Brexit & ‘Magic Roundabout’ – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

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It sounded more like ‘Magic Rounderbout,’ than serious politics, and that might be because – without Florance, Dillan and Zebedee on the rostrum – the City of Florance, was stuck with Prime Minister Theresa May. With the hot Brexiteer air blowing exclusively towards the UK, and its withering supporters, one wonder’s how EU representatives managed to stop laughing at the whole performance. In the end Theresa’s ‘magic roundabout,’ neglected to play the familier closing jingle about ‘Getting a Good Deal,’ instead, it was definitely  ‘Time for Bed.’

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And it really was, because half the audience was asleep by the end of her speech. With little jaded faces watching the closing moments, knowing instinctively what she was going to say next, the front row was almost exclusively made up of current cabinet Brexiteers. Clapping and cheering at the allotted time, most looked bored out of their skulls as the PM rambled through her address, in her time honored fashion. She is a good speaker, but in this case, words were not enough.

The result of this alleged Euro-shattering speech, was a dull acknowledgement from Brussels, that there might be some additional scope for improvement, in the otherwise intractable negotiations. How David Davis has the gall to stand next to Michel Barnier – and practically contradict him about the progress of talks – is a master class in self deception. Or is it a fundamental belief, that the British public only listens to his slightly jingoistic accounts, and no one else. But the UK is not exclusively made up of Telegrapgh readers, is it? Because, some of us also watch the BBC and SKY?

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The trouble with Brexit is that it hasn’t been properly thought out by the incumbent UK government, nor the original Brexiteers. It is all right making misleading speeches to a room full of sycophants, but if you leave out half the facts, of course they are going to support you. Politics is about promises, and some of the promise’s were ridiculous.

Not only that, but opportunists like Boris Johnson are still quite prepared to repeat these lies, knowing full well that the ignorant, the brainwashed, and these very same sycophants amongst the general public, will automatically support him. I would like to see the promised 350m GBP appear in the public purse, at some point, although they might have to sell that damned bus first.

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David David looks wistfully into the past

Whilst the front row forwards of the Conservative Party were watching May deliver her impassioned speech, I wonder how many of them were sizing up the odds, for taking over her job as prime minister? They really are a bunch of weasels, and one can almost imagine them simultaneously jockeying for positions in some fictitious new cabinet, of ‘wunderkind’ Brexiteer’s.

In the event of a Conservative leadership battle, or cabinet reshuffle, these stalwarts might do well to recognize 50 years of  EU expertise in procrastination, prevarication, and pontification. This is something that anyone who has had dealings with the EU in the past – at any level I might add – has had to contend with.

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Michel Barnier, for all his charm and due deference to David Davis, is a typical EU troglodyte, and regards the British with suspicion. He knows full well that the UK, is still steeped in its colonial history, and that many Britons are slightly contemptuous towards certain countries in the EU, especially in Northern Europe. It was the traditional breeding ground for UKIP, it was when the present government joined in, and it had to happen.

There is nothing like a hardened ‘Flat Earther,’ to support your cause. Working people – locked in the misery of debt – are unlikely to have feelings for, or even views about the EU, except extremely bad ones. Brexiteer’s relied on this, knowing that if people were going to blame their uncomfortable circumstances on anyone, it would be the EU. Of course, having caused most of these problems in the first place, the present Tory government then joined in post referendum, then started to talk about democracy, and the will of the people.

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How stupid do they think we are? They are not supporting democracy, they are supporting a bunch of nostalgic cotton heads, overpaid investment bankers and fund managers, whilst ignoring the needs and views of the very people they claim to represent; the young. Many young people, who come from these same debt ridden communities, are now lumbered with huge student loans of their very own. They will have an extremely bleak future, unless of course we all get ‘A Very Good Deal,’ as promised! And now, I think it is time for bed – Boing!

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20 Facts About The Greeks – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

 

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20 Weird, Crazy and Incredible Facts About Greece 

After forty years of living in Greece, I thought I knew all there was to know about Greece and the Greeks, but underneath, every tidbit of information, there’s yet another story, and even more weird and crazy facts than before! Here are just a few of the most bizarre, hard to believe, positively mind-blowing facts which I’ve recently come across.

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By Susan Athanasakou

 

  1. Greeks love sex  – Confirmed by Durex themselves

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Hey, let’s go for coffee – Sexy Greek!

Well, I had my suspicions about that, but now it’s official, according to the company “Durex”, Greeks have the most sex in the world, and have held that title for the last ten years!

  1. Greeks were first to go “The Full Monty”

Apollon Marsyas and Loucy Matli in Dafnis kai Hloi (1931)

Apollon Marsyas and Loucy Matli in Daphnis Kai Chloe (1931)
Never people to be shy, Greeks performed the first nude scene in the history of European cinema, which was aired in the film “Daphnis and Chloe”, shown in cinemas in 1931. “Daphnis and Chloe,” was the only work known by Longus, or Longos, a second century Greek novelist.

The story goes like this; Lanonas, a Greek shepherd, finds an abandoned baby boy, and then along comes another shepherd; Dyaitas, who finds an abandoned baby girl. The two babies grow up together and eventually, yes, you guessed it, fall in love.

  1. Greeks stick together

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‘Till death us do part.’ – Photo by Sarah

With so much going on between the sheets  – see fact number 1, it’s no surprise that Greece has the lowest divorce rate in Europe, on the other hand, they have the highest rate of abortion in Europe, this could be due to the next fact; read on!

4. Sneezing prevents you becoming pregnant

 

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Atishoo atishoowe, all fall down.’

Soranus, an ancient Greek physician, swore by sneezing as a form of contraception. It was the women’s responsibility – not much changed there then, – and after making love, women were told to squat, sneeze and rinse; atishoo! If this was not successful, the next time they were advised to use plan B; rub honey, or cedar resin over your privates. What a sticky mess, and enough to put anyone off; maybe plan B worked!

  1. The Doctor knows best

Hippocrates of Cos . 460 BC c. 370 BC was an ancient Greek physician consi the father of Western medicine in recog

Hippocrates 
Hippocrates, father of Western medicine, considered the human body to be just a bag of fluid, each fluid having its own special taste, urine, for example was  said to be akin to fig juice.

To Hippocrates’ way of thinking, the best way to diagnose an ailment was to chew on a bit of earwax or sip a wee dram of vomit, to see if it was sweet or bitter, and rub  offending phlegm between thumb and forefinger, to check its consistency. Now that’s called being dedicated to your profession!

  1. We’ve run out of pebbles

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“Three stones are enough”  – those smiles will soon be wiped off their faces!

Before the invention of loo paper, or before yesterday’s newspapers, what was one to do after morning ablutions?

Pebbles were kept in piles, next to wherever the lavatory was located, and, always ones to save a drachma here and there, the saying went – “Three stones are enough to wipe”
Ancient Greeks, not people to waste natural resources, used sea sponges tied to a stick (I could say something about something on a stick here, but, I’ll refrain), lesser mortals, without access to sponges, or the ones who lived inland, gathered pebbles.

If someone had really got your goat – literally, to wreak revenge – pots were smashed, the enemy’s name written on the shards, and then used as  pebbles.

  1. Will the real Santa Claus please stand up

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Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus
The original Santa Claus; Saint Nicholas, was born a Greek, on the fifteenth of March 270, in Patara in Lycia  in modern day Turkey.

He died, on the sixth of December 343, which is now celebrated as the feast day of Saint Nicholas. His reputation for generosity was boundless; his giving of gifts was usually done secretly, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him. Today, we are more likely to hang up our stockings!

  1. Hands off our columns

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Marble columns of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens Greece
One day, on the Acropolis, whilst fighting for their independence from the Turks, the Greeks succeeded in surrounding the Turkish stronghold, which caused a panic amongst the Turks; they were running low on ammunition.

In desperation the Turks began to smash the marble columns to smithereens, so as to get to the lead inside, and use it for bullets. On witnessing the desecration of their sacred Parthenon, the Greeks yelled out; “Here are the bullets, don’t touch our columns.” And they directly sent ammunition over to the Turks.

  1. No women allowed

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Greek Orthodox Monk, and Greek Orthodox cats, on Mount Athos
Women and even female animals are prohibited from setting foot in any of  the twenty monasteries of Mount Athos – A mountain and peninsula in Halkidiki, Northern Greece –  which houses more than one thousand four hundred monks.

This is not an actual written law, but is the “Avaton” a monastic principle, which is respected. There is a legislation which prohibits eunuchs and beardless youths from entering the monasteries.

  1. People forget to die

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Ikaria, where people forget to die

In the North Aegean Sea is the island of Ikaria, the island of longevity, where people, so they say, forget to die. Ikaria is one of the five “Blue Zones”  -places where the highest number of people live to a hundred – the other four being the  Barbagia region, in Sardinia, the Nycoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda, California, and Okinawa, Japan. On Ikaria people sleep late, get up late, take frequent naps, wear no watches and pay no heed to time.

They live off the land; herbs for flavor, and also medication, goat’s milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, honey; a type found only on Ikaria, very little meat, plenty of  local wine, the true “Mediterranean Diet”.

Not only do the inhabitants of Ikaria live up to a hundred, but they are healthy with it, many working in the fields up to their nineties, and here’s a thing, most of the men smoke; heavily!

  1. Vrontados and the rocket wars

Every Easter Sunday Eve, two rival churches in Vrondados, Greece engage in a “rocket war” with the aim to hit the other_s belltower; they use up to 80,000 fireworks in the display.

Every Easter Saturday two rival churches in Vrondatos
Every Easter Saturday two rival churches in Vrondatos, Greece engage in a “rocket war” with the aim to hit the other’s bell tower; they use up to 80,000 fireworks in the display. The rocket wars or the “Rouketopolemos” of the island of Chios, give Guy Fawkes Night in England, a run for its money!

Each Easter Saturday, at midnight, all hell is let loose, thousands of homemade rockets are fired, between two rival churches, Saint Marks and Panagias Ereithani, located on hilltops about four hundred meters apart, the object is to hit the bell tower of the rival church.

Days beforehand, all properties within the vicinity, are boarded up and protected with metal sheets and mesh. The origin of this wild custom goes back to the Ottoman era, and, up until 1889, when it was banned by the Ottomans, real canon’s were used!

  1. Sweat it out

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Pills, potions and ointment

In ancient Greece, athletes performed naked, their bodies slathered with glistening olive oil. Considered to be the strongest and healthiest of Greeks by their fellow man, the sweat which they produced during competitions, was thought to have magical healing powers.

Slaves hung around the gymnasiums, where these highly-regarded athletes showed off their prowess, waiting for the events to come to an end, when they would rush to scrape, with special metal tools called “strigil”, the sweaty, oily mixture, known as “gloios’ from the skin of the worn out competitors. The “gloios” was bottled and sold as an ointment, which, when rubbed on the limbs or torso, calmed and relieved aches and pains.

  1. The curious story of how potatoes were introduced to Greece

Potatoes Photographic Print by David Aubrey

Potatoes – Photographic Print by David Aubrey 

After four hundred years of Turkish occupation, Greece’s first Prime Minister, in 1928, Ioannis Kapodistrias, wanted to do something for his country; he would introduce them to the potato. What a letdown for him, then, when, on arrival of the shipment, the Greeks showed no interest whatsoever in the potatoes.

After a long think, Kapodistrias, who knew the Greek mentality well, positioned a wall of armed guards around the potatoes, the Greeks, presuming this must mean the potatoes were of great value, began to steal them, and crops of potatoes gradually spread through Greece.

  1. All is not what it seems

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In all their glorious colors

The pristine, gleaming white, marble monuments, temples and statues of Greece, which we see today, didn’t start out that way. Originally, when they were created, thousands of years ago, in ancient Greece, they were decorated with the brightest colors imaginable. Time and the weather have taken its toll, slowly eating away at the bright paint work, leaving us with the pure white we see today.

  1. Grounds for divorce

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Spinalonga Crete
The terrible disease, leprosy, was contained in Greece, within the leper colony of Spinalonga, a tiny island off the coast of Crete, which was  established in 1903 and closed in 1957. Even though a cure was discovered, available in the 1950s, and the disease has been eradicated in Greece, Leprosy was grounds for divorce in Greece up until 1983.

  1. Watered down wine

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Water with the wine?

Ancient Greeks considered drinking undiluted wine a barbaric habit indeed, no Greek of any standing would ever drink wine as it came, straight from the barrel. Wine was to be appreciated and savored, not used as a means to become intoxicated and lose all self-esteem. The usual ratio was three parts water to one part wine, rather like wine with your water than water with your wine!

  1. Wine on tap

Custom Tapped Wine Tower by TappedBeer

Let it flow – Custom Tapped Wine

It is said, that in the ancient Greek city of Sybaris, a wealthy city with a busy port and fertile lands, located in Magna Graecia, Southern Italy, Greeks were known for their hedonistic, luxurious and opulent lifestyle.

They went as far as to have pipelines,leading from the country vineyards, bringing wine straight into their homes. From this decadent, ancient city of Sybaris, originate the words “Sybarite” and “Sybaritic”

  1. Bring on the oxen

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Ancient Greek Olympic Athletes

In ancient Greece, the Olympic Games were held in honor of Zeus, king of Greek gods. After a splendid opening ceremony, and the competing of athletes, the climax was the closing ceremony, where a hundred oxen were sacrificed to Zeus. After repetitive sacrifice, of so many oxen, the sacrificial altar was built from neither stone, nor wood, but was a mass of dried blood, flesh and fat.

  1. No speaka de lingo?

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Greek Alphabet
Many thousands of years ago, in ancient times, when Greek was the most common language spoken, to the Greeks, who thought themselves a cut above others, any other language, to them, sounded like “bar bar bar”. And so, to these heathens, to anyone who did not speak Greek, they gave the name barbarians, because they were just so, well, just so barbaric! And that is where we get the word barbarian, originally meaning anyone who did not speak Greek.

  1. Stupid is as stupid does

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El Loco – The Fool, by Picasso

In ancient Athens, among the wise old men, the philosophers, top army men and revered statesmen, it was considered “not the done thing old chap”, to keep to yourself, not be present in public affairs, not to be a political animal, not a politician.

It was not correct to be a private person, an “Idiotes” (ΙΔΙΩΤΕΣ), a civilian, outside of public life. So, if you were not interested in politics or not a politician, you were an idiot! “Idiotes” (ΙΔΙΩΤΕΣ), in English means idiot, to my thinking; I should think it is rather the other way around today!

Aren’t there some gems in the above twenty facts? I shall keep on searching for more, any contributions welcome, I surely need to do a part two, the Greeks never fail to amaze! –

By Susan Athananasakou

Invictus & Prince Harry – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

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“Time and time again, competitors from around the world tell me that sport has saved them; that the Invictus Games have given them a new lease on life; and that to represent their country again with fellow comrades is something they could only have dreamt of while lying in hospital.”

Prince Harry

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There is something rather heroic about Prince Harry, because what gets to me, is his modesty and intrinsic kindness. Unlike his father, HRH Prince Charles, he has chosen to be amongst ordinary men and women, disabled veterans, and people he himself has described in the past as forgotten. Whilst maintaining his mothers common touch, what he has done for disabled ex service veterans, is a miracle.

Through the Invictus Games, Prince Harry has not only rescued many veterans from total obscurity, but by giving them a new purpose in life, though sport, he has managed to stick various national flags, on their tracksuits, to prove it. Creating the opportunity for them all to compete in sports, which otherwise would have not been open to them, he has not only helped these athletes to rediscover their self esteem and pride, but he has also managed to turn them into good old fashioned entertainment. And, why not?

Taking place in Toronto between  23rd September to the 30th it was sponsored this year by Canada 150, Land Rover and Jaguar. This all sounds very British, until you get to the countries competing for medals in these Paralympic Games. There are entries from seventeen countries, including:-  Afganistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, New Zealand, Holland, Romania, Ukraine, UK, and finally the US.

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All their sports programs mirror the Olympic Games, national and world sporting events, are organized and monitored by recognized professional sporting bodies, with the usual checks and balances. Most of the sporting events are for wheel chair disabilities, but many are not. Some of the athletes do not have mobility issues, and they will be competing in their own categories. In all there are 12 sports involved, which will last until the end of September 2017, with 550 competitors from seventeen countries.

The games are run by 1500 volunteers, proving that kindness has not been entirely forgotten in a world full of greed and violence, although it has to be said, that most of the injuries caused to the competitors, were the result of wars, revolution, religious fundamentalism, and in particular, turmoil in the Balkans and the Middle East.

Princess Diana was very aware of the horrors of land mines and the damage they can cause to service men and women, as well as improvised roadside bombs. A scourge on humanity these devices have been banned in most counties, but manufactured partly from plastic, they can last for centuries. It takes quite a small land mine to blow off a limb, but the damage caused as a result – to families and dependants as well as the victim themselves – is enormous.

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Both Princess Diana’s sons have turned out to be familier with the plight of ordinary people, their hopes and aspirations. When I heard that some Labor MP called Emma Dent Coad, was mocking Harry at the Labor Party conference recently, I was astounded. Trying to demean him as a public figure, and implying that he wasn’t even a full Apache helicopter pilot, I wondered what the disabled athletes in Canada would have to say to her. Because, he is not only a qualified pilot but a weapons expert as well, and consequently had as much experience of war as many of the competitors in the Invictus Games. What has this MP has ever done to help anyone but herself, is a good question? So, well done Harry, and keep up the good work!

Regarding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the love hate relationship that the international press has with British royalty? Considering the horrible circumstances of his mother’s death, twenty years ago, you might imagine that the press; out of respect, would have learned not to be so intrusive. Decent people deserve privacy, to spend their time with family and friends without fear of being photographed, misquoted, or harassed in any way. Lets hope that Harry and Meghan are treated with respect, and that he continues doing his good deeds.

 

A Day In The Life Of a Writer – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

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Many writers are self indulgent, but there is a difference between living the writer’s life, and actually writing. The real work is done by modest hard working, and imaginative people, who seldom receive just payment for their dedication to literature.  Their work, which is often judged by total Philistines – who think that books are a commodity,  rather like a bar of chocolate, that can be consumed and forgotten about – often seems lost in the fog of commercialism, and the ever crowded publishing marketplace.

When you consider the number of books any one writer can publish during their lifetime, it is hard to accept that level of disdain, especially from those who seem to have little value for art or literature, and are only interested in its price tag. Because, to be a writer, is to expect very little, – other than occasional recognition – a modest income, and frequent misinterpretation. Should you choose to be a writer, unless you are John Le Carre or J.K.Rowling, you had better get used to the idea that your life will be one long struggle, unless you are very fortunate indeed.

When I wake up in the morning, I sometimes lay in bed for half an hour or so, to decide what I am going to write. In a kind of subconscious state, my mind seems to be able to conjure up all sorts of incidents and ideas, which can fit into a story that I am writing, or a magazine article I will publish. This routine somehow puts so called writer’s block into limbo, the choice between journalism or a book being a very good elixir; the practical versus the improbable. But, that’s just the beginning.

These days, unless one is financially independent, one cannot lock oneself away in a garret, and just write. It sounds good, but now we are going back to thoughts of self indulgence. The reality is different, because – like it or not – people do not just buy books these days, they follow genres.

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There are more books on the internet written by so called experts, telling you what and how to write, and more rules on how to describe your writing, than you can shake a stick at. Maybe we should all write a ‘How To Write’ book or two, it might fill the coffers more easily. But the simple truth is, no matter how we might dislike the idea, Amazon has taken over our lives, and tells us what and how to write. So, when I sit at my desktop computer of a morning, I am no longer in control of my story line, the characters I portray, nor my vocabulary, because, I now have to write with the consumer in mind, and of course, those ever necessary reviewers.

Most recently, concerning my current murder mystery, a reviewer stated that I used archaic or out of date English. Another confused me with a different writer altogether – whose protagonist rushes around hitting and shooting people – saying that my book was slow and unreadable. Placed within a catalogue of five star reviews, I wasn’t sure if these remarks either reflected me, or even the critic themselves. But, in the end, it was clearly Amazon who was at fault, and one more example of their tinkering with the world of literature. You see, for some reason they put this other writer on the same page as all my books, for their own commercial reasons, and they have no intention of altering their marketing strategy for me. I know, they said so!

In my most recent novel, I have steered away from murder mystery, and following a thread from Chekov, I have decided to write about the rain, and how it alters our lives, especially when it leads to flooding. People act differently in these circumstances, as many Americans well know from the recent Texas tragedy.

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But my story is about Greece, where I now live, and the Greeks – their mores and prejudices – their values, and often their loneliness. The rain can change all that, but how can I explain this to Amazon. In fact, how would Anton Chekov have explained his writing to an Amazon audience, had he been alive today? But then again, he is so famous his name alone would be enough.

I suppose it is the coffee which keeps me going. The sun may shine all day for me in Greece, but I have to find good reason to stay indoors and to write. So I have become addicted to this awakening and essential brew, which keeps my mind alert, my imagination in full flight, and somehow stops all the clocks in the house. Even so, the world still goes on outside, debts have to be paid, friendships nurtured, and conversations need to occur where we speak of nothing in particular, and everything in general. This is called real life, I suppose?

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I get up from my desk, and look through the window. It is late Summer, and the pollen is choking the villagers. They sneeze and stumble past in the heat, to get their days’ supplies from the air conditioned supermarket. As I watch them pass my house, I wonder why it is I write at all, considering what I have just written? But I know the answer. It is the answer we all give, the one which causes so much embarrassment and confusion, when we are casually asked why we write.

”I just have to write. If I don’t I become edgy and neurotic; anyway, I have to finish this story, I can’t just leave it, it won’t write itself!”

But in actual fact, it often does write itself. It is as though someones hand is guiding our fingers, as they rattle away on the computer keyboard, or the pen, as it scrawls across a school notebook. Perhaps it is Micky Spillane calling , or even Anton Chekov – who knows?

What’s it Like To Be A JAM? – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

 

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First of all, we need to understand how the British pension system works, how and why your various retirement pensions have decreased, and why it is that payment abroad, to pensioners in the European Union, is so erratic.

Being a JAM, – Just About Managing – means that you are currently receiving 20% less pension money  from this time last year, if you are paid directly from the UK via Citibank. This is because the rate of exchange between the British Pound and the Euro has crashed, exclusively due to Brexit, and mainly due to the ham fisted negotiations which are presently being held in Brussels. Very shortly, the pound will reach parity with the Euro, and right now, British change bureaus in the UK, are exchanging British currency into Euro’s, for less than one Pound.

According to certain glib of tongue British politico’s, this is very good for export – meaning that British goods are now cheaper on the international market – but, as a consequence, extremely bad for would be British tourists travelling abroad, and particularly bad for us pensioners, who now receive considerably less pension money than before.

Why have we never heard anything about this in the news or on the telly? Well, it may be because we don’t matter, or because in their rush to get “A Good Deal in Brussels,” British pensioners have been given a bad deal in retirement.To an otherwise floundering bunch of Tory hacks – who might well have difficulty, in finding their behinds in the morning – the British living abroad are practically invisible.

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In the past, people who who moved to other countries within the European Union, did so on the back of various government promises. Due to the political stability – which existed before Brexit – many saw their retirement in terms of the cost of living, having adequate health care provisions, as well as plenty of sunshine. Most could also see the benefits in terms of where they could live in retirement, and the cost of housing. When you consider the outrageous price of even the most humble abode in the UK, it is hard not to see the benefit of living in the Balkans, and how the most modest UK householder could acquire a substantial property, for about 10% of the value of their UK dwelling. Why not live in Spain, Portugal, Greece or Bulgaria – despite the cultural differences and bureaucratic problems – if you feel better off?

There are some 1.5 million of us living in the EU, and to my knowledge, we have never been the subject of any serious discussion. Expat support was called upon during the referendum, and for those few who might have unwisely voted to be out of the EU, you must be wondering if you did the right thing. But this is not the only problem, because the rest is down to the bankers themselves, and – you might well ask – why your UK pension payment is so unpredictable?

Bankers count bank interest in nano seconds. If they can delay payment until it suits them – there being no performance liability for their services – they will, and consequently pensioners are held to ransom by the whims of the forex market. This means that you only get your Euro’s when the exchange rate is at its worst. In case you wonder, it also means more money for them – because they are dealing with billions – as well as less money for you!

"Some days I think of retiring. But at my age, I'm not sure I'm up to it."

Many JAM’s are going home. Not so much those in the Balkans, but many in Spain and Portugal have got fed up with the lessening of their income. By returning to the UK, they can claim all sorts of additional amounts from the UK Social Security system, and as their health deteriorates, they can also receive free medical treatment, and free medicines. They can also get proper medical treatment, which is often missing in certain parts of the EU, which can be expensive, and even downright lethal.

All in all, most of us do not regret living in sunnier climbs. I have been living in the Balkans for twenty five years, and with only a few regrets, I have never actually been without. But, things are changing, and as the EU itself levels out, and the cost of living reaches some sort of parity, it is only the cost of property which determines which country you live in, including lifestyle, and public services. If you are young and working, there is little to worry about, but old age is the problem. Recently, there have been a few deaths in the expat community; that I know of at least, and this is also the moment when you ask yourself the question, do I always want to live abroad?

Climate Control & Knobheads – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

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It became abundantly clear to me today – as I defrosted the fridge, and copious amounts of water appeared on the kitchen floor – that when ice melts, it apparently releases water that is greater in volume than the ice itself.

I’m no expert on climate change, but even I can understand that if the icecaps melt, the sea level will rise, and various parts of the world will – at some point – cease to exist. Also, I am observant enough to notice that, changes in the Earth’s atmosphere, also affect traditional weather patterns. And, how do I know this?

Well, even a blind man can see it happening daily on television, if he looks hard enough, enough to understand that flooding does not represent a natural disaster anymore, and that it is clearly man made. And, why does President Trump, and his gang of cohorts, choose to ignore the obvious? It must be something to do with money, the ultimate root of all evil, I can’t think of anything else.

U.S. President Obama is welcomed by French President Hollande as he arrives for the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris

This year there have been extremes in weather worldwide, flooding has been the most damaging, and responsible for the loss of a great many lives. When this occurred in Texas, as it continues to do so, Trump is seen as ignorant of the facts, or oblivious to them. Not only has he recently pulled out of the Paris Conference, earmarking clear facts as erroneous and misleading, but so have those around him, who seem to agree with his every word.

This might have pleased the coal miners of Pennsylvania, and all those groups who rely on digging bad fossil fuels out of the ground to make a living, but it seems that he has also summoned Lucifer into the bargain. In order to maintain blue collar support in these areas, he has simultaneously let loose a whole new problem within America. Reminiscent of the Great Depression, it seems that by going back to basics, Trump has managed to motivate all the right wing white supremacists, and the KKK into the bargain.

We all know that the world is partly populated by disenfranchised and angry people, many of whom are out of work, and many who are severely under educated. Often a black problem, since the evolution of the Global Economy, most of the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, have taken a beating everywhere in the west, and have been ‘knowingly’ exported to the Far East and China. So, it is hardly surprising we are told, that right wing agitators are agitating for a job, proper recognition, and of course their rightful place in the sun.

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I know that many currently employed people support the same causes, and many in the American middle classes too. But, as with Nazism in the 1930s, extremist right wing causes and political parties are a part of the chaos, are very good at exploiting, and finding weak spots in the political arena.

Although we are told that employment in the US is gaining momentum, this is only true of certain areas. The South and the dysfunctional industrial areas, are not represented in this convenient national statistic, and by taking the coal miners of Pensylvania out of the job queue, Trump has unintentionally reopened a can of worms, which should have been left festering away in history. Ham fisted, and a very loose cannon, President Trump seems to be destined for impeachment at some point, his way to hell being due in part, to his own good intentions.

Since his election, the republican movement has been obsessed with gainsaying almost anything good coming from the Obama administration. More like naughty schoolboys than wicked uncles, from this side of the pond, one wonders if anyone in the US government is actually thinking things through. Instead of keeping what is good, and solving some of the more pressing political and social problems, what we get from Trump are fences on the Mexican border, denial of climate change, a total misunderstanding of radical Islam, and of course – the standing joke about America in general – a rather vague perception of geography.

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In an odd sort of way, the Texas floods must have brought some reality home to Donald Trump, and his band of sycophants, especially the true power of nature. Far more powerful than his frequently quoted military option for North Korea, and far more damaging, surely now is the time to return to the Paris Conference, to curtail his home based popularity antics, to stop acting like a knob-head, and to try very hard not to cause World War Three!

Comfortable Bungalow For Sale – Situated In Evros Greece

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PRICE: 75,000 Euro Subject to Contract

A fully furnished two bedroom house overlooking the Ardas River in Rizia – Evros Region, European GREECE. The owner is prepared to accept 50,00 Euro plus the remaining 25,000 Euro over five years, Subject to Contract.

The house, constructed ten years ago, is ready for immediate occupation by a discerning purchaser. With mains water and electrical supply, telephone with internet connection, full oil fired central heating, air conditioning, a roof mounted radiation panel with hot water tank – for summer use – and with satellite and local TV, it comes with all the essentials. It is double glazed throughout with PVC windows and doors.

Russian Introduction:

Дом построен пять лет назад и готов к заселению. В нем есть всё необходимое для комфортной жизни: водоснабжение и канализация, электричество, телефонная и Интернет связь, отопление (жидкотопливный котел), кондиционирование, системы подогрева воды от электричества и от солнечных батарей, спутниковая и локальная телевизионные антенны.

Современный дизайн, пластиковые окна и двери, просторная полифункциональная гостиная открытой планировки, совмещенная с кухней, столовой и рабочим уголком. В гостиной есть камин. Две спальни, две ванных комнаты. Широкая крытая терраса окружает дом с двух сторон. Двор огорожен. Сад в английском стиле с дорожками, газоном, кустарниками, деревьями, ароматными травами и цветами, зоной для отдыха и барбекю (с деревянным настилом, BBQ печью и напольным освещением), прудом с фонтаном, розовым садом. Имеются крытый гараж и открытое место для стоянки автомобилей. Дом располагается на окраине деревни, окружен кипарисовой изгородью, а с его с террасы открывается прекрасный вид на реку Ардас.

Situated on the outskirts of the village, this single story house has a wide shady veranda on two sides. With a separate tiled garage area equipped with electric rolling shutter, it often doubles as an additional alfresco dining area. Situated next to the BBQ, which has a featured raised timber floor plus LED underneath lighting, it complements the well designed garden, which is laid mainly out to lawn, and surrounded by Leyland hedges and decorative bushes

Main Bedroom
With TV and telephone points, six power points and CH radiator.

Second Bedroom
With TV and telephone points, six power points and CH radiator.

CONTACT THE OWNER AT THE PROPERTY

Sitting Room
Open planned sitting area with an open log fire and a good sized study area with fitted bookshelves.

Integral Kitchen
Fully integrated kitchen with granite worktops, double stainless steel sink unit with waste disposal, built in fridge, ceramic hob and integral oven, extractor fan and an array of wall and floor units with ample electrical points.

Dining Room
Open planned and adjacent to the kitchen, it leads via double doors to a further balcony, dining area, overlooking the ornamental pond with fountain and flower beds growing aromatic herbs and Lavender bushes.

Location
Rizia is a well established village some 15 minutes drive from Orestaida, the main town in this region. With a thriving local supermarket, two petrol stations, a doctor, dentist and local Post Office, it is a compact and independent community.Rizia is a well established village some 15 minutes drive from Orestaida, the main town in this region. With a thriving local supermarket, two petrol stations, a doctor, dentist and local Post Office, it is a compact and independent community. It is 20 minutes away from the Turkish border, and the historic City of Edirne. and a short trip to Svilengrad and the many supermarkets, but Orestiada also boasts a giant Lidyl, and a Carrefour supermarket.


Main Bathroom

This has a free standing white bath, vanity unit with integral basin, and a low level WC. It has also been plumbed for a washing machine and is fully tiled throughout.

Shower Room and WC
This has an enclosed shower cubical with wall cupboard and basin plus a low level WC and is fully tiled throughout

Utility Room
This is a good sized storage room which houses the oil fired boiler, and oil storage tank, electric water heater, and is also suitable for a bench freezer or additional fridge.

Outside
The car park can accommodate several cars and has two sturdy raised concrete hard standing areas, one with a good sized wooden garden shed on it.


Internal and External Dimentions

Bedroom 1 4 m x 3.2 m

Bedroom 2 4 m x 3.2 m

Living Area 8.6 m x 7.3 m – open planned with a fully tiled floor.

Gross Built Area 170 sq m – including balconies

Gross Internal 124 sq m

Plot Size Approximately 1,000 sq m

Decorative Pond

Rose Garden

Garage Entrance

CONTACT THE OWNER AT THE PROPERTY

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THE SUNNY VILLAGE OF RIZIA – A VIDEO