Monday, August 29, 2011

Mantids and Madness

Tuesday 23rd August

Funny, in my last post about the goings on in Libya and Tripoli I ended with the comment that maybe I was being too cynical, but apparently I wasn’t being cynical enough. Whilst the BBC reporters were swallowing whole the rebel claims, and reporting on the capture of Gadaffi’s sons and his imminent fall, I was foolishly swallowing whole their reports. It’s been a pertinent reminder of how partial the news can be and, really, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Checking out the various lists on Amazon I see that the Kindle version of The Departure has risen to the number one spot in ‘Science Fiction, New and Future Releases’ with the hardback at number five. If I confine myself to the ‘Science Fiction, Hardback, New and Future Releases’ it’s at number three whilst in ‘Science Fiction, Bestsellers’ it is at number fifty-five (though of course yet to be released). Generally, over my last four or five books, a new release has always risen to one of those number one spots on Amazon for at least a while. I’m guessing that in sales terms my course hasn’t really changed much i.e. they’re climbing slowly but steadily with each new release.

Wednesday 24th August
Jupiter War is now into the 90,000s and steadily growing. I twittered last week that I might finish this book, which is the third of a trilogy, before the first book of the trilogy is even published, but I now think that’s unlikely. Certainly I’ll have the first draft done before we return to England in November

Friday 26th August
I hear this morning that Japan is 10 trillion in debt and beside the flippant ‘to whom and let’s shoot him’ I have to wonder just which countries aren’t in debt or, rather, which parasitic governments aren’t in debt. Here in Greece the leech government is sucking harder as the host country dies. I learnt yesterday about further confiscatory taxes with people who own houses above 100 metres in area being hit, PAYE tax payers being hit with a €50 ‘solidarity tax’, people with a boat above a certain length being hit, whilst if you own an SUV, combined taxes can amount to as much as €2000. Meanwhile the banks are preparing for the inevitable default and the possibility of Greece crashing out of the Euro. If this happens, this means me drawing out all the money I’ve paid in to my bank here, stopping payments and waiting. Greece may go back to the Drachma at a government set exchange rate followed by the rapid devaluing of said currency, which will mean a better exchange rate for me later, but the Greeks maybe having to use a wheel barrow to take their drachmas to the bakers for a loaf of bread. I utterly despair of the stupidity of governments across the world. As a guy I was chatting to yesterday noted, if governments had been companies the politicians would have been fired by now and prosecuted for fraud.

Here’s a couple of praying mantises knocking about our garden. I tried finding out a bit about them in my laptop copy of Encyclopaedia Britannica but found it only under ‘mantid’, which seems a bit daft in this hyperlinked age.

Monday 29th August
Oh dear, I must look into what is happening to Alpha Bank, which is my bank here. Apparently it is merging with Eurobank so as to be able to survive. I really don’t want the cash machines telling me to bugger off. I must also get myself a safe...

Meanwhile the weather here is turning a bit crappy. Though it is still in the 20s here up in the mountains, quite a lot of cloud is already appearing. I rather suspect another crappy winter is on the way and that we’ll be burning up a large portion of our wood supply before we head back to England... Um, but checking some of last year’s blog posts I see that my first moan about summer ending was on the 24th August

Meanwhile, I’ve learnt that our new neighbour has had a car accident, possibly while driving his car back here from Belgium. Stelios said something about him having a metal plate in his skull or face...

And just to introduce something a bit lighter, here’s a picture of me wearing silly glasses:


Neil said...

How can the greek people moan, when avoiding paying tax is a fine art, at all levels of the population.

Sean said...

Hmmm. I'd like to pre-order The Departure but it's not available on Amazon US, and Amazon UK tells me...Kindle titles for your country are not available at

It seems a bit odd that I can buy a hardback version and they'll ship it across the pond for free but I can't buy the electronic version because Amazon doesn't want to pay the phone bill.

Chrish said...

Please don't complain about the weather! it's 12 degrees here and the rain falls and falls.......

Xanares said...

1. You take two insolvent banks
2. Merge them
3. ??????
4. Profit!!!

I don't think it's too late to correct the mess before it becomes unglued in a giant terrible mess.

We need a banking system, we don't need specific banks. Just safeguard all deposits, let all stock and bond-holders take the hit. Clear out all the reckless gambling - credit default swaps, clear the debt, start again.

This crisis will continue until there is an adult in the room, imo.

Andrew said...

Been on holiday in Ireland earlier this year and will be in Crete in 2 weeks time. I seem to be following debt ridden countries around this year!

Where I was in the West of Ireland was pretty miserable with high unemployment and shops closing down.

What's the atmosphere in Greece like?

Aidan said...

@ Sean: Whereabouts are you? I'm in Ireland (hazarding a guess you might be too) and it's available on for the Kindle for $11.74, which is just over €8.

Dunno if people are watching "Torchwood", but in the latest episode Ireland and Greece get name checked as defaulting and causing a collapse in the euro, helping to trigger a global meltdown. A bit too close to the potential truth.
I can't wait for our December budget where the middle economic class will, most likely again, bear the burden of the next round of stealth taxes and payments.

Jebel Krong said...

wow, what an awesome picture... haha ;-)