Making my way to the dentist for a check-up this morning, I travelled by bus, tram and foot. At the tram-stop I reached the doors of the tram just as it pulled out - five or six minutes to wait for the next one - and so got into conversation with a lady who had got off the same bus as I did and consequently JUST missed the same tram. We commented on the fact that even though we actually have all the time in the world to get to places we both wondered how we ever used to manage to find the time to work. I must confess to not missing work at all. If I did not keep in contact on a regular basis I would probably miss some of the people I worked with, but I have never felt the need to seek employment to fill my time. And yes, I am aware that I am fortunate enough to have a pension to live on - not huge but definitely adequate - but then I did pay into a pension scheme!
Now, I read recently that David Cameron has got himself a new job, as an adviser for a financial transactions company. Of course, it's not a job in the sense of going out every day and doing the 9 to 5 grind. He'll probably do a few days every month, giving him plenty of time to write his book, for which he is said to have received a nicely generous advance payment, and to go and make speeches, for which he apparently receives up to £120,000 an hour!!! Good grief!!! His words must be truly golden.
Then I read that he does all this on top of getting an allowance of up to £115,000 a year for life, just for having been Prime Minister. And he doesn't even have to wait until he reaches retirement age to receive it. This is an allowance intended to "assist former Prime Ministers, still active in public life. Payments are made only to meet the actual cost of continuing to fulfil public duties. The costs are a reimbursement of incurred expenses for necessary office costs and secretarial costs arising from their special position in public life".
This implies, unless I am misreading something here, that all former Prime Ministers are eligible for. How nice! They must have a really good pension scheme. Do they all claim it? Or are some of them good enough to fund their own travel and other necessities in the fulfilment of their public duties? I hope that the latter is the case.
My visit to the dentist, by the way, was uneventful. The dentist and I go back a long way and so we swopped updates about our respective families and stories about our holidays and then I underwent the regular torture of the "scale and polish" and received, once again, advice on interdental brushing. So that's that for another six months.
In the waiting room was an information notice about brushing your teeth, advising no rinsing after brushing, presumably because the toothpaste has some good effect on the teeth. It also said to wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth. Why? I had meant to ask the dentist but after the above-mentioned torture session it slipped my mind!
Now here's something else: what do the outer suburbs of Madrid and the Forest of Dean have in common? Answer: a surfeit of wild boars! Who knew?
Wild boars are common almost all over Spain and always have been but apparently they are now seeking food in the outskirts of the Spanish capital. Here is a link to an article about those who want to cull and those who don't.
In the Forest of Dean they are a more recent problem. Some escaped from a farm, which presumably was rearing them for their meat, a good while ago now, and have been breeding like, well, like wild boar, producing very good sized litters and causing road accidents. Like deer, they have no road sense. Here is a link to an article about culling or not in the Forest of Dean.
Time to resurrect Astérix and Obélix! They always liked hunting the wild boar!