Sunday, 12 January 2020

Quiet Sunday thoughts!

Today has been one of those days that improved weather-wise as it went on. The torrential rain that began in the late afternoon yesterday seemed to go on all night and was still at it first thing. I decided that running in the rain was not my thing this morning. Some other time maybe. Besides Phil was off to some chess event quite early in the morning and so I decided to see him on his way and walk into the village later.

By the time I set off, having done a variety of housekeeperish things beforehand, the rain had stopped but I opted for wellingtons as I knew that the bridle paths where I intended to walk would be quagmires. I was not wrong.

And by mid afternoon, the day was considerably brighter, bits of blue sky around. By then, however, I was dedicated to a mammoth weekend newspaper reading session. How do people read a whole newspaper every single day? They must have no time left for any other activity.

Further to yesterday’s comments about the chief executives of FTSE 100 (33 - the number of hours it took the typical FTSE 100 boss to earn more than typical worker’s annual salary. The average boss is paid 117 times more than the median worker.) here’s a bit more info, also gleaned from the newspaper:-

£901.30 - Typical hourly pay of FTSE 100 chief executives, according to the High Pay Centre thinktank.

£14.37 - Median hourly rate earned by UK employees.

Bear in mind that many people earn far less per hour than that amount!

Now I may moan about a bit of water here but other places suffer far more. I am really glad we visited Venice going on for fifteen years ago. I was reading about Venice’s problems, not just flooding but depopulation and overcrowding at the same time:-

 “Recurrent flooding, a soaring cost of living, lack of affordable housing and badly managed tourism have driven 120,000 people away since the early 1950s, the majority across the lagoon to the mainland, but over the last 20 years the pace has hastened alongside the advent of cheap flights and flourishing cruise tourism. As many as 60,000 tourists each day in the summer flock to the historic centre where 52,000 people live.”

When we went, at least twice, there were quite a lot of tourists but it wasn’t unmanageable and cruise ships didn’t sail along the Grand Canal. I would love to go back but I suspect it has been ruined for me.

Over-tourism is a 21st century problem, possibly exacerbated by social media. Barcelona has suffered from it with young people priced out of the city centre by air b’n’b. And the people of Edinburg were up in arms recently about arrangements for New Year’s Eve celebrations, arrangements that involved residents needing wristbands to get to their own homes, as did any guests who might want to visit them for Hogmanay!! Just a little lack of spontaneity there.

A large amount of the complaining was about the Disneyfication of their city, a lot of which was coordinated by companies from outside the city, and the city’s Christmas markets being no different from any other city’s - probably selling the same tat as was on sale in Manchester.

As you can guess, I am not a fan of the Christmas markets. Perhaps the only real fans are people who don’t mind paying over the odds for a paper cup of mulled wine! Another tourist gimmick!

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