What a strange economy!

I must be missing something!

I have been in management of companies for over 30 years, and I remember the first lesson I was taught by a wise (Scottish) Director…..’Nothing ever happens in this world, it is either made to happen, or allowed to happen’. Following from this tenet, I learnt that running a business meant making wise decisions regarding investment, stock levels, assessment of risk, justifiable trust between customers and suppliers, accountability, acceptance of errors, corporate decision-making, working in the right markets, sensible budgeting, keeping money aside for a rainy day, falling on one’s sword after major mistakes…..etc, etc

Following all these ‘rules’ would help assure a sensible business structure which should see us through times good and bad. We’ve managed reasonably-well over the last 25 years of our present business.

But when I look over what has been happening over the last year in the world-wide economy I don’t actually see many of the above principles in evidence.

And yet, when something bad happens due to woeful management, the financial leaders have to give way to political leaders to bale them out. And yet these same politicians have been pretty awful at governing the world wisely. So the individuals and tax-payers, who have trusted banks and other financial institutions with their (already-taxed) hard-earned savings, will now have to pay through the nose to bail-out the self-same companies, to have any hope of getting their money back!

Where are the Company laws about mis-management of businesses for which Directors should be held responsible. What about some compulsory seize-back of bonuses, shares, large houses and pensions which they have been taking. Will they continue as Directors for other companies, or will they just retire to live off the fat of their pensions while other mere-mortals have to survive on a Government pension (which they have already paid-for through their taxes).

No, something is very strange out there!

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Paul What-a-man!

So Paul Newman has passed-on at the marvellous age of 83.

Isn’t it nice to hear about a star, who did not think of himself as one, who did not ‘do the rounds’ of all the red-carpet venues, who was married for over forty years to the love of his life, and who thought of film-making as a job, not an opportunity to become famous.

He spent the last number of years developing a food brand bearing his name, but whose intention was to raise money for charity! I never bought any of the products but will now! I remember seeing him in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ where he portrayed someone who seemed to enjoy his situation in life, and that maybe was a simile for his actual life.

May he rest in peace.

‘Move along there, please’

Son has just picked-up the keys, following the purchase of a house…whoopee! One would think that with the housing market being what it is there would have been no hiccups….but life is never simple!

Trawling the internet for the house agents and looking at the multitude of houses available did not make the job easier…the amount of information out there is overwhelming, and deciding price, location, schools, transport, number of bedrooms, size of rooms etc must have been a nightmare for him, as it spilled-over to his mother, the Young Lady of the House, with her finely-honed computer skills, flicking from one agent to another.

Views to several houses, disappointment over one property, the eventual decision, and anxiety over whether the purchase would go through, caused some sleepless nights. The relief when agreement was reached was palpable, but only lasted briefly before the logistics of moving from his flat had to be addressed.

Then the garden will need tidied-up before winter, and all the other small jobs you find needing done, so it won’t be easy over the next few months.

However, maybe this is the move which will get the housing market going again, and not the efforts of the Government!

Another Suicide Bomber!

Yet again large numbers of people have been killed by a suicide bomber….this time at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. Can anyone please explain to me in words of one syllable why anyone feels it is right to go and kill such innocent people in the name of their ‘religion’. We have had such instances closer to home in Ireland, but at last there appears to be a recognition that ‘talk, talk, is better than war, war’

Can someone enlighten me please?

Greed, greed, and more greed…

What else can you say about the present economic turmoil (I really mean disaster) in the world. Fund managers wanting to get a bit of the actions in areas which they did not understand, and building societies and banks loaning money to people whom they do not know. Then we have the hedge-fund managers, and the buy-up  of HBOS by LLoyds at a bargain price….so who suffers….home-owners trying to buy, home-owners trying to sell, pension owners who are scared to seek a valuation, people who will not see a local bank office, as many will be closed off.

BUT HAVE WE SEEN THE INCOMPETENT MORTGAGE AND BANK DIRECTORS HANDING-OVER SOME OF THEIR LARGE SALARIES TO HELP THOSE WHO STAND TO LOSE THEIRS?

YOU BET YOU HAVEN’T!

Here comes Autumn!

We live quite close to a Site of Special scientific Interest (SSSI), which is a wild area at one time used for peat-cutting.

It has been allowed to remain in its original state with paths crossing it to permit people to walk around in relative freedom. Because of the perpetually-damp state of the area, a mist can hang over it at certain times, which must be reminiscent of the great English moors.

This morning we had the first evidence of the mist moving over our back garden, with the resultant silence.

Yes Autumn has arrived!

A full Church and Choir Stalls!

Sunday evening saw our Choir joining with other singers to sing the Office of Evensong, in St Aidan’s Church on the southern outskirts of Glasgow as they celebrated 85 years in existence.

We had been helping in the arranging of the musical content of the Service along with the Rector and the Organist, but were not sure how many others would join us in the Choir stalls from the other invited churches, so did not know how many copies of the music would be required.

The equivalent problems were being faced by those organising the printing of Service sheets and also the catering for our bodily needs afterwards as regards food.

In the event we were all caught un-awares by the numbers turning up for the practice, the service itself, and the numbers of sticky buns required.

Choir stalls, church and hall were all filled to overflowing!……you never see that mentioned in the newspapers!