/ Europe2017

More European thoughts

Did you know lorries don't travel in Germany in Sunday's? Shops are closed too, including large supermarkets. The only exceptions tend to be tourist centres. In fact most small shops in most towns and even cities close at Saturday lunchtime.

Shop workers get to spend much of the weekend home with their family. People have to plan their shopping, just like my parents did with half-day closing (Thursday in their case) and no Sunday trading. Did we starve? Did they have problems? Ah, but I hear you muttering, things have changed, work pressure is greater, both parents work long days, Sunday hours are essential. Poppycock, say I, people just need to organise, they obviously do in Europe.

But of course, we in the UK have never really liked Europe, let's face it for most of our history we've been at war with much of it. We'd rather relish our special relationship with our American cousins and wholeheartedly embrace their consumerist philosophy that stores need to be open 24*7, for man cannot live by Amazon alone. Not for us in the UK the slow pace of ships closing at lunchtime so the shopkeeper can eat a decent lunch. No we insist he goes hungry or, more likely, pays someone to keep the shop open - passing the extra cost on in his prices and so getting driven out of business by the zero-hour contract juggernaut stores or the online behemoths.

The other effect is that without lorries the roads, particularly the autobahns are empty. No lorries clogging the inside lane means slow-pokes like the Romahome can sit there doing a steady 70 or so, rarely having to overtake whilst not inconveniencing the  voooosh of the ton-up boys in the outside lane. It was a pleasant drive today.