Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Brits Lose £900m

I visited a Property Exhibition at the Novotel in Hammersmith last week. It was a bit muted compared to others i have been before. Seemed Londoners were still recovering from the excesses of the past weeks. All in the spirit of the festive season.

The main revelation is that Spain is no more a viable option for the new investor or bleary eyed retiree looking to cash in on the strength of sterling and relative affordability of properties abroad. Spanish house prices are now neck to neck with what obtains here.Thanks(or no thanks)to the unrelenting invasion of foreign investors in Spanish properties. A considerable number of whom are British.The new states of the EU are the hotspots now.With Bulgaria and the Adriatic states topping the list. Riga has a good ring to it!

There i was lumbered with all sorts of brochures with all sorts of architectural delights. Most were promptly offloaded into the nearest recycle bin.However the Overseas Property TV magazine proved to be a good read. One particular article quoted the currency specialist company HIFX as saying that the big banks charge up to 4% higher than specialised brokers thus emigrating Brits potentiallly lose up to £900m yearly transferring money through them rather than through the
small concerns.
In a mystery shop of high-street banks and currency
dealers,there was a massive £4,932.22 difference between the highest and
the lowest costs when buying 150,000 euros
. The wise thing is to seek sound financial advice from independent brokers before transferring any sizable amount of money abroad.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Naomi Campbell

The Naomi Campbell saga reached another landmark today.The model pleaded guilty to assaulting her former assistant,Ana Scolavino.She apparently hurled her Blackberry at the assistant injuring her skull.Surprisingly all she got was a meagre fine and community service.
These so called super-models need to come down from their dreamland and live in the real world.A number of them seem to live in a different universe from all of us .I read a piece in which Kate Moss went to a NO-Smoking venue but lit up and when this was pointed out to her by one of the staff there she said`F... off,do you know who i am ?` Imagine that.The poor soul should have told her`Yes ,i know who you are,that girl who someone designs a dress ,gives it to her to wear and walk down a platform`. What else is she? Naomi`s tantrums and outrages are well documented.To date Naomi is to court trouble.To work for her you`d better be fast and know how to duck.Miss Campbell shoud realise a Blackberry is meant for calls and e-mails and not performing surgery on craniums.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sloanes Square Up

A storm is brewing in the Royal Borough Of Kensington & Chelsea. The council wants to redesign a notable part of the borough-Sloane Square but residents are not happy with the new design for the Square. As a stakeholder and a frequent visitor to Sloane Square i thought i should add my voice to the dissent.

Basically the council wants to expand the pavements and turn the Square into a multi-lane crossroads at a cost of £6 million. Why? The money even though mainly coming from Transport for London,is still taxpayers` money and could be better spent on other pressing public needs. The visage of the Square as intended by the council one can not even bear imagining. Think a mini Spaghetti junction.

A more sensible alternative design is being proposed by Save Sloane Square -a group formed expressly to fight the council`s proposed designs for the square.

Chelsea Crisis

Oh men of little faith!What`s all this talk of Jose Mourinho leaving Chelsea this summer.The grapevine is abuzz that our Jose is not up to scratch and that Abramovich is intent on bringing Guus Hiddink in as a replacement.Ok Chelsea at the moment seems to be a shadow of the Chelsea of the past season but i do not think that warrants Jose to be sacked.Unfair critics may argue its Mourinho`s fault people like Ballack are not performing to expectation-that a good manager should be able to get the optimum best out of his players.Agreed.But you can take a horse down to the brook but can`t force it to drink.Managers can plan and plot all they wish but once the whistle goes its up to the players.I dont buy that guff that Ballack is so much similar to Lampard that its adversely afffected his play.What is the logic in that?

What is happening to Chelsea right now is not peculiar.Every club goes through this kind of affliction at some point.United were nothing special last couple of seasons,Arsenal had a not too salubrious start to the season and are just finding thier rhythm(ask Liverpool fans)To me Chelsea`s woes started with the sale of Gallas then compounded by the injury to Petr Cech and John Terry.The problem is basically that of defence:No cohesion,no understanding or any discernable sense of duty or purpose!

This will pass.It might be too late for this season though.Cech will be well and Terry will be back.That Micah Richards kid would be a salivating prospect at right back if we can prise him away from City.It will be dangerous to panick now and sack Mourinho.Changing Managers like disposable diapers do not augur well for clubs.Not in England anyway.The continentals are known for that but we all look at Real Madrid these days and wonder if that is the same club that won the European Championships a record 9 times.

Will someone please tell Essien to stay out of the box? Anytime he is 20 yards of the Chelsea goalmouth something calamitous happens.He is a strong midfielder with hard tackles and what have you but heck let him stay there.Was not going to mention it but lowly Wycombe too took advantage of Chelsea`s defence or lack of it yesterday.No prizes for guessing who was in the box when the goal happened.Yes ,one Michael Essien.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Muslim Swimming Session.

The Panjadrums ( stupendous ignoramuses more like it) in Croydon Council have harped on a brilliant idea that will go a long way in helping community integration and religious harmony. They have come up with a Muslim Only Swimming Session in a public pool. No woman is allowed and non muslim men may be allowed if they wear long trunks. A proud Council official was quoted`We are keen to ensure sports facilities are for everyone`.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chelsea Can Kiss The Championship Goodbye

Jose Mourinho is not one given to pessimism or humility but anyone who saw his interview after the Reading game last week would see his countenance was that of a man on the verge of despair and hopelessness. The Special One is not that special after all. Jose said that much,well according to some redtops.I however heard him question the quality of his players. He said it was only one player scoring and playing well (most definitely Drogba) and that it was obvious that Chelsea lacked quality players. His hopelessness was expressed in the cynical way he touched on Joe Cole`s injury. He wondered if the injury was going to go on forever.

Oh my! But same players won the title twice Jose. The new ones that aren`t playing well you bought them remember? Forget all the talk about Chevchenko being pals with Abramovich , if Jose did not want him i dont think Chelsea would have bought him. Jose would have us believe anyway. Might be it was just a wrong choice of word. Or Jose meant that the quality of display was low and not that the players lacked quality. Anyhow something is clear, Chelsea are not playing well this stretch of the season. The sale of Gallas is now haunting the team.Injury to John Terry is another pain in the neck. Not to mention the Petr Cech drama. Juxtapose these and what you get is a potent potential for calamity.

Perhaps more than any other unit, the need for total understanding between the defence is crucial to match results. An understanding born out of playing together day in day out. This is lacking in Chelsea at the moment. That own goal by Essien in the Reading game says it all. What was he doing there ? What was Ashley Cole trying to do? There must have been more understanding in the Tower of Babel.
Of the regular back four we play now,with due respect only Carvarlho can be regarded as an experienced Chelsea defender(Championship winning back four). Ashley Cole is [money grabbing twat or not] quality but new and needs some time to really gel with the unit.Geremi is not a defender, he is a midfielder now seconded to defensive duties. The rest i dont rate!

So we have a situation where arguably the best goalkeeper in the world is out of action, midfielders are used as defenders, a new left footed defender thrown into the fray and a proven quality defender with driving force is crocked. Basically Chelsea have a back problem: Acute Spinal Paralysis. A problem so grave it might have cost us the Championship already.

In all frankness and honesty the Championship was won and lost on teusday night when Chelsea could only manage a goalless draw against Aston Villa. Manchester United may as well go ahead and place an order for the celebratory bubbly. Tons of it . For come the end of the season, the League title is heading north. Sighs