BRIT-BITS by Mike Walsh

SHED LOADS OF MONEY LOST

Because of the credit crunch budgeting Brits are fuelling a 22% increase in holiday home lettings. Crafty ex-pats modify their home to provide a second entrance apartment or move in with friends, splitting the income from the vacant property. It is estimated that owners worldwide are missing out on £4.2 billion rental income annually because they keep their homes to themselves

SELF DEFENCE IS NO OFFENCE

The smug expression ‘Costa del Crime is less often heard as UK crime spirals. Advice to youngsters: adopt the U.S. Army ‘buddy system’. Out with friends, stick with a buddy and look after each other. For defence from muggers the streetwise carry a credit card, which is effective as a razor, or a bunch of keys as a knuckle duster.

PLECK PICKERS EXTRAORDINARY

Two of the most popular exponents of Spanish guitar classics are John Williams and Richard Harvey. John is Australian of whom the great Andres Segovia said: “God has laid a finger on his brow, and it will not be long before his name becomes a byword in England and abroad, thus contributing to the spiritual domain of his race“.

Richard Harvey’s difficult to play Concerto Antico, a beautiful melody was created in a cheeky challenge to John Williams, whom he said couldn’t play it. He did. Richard is British.

IT AIN’T ‘ALF COLD, MUM

Brrrrritain has endured a cold wet July with temperatures often lower than in Iceland and Oslo. Some areas experienced a month’s rainfall in just 24-hours; the prestigious Royal Lancashire Show was cancelled for the second time in two years.

OVERHEARD

Overheard in Benidorm: “How’s the missus?” His friend’s response: ‘Fine. She’s still breathing!’

FREE BRITAIN

Desperate times are behind a 500% increase in forecourt drive-offs, shoplifting and theft from cars. Tesco and Sainsbury supermarkets now fit security tags to chickens. A yellow tab sets alarms ringing if shoppers don’t pay. Food prices are up by 17.8%.
 
EVERYONE AN AGENT

Taylor Woodrow, house builders since 1921 and in Spain since 1958 have launched a sales blitz. The company offers a 25% discount on Spanish homes with €2,400 sweeteners to anyone whose recommendation results in a sale.
 
CLEVER FOREIGN POLICY HUH?

Gordon Brown lectures Russia and threatens Iran with trade embargoes if they don’t do as they are told. Nice timing! On Monday, Russia and Iran, second only to Russia in gas production, signed a gas buying deal which puts Russia’s hand on Europe’s throat. Rather like the terminally ill patient telling nurse he will pull his drip-feed out if she isn’t better behaved. Remember when Libya was a British / U.S. dependency? Russia’s just bought their oil output – which supplies Europe. Can Britain’s power starved population survive Gordon’s blundering foreign policy?
 
SPANISH PRACTICES?

Ironically this expression comes from Brits but in one week’s personal diary: a lady friend has plumbing work done. He doesn’t test the system and her home is ruined by leaks. A TV isn’t working so an engineer with liveried van calls twice. He talks like a rocket scientist but fails to get a picture. A local mum takes a look at it, swaps leads and it now works perfectly. Locally two painters have spent a month painting the outside of a house: as young seamen we painted ships in a day. You couldn’t make this lot up.
 
BANK ROBBED

HSBC Bank manager Anthony Walsh set up false accounts and milked his bank of £205,000. He won’t be doing bird; he got just 300 hours community service (work to you and me). The beak called him ‘basically an honest man‘. John and Anne Darwin faked his death in a canoeing ‘accident’, then took the insurance company for £250,000. They lived the good life, much of it in Central America. They got 6 years which means 3-years; most of which will be in a cushy open prison with all amenities. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

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