Snow, but not as Heidi know’s it

I have just returned from UK-lite, having got snowed in, in Kent on day two, then snowed out of the my eurostar return on day three, then snowed away from my London City airport escape flight the next day.

Finally arrived in Zug to find it had also been snowing,  the right kind of snow apparently – it was all cleared away and things were running normally.

My theory is its the cholesterol in the UK snow that causes it to be such a problem.

Heidi is more reliable than Elizabeth

In the UK the train was usually my last and reluctant choice, though the UK performance isn’t too bad, after all, 90% of British trains arrive on time.

In Switzerland the equivalent is 98% of trains.

But that 8% difference !

Considering a trip from Lindenpark, Zug, to Basel?

 The journey time by train is one hour and thirty-six minutes.  Although this is eighteen minutes longer than the average Zug/Basel journey by car, me and Heidi would always take the train.

 

Bahnhof/Haltestelle

 

Datum

 

Zeit

 

Gleis

 

Reise mit

 

Bemerkungen

 

Baar Lindenpark

Zug

 

Mo, 07.12.09

 

ab 10:17

an 10:19

 

1       

4      

 

S1 22141

 

S-Bahn Linie 1

 

Zug

Luzern

   

ab 10:29

an 10:49

 

4       

6      

 

IR 2325

 

InterRegio ,  

 

Luzern

Basel SBB

   

ab 10:54

an 11:53

 

7       

7      

 

IR 2170

 

InterRegio ,    R  

 

Check out the risky connection intervals.

There are only 10 minutes between the arrival of the Zug train at 10.19, and the departure of the Luzern connection 10.29.

…and  just 5 minutes between the arrival of the 10.49 Luzern train and the departure of the Basel train. Yikes!

But even gaps of 2 0r 3 minutes are comfy to the Swiss. You may not be able to set your watch to the trains in Heidiland anymore, but that’s only because the electronic watches are now more accurate than the traditional spring driven instruments 

In the UK this margin would rule out rail travel as an option compared with the car. You would have to build so much safety margin of into the schedule (at least 45 minutes between scheduled  arrivals and scheduled departures), that  the car would be a better bet.

Provided your journey didn’t include the M25, or the M1, or it was on a Sunday morning before 7 am perhaps…..

Lex needs a new calculator

“In the UK interest rate cuts since the start of the crisis have delivered the average £103,000 floating rate mortgage holder an annual saving of £4,635.Against that the government estimates the net cost of bailing out the financial system at £10bn or £400 per household.”  Lex in the Financial Times today.

There are 26m households in the UK.

But only 11.1m of households have a mortgage and of those, only 55%, or 6 million, are on variable rates.

In other words 100% of households paid £400, but only 23% received savings of £4,635.

Plus all households shared (via pension and other indirect and direct holdings), in the loss of £5bn of dividend income from Royal Bank of Scotland (£3bn dividends in 2007, nil in 2009) and Lloyds (£2bn dividends in 2007, nil in 2009) = £192 per household.

All households via pension other indirect and direct holdings, shared in the loss of billions of market value of the UK quoted bank sector. The £30bn loss of market value of Royal Bank of Scotland alone amounted to £1,150 for every household.

So without really trying I am already up to £1,742 for every household.

Is Lex spinning or being economical with the truth?

Who gains from the gross misrepresentation of the facts?

Follow the money?

Lex, care to calculate what the total reduction in the value of UK bank shares was, divided by households? Who do you think bore that cost? Maybe you need new batteries for your calculator?

Bun rating – Zero,  too much smoke and too many mirrors to see if there is a pattie

When Heidi met Aladdin in Menzigen

Menzigen, Kanton Zug,  has a population of 4289, and it surged by 8% for the afternoon,  as the matinée audience for the English Theatre Group’s version (very good indeed) of the trad panto, Aladdin, took their seats.

Most of us in the audience were the usual flotsam and jetsam of ex-pat career boosters, tax exiles, hedgies (the ‘adults’), and our delightfully behaved offspring, the majority of whom knew when to shout and shout loudly they did.

There was a minority of curious Swiss who distinguished themselves by dressing as if it were the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, exhibiting the air of a team of anthropologists visiting a pocket of darkest Africa to make a study of tribal life there. The Swiss children were impeccably behaved when they weren’t confused by the mayhem, but only began to join in the shouting towards the end.

You can take the pantomime out of England but you cannot take England out of the panto.  Patrons queued for 20 minutes during the 20 minute interval to be served a cuppa and a bun, but the buns ran out.

I loved it.