Category Archives: Consumer

Catatonic Catalunya

I have visited Catalunya three times. Each time I stayed in a big hotel in Malgrat for two weeks. I am not a club or beach tourist. I saw some of the tourist sites of course, Barcelona, La Rambla, Picasso’s place, Sagrada Familia, the architecture of Gaudi. I got pickpocketed, probably by one of the many Somalian pickpockets in the area. I liked the people apart from the thieves.

Now here’s a thing.

The Catalan people seem to want to be separate from Spain but Spain apparently does not want to let them go.

Last year poor young Catalans were demonstrating about not having jobs, and were blaming the Spanish government.

Now poor young Catalans are demonstrating against tourists because they say they don’t get the money but it goes to AirBnB owners, pushing up housing costs and all the jobs go to East Europeans.

The poor young Catalans have had no luck with protests against their government, so they are now scapegoating the tourists.

So here’s what I think. I am sad that I am no longer welcome in Spain/Catalunya, but I saw Spain/Catalunya before it became an unfriendly country. As usual, once again (as per history – civil wars, Basques etc etc) Spain is tearing itself apart. Fortunately I don’t need to go back there – I’m looking outside the EU for my holidays – maybe South Africa, China, Canada, Japan.

I think the people demonstrating in Spain are wrong, because the money the AirBnB owners get is spent mostly in the Spanish economy and pays Spanish taxes. I also think Spain is wrong because it lets Europe allow cheap labour to flood its market unlike Britain, that has said it will leave Europe so it can stop that problem and control the labour supply to the UK.

British tourists react very quickly – think of Tunisia. The IS attack in La Rambla has frightened some away. Spain’s attitude to the EU negotiations and Gibraltar is making more Brits think of boycotting Spain. The anti-tourist protests and attacks on tourists that are spoiling British, German and Dutch people’s holidays really are the last straw.

I think that maybe many British tourists, and maybe German and Dutch ones as well, might teach the foolish anti-tourists a deep hard lesson and very few at all will go to Spain as a tourist for many years. Then I think the East European cheap labour would go away from Spain as there would be no jobs in the empty hotels, bars and restaurants. There would be no income to all the AirBnB properties to be spent in Spain. There would be no taxes from the hotels, bars and restaurants and tourist shops. There would also be no subsidy from the EU to support Spain any more as the EU would be supporting all the extra jobless East Europeans that Spain would have created, and would be doing that without a third of the EU income – only Britain, Germany and France have any money, and Britain is taking it’s money away.

Perhaps the Spanish anti-tourist protesters would be left dirt-poor with no jobs to even compete for against the East Europeans, their rich class having no income from the AirBnB to pay tax for their welfare system, so their government would have no income to help the poor, the EU would not be able to help them and there would be not even jobs in fishing (because Britain is taking back its waters). These protesters would be left to share their country with their unwanted guests, the Somalian pick-pocket gangs. Maybe Germany could lend them some money then become hated as has happened in dirt-poor Greece. Meanwhile the drug dealers who lost their most valuable asset, lots of tourist customers for the clubs and bars, would probably be looking for the heads of whoever drove their customers away. Britain won’t even buy salad from Spain if the EU exit is not favorable. Britons can buy some nice salad from Africa and help to develop some nice new tourist places there, in the Commonwealth.

Catalunya could become a broken torn-apart land populated by poverty-stricken people, angry drug dealers and Somali pickpockets. Tourists would not want to visit, anti-tourist protesters would have got their wish.

So then it would be Hasta la vista Catalunya – oops I mean – a reveure Catalunya.

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The Bridge Cafe, Oban, Scotland

No, not at the bridge above, the cafe is in Oban town, a few miles further on from the steel edifice pictured over the title.

The cafe is a complete hidden gem.

Lovely town Oban, but the cafes in town are tourist places and frankly not so all wonderful as they might be.

However hidden away in the unprepossessing environs of an industrial estate that borders on urban-explorable in parts, beside a little green=painted iron bridge near the back of Tesco, is a delightful little cafe.

The owners have created a chic friendly cafe where the discerning will know they have stumbled upon L’Ecosse Profonde (Urbain) – i.e. the “Real” (Urban) Scotland – and can enjoy great value tasty cafe food and drink. No pretensions (unlike my prose), just clean, lightly assembled design from simple components. Excellent. They also have toilets one need not be afraid to use – no really it is a real plus marks.

So, 100 percent recommended. Go out of your way to this less obvious place and get a decent repas instead of tourist-priced auto-fodder. Enjoy living like a local and watching ducks with the Mums.

See the webpage here http://www.bridgecafeoban.co.uk

Trip Advisor apparently calls it a hidden gem – well, YES IT REALLY IS!

It is at
3 Soroba Ln, Oban PA34 4HX
Phone 01631 566697
Opening time on the website – its a daytime place.

I have no commercial connection with the cafe and gain nothing from posting this other than the good feeling that I am telling people about a lovely business that deserves lots of nice customers.

Google stuff about it here https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Bridge+Cafe/@56.4095754,-5.4705996,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x81d13b63895b882!8m2!3d56.4095754!4d-5.4705996

 

Tail wagging dog since November 20, 1985

The thing I hate about Windows is the amount of constant attention it demands for updates, fixes, and just sitting waiting while it boots or hangs.

I want to turn it on, have it start quickly, and then I get on with whatever I want to do. Then I want to turn it off and have it shut down quickly. I want all updates to happen quickly and automatically, with no need for any input from me.

After 32 years of development, Windows still cannot do this.

I wrote this article on my Mac.

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Like Radio, Hate Ads?

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If you use a foreign proxy server to listen to your favorite internet radio station, chances are you will be served audio ads for the country the proxy is located in. So chose a country that you cannot understand the language of. That way you still get ads but they are in a language you can’t understand for products you never heard of, that you cannot buy. Hooray now it just sounds fun exotic instead of brainwash annoying.

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Symbolism in the NatWest advert

Fair use stills for review purposes:

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The children throw coins into a fountain. Ever heard of a wishing well? It’s an ancient pagan ritual. Occult.

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Ever heard of pennies for a dead man’s eyes. How sinister do you need?

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An octagon, in church symbology midway between heaven (the circle) and earth (the square) – why show the octagonal form of the fountain so clearly? Remember – in this 30 second commercial so there are no wasted shots.

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Oh that logo is a bit illuminating isn’t it. Three 6-sided cubes? 666?

Does NatWest have a monopoly on such symbolism? Hardly. One of its competitors has a dark horse that canters down through time like a death horseman of the apocalypse into a maternity ward.

Christians recognize these symbols. Our Lord reveals what is hidden in plain sight. The love of money is the root of all evil, the wages of sin is death. Now there is some money sense.

Skulduggery

“Skulduggery” these days means underhand behaviour and deception. The word originates probably from a Scottish word for adultery. Adultery as well as being  sexual sin, also implies adulteration, the adding of an impurity to something wholesome for bad reasons. The word also offers a handy pun for this blog article…

Is it me?

No it isn’t. The world really is peppered with satanic symbols and it really is trying to push, ease, cajole and groom you stealthily through nasty little gateways into bad stuff.

So here’s what I found on just one popular culture website on one day – Cool Hunting website today – without even really trying hard.

SKULL image; PYRAMID image; GOAT-HEAD image; Invite to “BE GREEDY.”

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WORLD-TURTLE image; outline of FEMALE TORSO FLOWERS image (suggests deflowering or dismemberment of the female – if you think I am unique in seeing that, then see what Klee thought!); Invite to “BE GREEDY” again.

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An up-beat non-critical article about transgender options in virtual reality SIMS game, a similarly toned article about recreational Cannabis use (yes I do characterise this example as recreational not medical), and an article about getting orgasms from your music.

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So, do we think this is a bunch of wholesome and healthy stuff that a Christian would feel happy to push out onto the world’s lifestyles?

Fortunately we know that the saved reborn are given eyes to see what the unsaved, sadly even when it is pointed out to them, cannot see. If you want to see what is really afoot in this world, you need to light of the world to see by, Jesus.

John 8:12 (KJV)

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

Grate idea

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Followers will know I am on an experiment to eliminate modern chemicals from my bathing routine. This means I am using old-fashioned soap bars rather than modern bottles of shampoo detergents.

I wanted a nice soap dish, and came across an item that is not intended as a soap dish but it makes a very good one. Ceramic ginger graters are the perfect size and shape for soap bars, and the spikes mean the soap sticks on the dish once it has dried so you can pick up the whole dish and soap. Take care you don’t drop and break it of course as the ceramic shards would be sharp. You can also use the grater to grate off flakes of soap if you want soapflakes. I purchased mine in John Lewis in the UK, but the link above shows they are easy to find.

 

NOTICE: I have not been paid any money or given any inducements by any product manufacturer or store to mention the products or stores featured in this blog article.

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Disappearing Cambridge

Mill Road is changing. We have lost the incredibly historic CB1 Internet Cafe with the very old computers on display, we have lost the atmospheric and odd Jaffa Net Cafe with its Hookah Pipe tent, and today I noticed the iconic Cambridge Resale is no more as a physical shop. They are, according to the notice on the old shop door, a website only now (their website needs updating as it says they have a shop, which apparently now, they don’t). At least they have kept their typeface, which they have had as long as I can remember.

I appreciate that change is inevitable, but what I miss is the informality that makes a place interesting. If property prices mean a place just becomes gentrified housing and clone chain coffeeshops, then have not all the things than made the area unique, interesting and desirable (and so property prices high) not been driven out? I don’t want run-down “interesting” slums, but nor do I want empty soul-less endless gated communities that separate people as that is deeply un-Christian, and unsurprisingly therefore, not nice. Does gentrification have within it the seeds of its own destruction? Signs of the (end) times maybe…

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