runmaggiecooper

The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!

The final chapter on Euro economics

I finally finished reading European Spring by Philippe Legrain. Although some of the opening chapters which focus a lot on European economics are pretty heavy going they do at least help you to understand the current situation with the Euro, the bailouts and the economic crises facing Europe. The second part is much more readable and optimistic.

I was pretty sceptical about the EU before I read this book and, as the book points out, there are massive problems with the EU, I came out feeling far more pro-Europe (although perhaps more anti-German – sorry to my many lovely German friends) than when I started out. I still have big issues with the EU in particular that unelected bodies have such massive power over us and also that it has too much power over how individual countries run themselves and policies made at European level having to be implemented into national laws. I am still left with the feeling that we are better together than apart. However, big reforms and more transparency are required if it is going to work.

I found out something interesting though about schooling in Estonia. Apparently they have a system called eKool which allows teachers, pupils and parents to share information such as curriculum, test results, homework assignments etc. on the Internet http://www.gemalto.com/govt/inspired/estonia/ekool. We have been trying to encourage the teachers at our kids’ school to send us details of what homework is set by email because, although Dominic might actually write what homework is set, he will forget important details like when it is due in. They didn’t think much of that idea and seemed surprised by the suggestion.

An eKool system would be brilliant since Dominic is also rather vague on test results, so that would be useful, as would actually knowing what he is studying at any point in the term so that we could back that up with activities at home.

Anyway, the reason that I got a chance to finish the book was because I had to go to a meeting in London and so I was able to read on the train. Once I got to London, I had to get from Euston to South Kensington. It’s just under 4 miles and I had an hour so I reckoned that I had time to walk it. 

  
It was a great idea to walk, although a little warm, and I saw bits of London that I haven’t seen before as well as some bits which I am very familiar with.

  
It ended up as a bit of a tour of famous shops in London as I went past Liberty, Harvey Nicholas and Harrods and crossed Oxford Street and Regent Street.

  

I went through tiny streets and main thoroughfares, through tiny parks like Mount Street Gardens and then across Hyde Park. 

  
As I walked from Hyde Park to Knightsbridge I walked past Bernie Ecclestone. I’m certain it was him, I know I should have taken a photo but I don’t really like taking pictures of people like that without their permission because I feel it’s a bit intrusive and I wouldn’t want people to do that if I was famous (fat chance).

  
So, I didn’t actual run today but I did walk fairly fast covering the 4 miles in an hour and I did cycle to and from the train station (about 3 miles) so I haven’t been totally idle!

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