Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The first day of summer ?

              Seagulls go mad for fish waste in Howth
           One of Dublins famous pubs

                                A casino off Grafton St.

What a beautiful day of sunshine the first day of Summer. The temp rose to 14C

May day is the workers holiday among other things.
There is a tradition in Dublin "One City one book" This year it is Strumpet City
Strumpet City (1969) is a historical novel by James Plunkett set in Dublin, Ireland, at the time of the Dublin Lock-out. In 1980, it was adapted into a successful TV drama by Hugh Leonard for RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster. The novel is an epic, tracing the lives of a dozen characters as they are swept up in the tumultuous events that affected Dublin between 1907 and 1914.

The novel traces the struggle of the workers to get fair pay,they go on strike, resulting in a lock out.
After months of hardship they had to go back to work.
But many of them joined the British army and died in Flanders fields in the great war.

When you look at the death toll in that Pakistani factory collapse last week you might wonder have moved along in our understanding of what constitutes workers rights.
The conditions in these sweat shop factories is worse than what slaves had to endure.
Slaves you had to feed, they had a value.
Indentured workers you can kick out.

Students are settling in for exams and the RDS in Ballsbridge is seeing a steady stream of students picking up exam numbers ready for the big day.
I often think of the founder of Apple computers Steve Jobs, how he dropped out of school and went his own way.
I am sure there are many "Failed" students who excelled in their lives.
There are many forms of intelligence, not all can be measured by exams you know.

Mother to student...."Look at that poor taxi driver ! Do you see how badly he's dressed?
If you don't pass your exams and qualify you will be a nobody just like him.
And you wouldn't like that"

The taxi drivers reply is not recorded.

One lady I had in the taxi today started talking on her phone. (Nothing wrong with that)
But she spoke pure crap all the way out to Cornelscourt.
If I was counting she must have said the same cliche 40 times.
My calls last 10 seconds, perhaps 20 if I have to repeat myself.I never ever talk to people on the mobile phone.
I am sure if a recording of her conversation was to be played back to her (and she listened to herself) she would freak out.

Another guy I met, I reckoned he was a restaurant owner and I was right
I thought he had a tin of beans in his hand. It turned out to be a man's perfume bu Jean Paul Gautier, which he was bringing back to the shop.
I spoke to him about these so called food critics who lord around judging restaurants.
I reckoned that they needed bribes.
He told me no, thats not it,
This is the way it works.
"We found your place to be excellent, So good in fact that we are including it on a website of places to eat if you would like to be included the fee will be €400?"
"Well what do you do?"

I also had an official from the restaurant association.
Her startling fact was that you have to have 13 licenses or permits to open a restaurant.
Its not a one stop shop either, you have to go from one to the other.

It seems that Ireland has become a hard place to do business.

One thing I have been following is the fate of the wonderful house in Dalkey,Gorse hill, Viko Rd to be exact,
The mother and father of a law case. A house valued at €30 million in 2006, but now it is valued at between €6 and €7 million. Whatever the balance is it  will still be owed!
Now I never even got near an A in maths in school. But this is a huge drop.
This is all a result of fraud, like a giant PONZI scheme, where everyone chased the mighty $ with no regard to the cost later on.

I had a lady who departed from her bank when she pointed out how the figures were not adding up.
She dug her heels in.
"If I do not speak up I will be committing fraud" she told me.
So they cut her a deal to leave.
She went.
Now she works with NAMA !
She said that the extent of the damage is like looking into a giant sink hole and guessing where the bottom is.

It is a very wild guess.

Through no great insight I never got involved.
Strange to say I own my own house !
I never ventured into Spain, of Vietnam for property.
I never wanted a big BMW

However I do feel for people living in negative equity, loans they can never repay on property which was never worth the price paid in the first place.
It was all a con job.
Yet the real con artists are living the high life.
Living in Drumcondra,with assets in Barbados or some other west Indian hideaway.
Pensions coming in the thousands per month.

Paid by you and me.

They must think we are really thick

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