‘But he works hard and smells nice’, Views of a Grumpy Old Man − by columnist Mike Senker

SORRY there was no column last week. It’s not that I wasn’t grumpy, it’s just getting harder to be amusingly grumpy as opposed to just really angry and that was me last week.

I’m not much better this week but here are some of the things that set me off. Social distancing – I know we have to do it but I loved the way folks greeted each other here in Spain. I prefer kissing people on the cheek instead of touching elbows. I like wearing cologne and being close enough for people to say I smell nice. I know that might sound weird but it’s something my late mother always said to me. It was a standing joke. When Mrs S used to call her and moan about me for some reason or another, which I know is hard to believe, my Mum would always listen with a sympathetic ear and then say ‘yes but he does work hard and he always smells nice.’

Once again the British government sprung a surprise quarantine period on the folks returning from France and other places. This, of course, made thousands of people try and return home quickly and, in many cases, cut short their only holiday this year. I’m sure many had scrimped and saved so they could have a bit of quality family time together and try to forget, for a short time, about the chaos in the world. What did they find?

Every airline, ferry and Eurostar immediately at least doubled their prices. Yeah I know it’s business but it’s also taking advantage of people that, in many cases, just can’t afford to pay it. If they’d stayed and seen their holiday through to the end they will have to do two week’s quarantine and possibly not get paid and, in some cases even lose their job.

They aren’t covered by travel insurance because their trips hadn’t been cancelled and they were returning by choice. The joke is people returning to the UK from Spain have reported that no-one checked on them through their quarantine. Some didn’t even fill in forms and I’ve even heard of people that went back for a few days and returned without being challenged by anyone.

I’ll be discussing this and more with Bill Padley on Talk Radio Europe tomorrow at 11.30. Feel free to tune in.


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After travelling and living around Europe, Nell landed in Spain and absolutely loves this country. She likes to write about positive things and covers international positive news. It´s all about positivity, with Nell.

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