LAST week saw two of the big public holidays before the Christmas festivities. A sizeable number of people finished up work on Wednesday and finally returned to their desk yesterday morning. Not bad having a pre-Christmas holiday! But while no-one is too sure whether the local economy is booming or on the point of going bust it seemed rather ridiculous to me that local shopkeepers also decided to join in on the pre-Christmas holiday. To make matters worse on Thursday (the first public holiday) literally thousands of people headed into Palma to see the Christmas lights and do abit of window shopping. Unfortunately, the lights were turned off in many streets and all shops were closed. I am convinced that any shops that did open would have made a sale. On Saturday the big stores opened but the smaller ones remained firmly closed. Saturday would have been another great sales day but no. Palma was one of the top get-away destinations last weekend with mainland tourists....unfortunately they were not allowed to go shopping. If small shops want to survive in this ever competitive market place they must become more competitive or otherwise they will face the consequences.
SO Calamity Brown visited British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to thank them. I hope he is planning another visit over the Chrismas holidays to show that he really does care. Spending 90 minutes in Iraq and Afghanistan is not what I would call a proper official visit. Perhaps he could also have a word with some of the troops...I am sure they have plenty to say to him.