Thursday, 12 September 2019

Bits of oddness in the world.

Will it, won’t it be declared illegal? And so the prorogation question rolls on and on even after it appears to have happened. If the Supreme Court backs up the court in Scotland which delayed it illegal, then what happens next? Do all the MPs go back to Parliament and pretend nothing happened?

Some people are more agitated about the question of whether or not Boris Johnson lied to the queen. Shock! Horror! Would even a known manipulator of the truth dare to lie to our venerable old monarch? Well, probably, yes! But personally I am more worried about the future of the country than the protocol of telling the truth to Her Majesty!

Meanwhile, life goes on. I went for a run in the drizzle this morning. En route I noticed that the place up the road where there have been holes for years where the authorities were investigating leaks in water pipes has finally had the holes filled and covered up and the whole area has been resurfaced. I presume this is a prelude to their coming to dig up a whole length of the road to install a better drainage system. This will involve closing the road for several months. Maybe, however, we can at last stop having a river run down the road whenever it really rains. It’s only been going on for at least five years!

I have been in communication, via Messenger, with a friend from the Italian conversation class, asking if I had news of when the classes begin again after the summer break. Well, actually no! I am not the class co-ordinator. So why am I his go-to person for information?

On the subject of Italy, I read about an area of that country where they are offering to pay people to go and settle in villages that are simply running out of inhabitants. This time there is an added factor. They want to establish a proper community so the people who move in must pledge to open a small business, which sounds much better idea than filling the place up with holiday homes.

But Italy has a real problem. For the first time in 90 years, the number of Italian citizens living in Italy has fallen to about 55 million, according to The national institute of statistics. There is the problem of the falling birth rate but also an increase in the migration of young people to other European countries in search of job opportunities. Nearly 157,000 people left the country in 2018. 

Some places have opted to replenish their population by opening the doors of vacant houses to asylum seekers. If the official Eurostat forecast is correct, then within 60 years or, taking into consideration the current pace of migration even sooner, 50% of Italy’s inhabitants will be of African or Asian descent. No doubt this will also happen in other countries.

The face of Europe is changing.

More trivially, I also read an article about a costume designer called Debra McGuire. She designed the wardrobe for the cast of Friends, the TV series from 20 years ago. Recently the series had made a come-back among younger viewers on Netflix. Not only is the comedy finding a new audience with them but the clothes worn by the cast are being sought by the younger viewers. Debra McGuire said this:

 “I now get emails from young people asking where they can get this or that. They just discovered Friends. I answer a lot of them, like, “It is many years ago but that was jacquard, you can buy it at your local fabric store and take it to your seamstress – you’re not going to find it any other way.”

I love the fact that she advises seeking the fabric at the “local fabric store”. I have no idea what the situation is in the USA but here there is a decided dearth of “fabric stores”. Even better is her advice to take the fabric, once located, to “your seamstress” as if everyone has someone organised to stitch clothes for them. Surely that wasn’t even the case in the USA back when Friends was first popular! 

The world is a little crazy!

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