By Jason Moore

REGULAR readers of this column will have been aware that I have been absent for the last nine days enjoying myself in beautiful Venice. During my time away there are various points which I would like to comment on.

1). Before leaving for Venice I was told that it was terribly expensive and that I should be prepared. In fact most things cost exactly the same here and the only difference is that the Italians manage to serve you politely and nothing is too much trouble. The tourist in Venice is King and full marks to the Italians. Majorca could learn plenty in the please and thank you department from their Mediterranean cousins. Also, the city is well organised and most people speak a variety of languages.

2). I discovered that Prince Charles and Camilla were to marry when I received an irrate call from a member of my family who was absolutely furious. The small army of Diana fans are not impressed. My thoughts are these: if Prince Charles wants to marry his long-time lover then he should do so but he should abdicate in favour of Prince William. I will never accept Camilla as Queen and the only thing the marriage announcement has done is to further the Republican cause. Prince Charles should retire to Cornwall with his new wife and just disappear from the map.

3). And lastly full marks to a reader of this space in Minorca who has sent my views on Cold Weather Payments for British expatriate OAPs to his MP in Basingstoke. For the last three weeks it has been colder here than in the UK and the fact that British pensioners living overseas are not entitled to these payments is an absolute disgrace. Perhaps, if an article in the New European Constitution stated that British pensioners living outside the UK would receive the same benefits as their counterparts in Britain I would be more in favour of this new Europe which is being dreamed-up. And to end, lucky that Spain will approve the new Constitution in this weekend's referendum because the “No” voice has been completely squeezed out. Full marks to the Spanish government for giving the impression that the referendum was a forgone conclusion.

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