe carbone (or carbon/green/environment tax). They patronisingly try to tell us that this levy will make us all more environmentally-friendly. Petrol will be taxed at the staggering rate of 4p extra a litre. Crikey, better sell the car! What the carbon tax is, in reality, is a money-spinner for a cash-strapped government. It will penalise people who live in rural areas where public transport is utterly non-existent and the least well-off for whom heating and fuel bills are already a huge chunk of their budget. It certainly won't change the way I use the car, because 4p more a litre is not a big enough rise to hit my budget all that hard. It is all stick and no carrot. We're being told off for not being green enough, but there is no real concerted effort to help ordinary folks to invest in more sustainable choices (roof insulation, power/heating using renewable energies). Plus nuclear power isn't getting taxed at all because apparently it's a non-polluting energy source. Riiiight.
Continuing with the France-bashing, there is much hand-wringing and consternation with September's road collision stats. 393 dead in September is over 17% more than Sept 08. When I consider the dreadful driving standards I witness on what is a very short commute (10 mins) to work and back, I'm surprised this number isn't higher. If you're in a hurry, no need to stop at the red light. Indicators and rear-view mirrors are for mummy's boys. Chavs on scooters must leave a gap of no more than 3cm with the vehicle in front (maximising their chances of running into said vehicle in the event of sudden, or even not so sudden, braking). And yoofs on bikes must pedal along with no awareness of the car that is about to squash them to death. Ah-la-la-la!!!
Staying on a motoring theme, I'm all cleaned out having forked up 200 and something euros for 4 new Michelins for the small car. Nice deep tread, ready for the winter. Jolly good thing though cos since I got them it's been sodding raining and my racing slicks just wouldn't have done the job.
And to end on a topical note, who else thinks awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to US president Barack Obama was a bit, well, ... not on. I don't have anything at all against the man, but he hasn't really done much has he? And that's hardly surprising, he's only been on the job a few months, give him a chance. I just feel it somewhat discredits the prize and past winners (worthy ones, because not all of them have been!) when it's handed out to someone on the basis of his good intentions and the promise of what they might bring.