Tuesday, December 13, 2005

London

We're in the first world - London - for Christmas and the New Year. On balance it's a good place to be.

The biggest difference between the frenetic first world and the relaxed Southern Med is that you use your time more effectively. Retail outlets are open when busy customers need them to be - late or 24*7, not closed when it suits the shopkeeper.

The city is still thronged with hard working people from Eastern Europe. Unlike the French and Germans, the Brits have opened their borders to workers from the new EU member states, to their mutual benefit. Chirac is whining for the wealthy Brits to pay for EU expansion, when they're already doing so in the most practical way - trade, which dignifies buyer and seller, rather than aid which corrupts and diminishes.

Still, we're going to miss lazing over breakfast in our sunny southern courtyard, sipping juice from our own oranges.