Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mid-January blues, anyone? Obama and other stuff...

Actually, I don't really have the blues, but I couldn't think what to call this post!!

We're now over halfway through January - today is the day after President Obama's extraordinary inauguration and we seem to have their weather this morning. Cold but with clear blue skies and crystal clear sunshine.

I was glued to the telly yesterday from about 3pm onwards, watching all the worthies arrive and marvelling at how old some of them have got - George H W Bush (Dubya's daddy) looked positively doddery. The sight of all those people stretching to the horizon down the Mall was truly awesome (in the proper meaning of the word, please take note Americans). For years we've all had the mantra that, "In America you can be anything you want to be, even the President" told to us time and again, but usually with the unspoken proviso, "...unless you're any colour other than white or any sex other than male". I don't need to tell you that the outcome of the most recent race for the presidency would have blown that proviso to smithereens (does anyone actually know where 'smithereens' is?)

The presence of all those people prove Americans' really rather heartwarming belief in their own rhetoric, and that it, occasionally, happens to come true.

I thought Obama's inaugural address was strong and brave, and not afraid to stick the knife into Dubya's past 8 years in charge. And it looks like he's going to make good on his election promises too - this morning he's calling for a halt to all the trials at Guantanamo Bay, on his first day in office. Good for him. But I really, really wouldn't want his in-tray.

I was wondering yesterday while watching all the pomp and ceremony, how much does the President get paid in annual salary? I've just popped over to Wikipedia which tells me: "Traditionally, the President is the highest-paid public employee. President Obama currently earns $400,000 per year, along with a $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment" so that's an annual figure of $569,000 or about £403,000. Not really that much for being (theoretically) the most powerful person with the most difficult job on the planet. Anyway, I wish him well.

While I'm here, and as I'm in a relatively upbeat mood, I need to introduce you the funniest blog I have read. I came across Belgian Waffle about a week ago. She's a lawyer who works for the EU in Brussels. Sounds dull? Not at all. This particular post had me laughing so much I was sobbing uncontrollably, with tears literally dripping off my chin - P had to come and find me to see if I was alright. I have probably not laughed that much since I saw Eddie Izzard in concert several years ago. So go, hurry along, read all her posts and then come back and thank me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I found your blog through Belgian Waffle, and I agree, it's the funniest blog I've ever read.

Your writing is wonderful too, especially the post on children/infertility. Wow.

Please keep writing, I'm hooked!