• November 2008
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I Am Kloot

Thanks to my good friend Stockport Steve for the heads up. Apparently this Manchester band have been around since 1999 but this is the first I’ve heard of them. This track from 2005 is the berries.

Hope you enjoy the gig tonight Steve.

What a Relief!

Reptiles (2)

Komodo Dragon

Dame Anne Leslie

F*****g Austria!

This (right) is the most stolen and replaced road sign in the world. It denotes a village 33 km north of Salzburg in Austria. The village has had this name since the middle ages and the 104 villagers voted to keep the name rather than change it in 2004.

I visited Austria in the seventies and can confirm that the village is not the only cause for amusement by English speaking visitors. This (below) means “Safe Journey” or “Safe Drive”.

Staring Into the Abyss

Consider this. Woolworths made 90% (widely reported figure) of its annual profit over Christmas. Four weeks prior to Christmas a saviour couldn’t be found for the company. Woolies, founded in 1909, had survived the Great Depression, two world wars and several recessions, but even with a price tag of just £1 for its 820 stores, there was no way back from the Crash of 2008.

This I’m afraid is only the beginning. After the (much reduced) Christmas rush, creditors and banks will be hovering over 323 of Britain’s best known retail names. Insolvency experts Begbies Traynor have compiled a list which indicates that this number have more than a 70% risk of failing before the end of January.

Of course this is not simply the result of a few months bad sales figures. Nor is it a result of media doom and gloom on the subject. The seeds of this crisis germinated about two years ago. No-one heeded the warning signs.

A 2.5% cut in VAT and tinkering with National Insurance in this situation is the equivalent of buying a new suit for a critically ill hospital patient or putting lipstick on a corpse.