Sunday, 14 December 2014


I am currently reading:  Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson and enjoying it very much. 

Last week I was in Germany to visit my daughter and grandchildren.  It always fascinates me that a two-hour flight means a total change of culture.  The things which bother everyone at home are not even mentioned.  Jane Austen remarks on this in her novel Persuasion when her heroine goes to visit her sister in a nearby village and is amazed at the difference in interests and concerns.

Something else had changed, too.  For my return flight I went to Terminal One at Frankfurt airport as I was flying Lufthansa.  Everything is now being automated at this terminal and I must say I didn't like it.  You now get your boarding card from a machine - well I don't have a problem with that - but then you weigh in your luggage yourself including affixing the baggage tag to it.  Security is followed by automatic passport control where your passport is scanned, you walk into a small space and wait for the green light which opens the door to let you through.  I felt like I was in a cow pen. Surely part of flying was that nice smiling ground hostess who took your suitcase, called your attention to your departure gate and wished you a good journey?  Having to do it all myself made me think I had been co-opted onto the staff and there was a chance I'd be asked to do some tasks before take-off - maybe steer the plane down the runway or something of that nature.

I guess I'm old-fashioned but I don't approve of a world where so much money is saved on staff and you are expected to do everything yourself as if the privilege of using the company just can't be compensated by paying for your purchases.  And it gets rid of jobs big time.  But the companies still expect people to have money to spend on their services.  This has never made sense to me.

Enough of my ranting for today.  On the brighter side, I may have my Irish driving licence next week.  I now have all the papers for it so the application should go smoothly.  It means a trip to the city so I can combine it with some (more) Christmas shopping.  Lovely thought.

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