Friday, 19 December 2008

Pound of Flesh

The Frenchman is demonstrating a certain schadenfreude about sorry state of the British pound. Evidence: he is now very keen to go to London for the sales.

For the rest of us living in the Eurozone but paid - when indeed paid - in nicker into banks in Her Majesty's realm, it is not good right now; though admittedly not half as bad as having your home repossessed or losing your job. I read that some are saying the currency slide is not an unmitigated disaster for Great Britain Ltd. Certainly the Frenchman is not alone in his rush to cross the Channel; everyone I know and their friends and friends' friends are planning to jump on the Eurostar and do the Christmas and January sales now that their shiny euros go further. That should get things going again.

Here, the Frenchman is not just verging on gleeful but has turned into a living, breathing Shakespearean Shylock. As it is December, I have to cough up my share of our joint income tax bill for last year. The problem is I don't have enough money in my French bank account to do this and I'm not planning on transferring money from the UK any time soon while the euro is at the rate it is and the French bank continues to levy hefty charges for accepting my hard-earned. So my dear husband says I can give him the money in Sterling, but as I point out that's no great favour as the tax bill is in euros and if he wants it in Sterling the exchange rate is still the exchange rate. Aha, he says but he's willing to offer me a "preferential rate"; not you understand the approximated rate at which we have previously done our exchanges and not, admittedly, the parlous current rate, but something in between. Yesterday he offered me one figure; today another, lower one. Then this evening I said: "Shall I just keep the money I owe you in pounds in my bank and you can spend them in London?" and he replied: "Well, that depends on the exchange you're offering." I do hope he was joking but sometimes it is difficult to tell.

So it now appears I'm the Paris branch of the bloody Bank of England.


Stinking Billy said...

He sounds bloody awful to me, our kid. What the Americans call an asshole!

Nicol said...

Good luck. I know that money nearly everywhere has been hit. I hope we climb out of this soon.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I find the whole situation surreal.
Downright silly. All a big game. Buit I don't suppose we'll starve. I keep getting the 'what's it all about, alfie' going round and round in my head.