Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Recession? What Recession?

I subscribe to Jon Snow's daily email newsletter Snowmail. It's very good and tends to sum up most of what is going to feature on the Channel 4 News each evening. But (and sorry for banging on about this yet again) the negative spin on news stories affecting the economy is driving me mad. Tonight Jon headlines more dire news with a report that someone high up in the IMF has given the UK a one in six chance of slipping back into recession. Now I don't know about you but I reckon that's a 16% chance. So that implies that there is an almost 84% chance of us not doing so and in view of all the negative talk of late I would have expected it to be at least a 50/50 chance. Which would have looked better on the news to you? "The IMF says that there's an 84% chance that the UK won't return to recession" or the doom and gloom that we got.

Whilst on the subject of recession, with the nights drawing in we settled down on Sunday night in front of the telly for a few hours. Starting with Josephine's Holding Out For A Hero (another great show this week) we stayed with ITV1HD for the X Factor and Downton Abbey. During the X Factor there were a few ads for luxury goods with hefty price tags. None more so than the Omega Ladymaker watch advertised by mega film star Nicole Kidman. I'm sure that Nicole's time doesn't come cheap and neither does a thirty second slot in X Factor which led me to wonder how much the watch costs and how many need to be sold to pay for the advertising. It was hard to pin down the price but I think I found the one she wears advertised on the internet at $33,000. I appreciate that Omega have less expensive watches in their range and it's all about getting brand awareness but if Omega is confident of selling these there must be plenty of people with a hell of a lot of spare cash.

People like Kweku Adobli perhaps. As soon as I heard about Kweku's allegedly fraudulent loss of over $1 billion for his bank I thought that, on the basis that when you lose your bet somebody else wins, another bank somewhere must have made the same sum. So in reality, the banking system as a whole is no better or worse off than it was before the fraud. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the "winner" put its hands up and said "hey we made nearly $2 billion from trading with Adoboli. Let's give some of it back". But it's banks were talking about and I reckon there's less than a one in six chance of that happening.

Enjoyed Downton Abbey on Sunday. It's even better watching it with Twitter running in the background with the views of some of the best (mostly female) columnists like Grace Dent, Caitlin Moran, Kath Flett and India Knight popping up with brilliant comments including a fabulous debate on whether the love struck couple would find time for a quickie in a cloud of steam before the train pulled out of the station. It's great television but it really is cliched and at times you know exactly what is going to happen, squaddie gets bullet through helmet, cook feeds crepe suzette to the dogs and the sanctimonious Mr (surely that should be Master) Bates falls on his sword yet again. But I wouldn't miss it and it's on series link both here and in the caravan.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which we saw on Saturday morning is as good as expected. So many great performances, so evocative of its time, beautifully filmed and thought provoking it's definitely one of the films of 2011.

I haven't had much time for blogging this week as Marion's mum isn't in the best of ways at the moment and we've been doing a lot of running around to help her. It certainly makes us very aware of the effects of growing old and concentrates the mind on living life to the full while we are both fit and healthy. We've managed to find some carers to help her out while we are away in Asolo and Torcello next week but I think we'll be busy for some time sorting out the most appropriate care for her when we get back.

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