Friday, 25 June 2010

Meldrew Moment

In the 1990s the BBC ran a very successful sitcom called "One Foot in the Grave" about the trials and tribulations of a grumpy pensioner called Victor Meldrew (who was Scottish for some reason although it was set in the middlest of middle England). Victor's catchphrase when something disastrous - like having a Citroen 2CV dumped in the skip he'd hired - happened was "I don't BELIEVE it!"

Well I had a "Meldrew Moment" today. Let me explain.

When we came to live in Portugal four years ago, the rate of exchange between the Pound Sterling and the Euro was about 1.45 Euros per Pound. This is important as a large percentage of our income continues to be in sterling and has to be periodically converted into Euros for frittering away on Flores on such extravagances as bread, electricity etc.

Come the recession in 2008, the pound slumped and for the best part of the last two years has been bobbing around the 1.05-1.10€/£ mark. Now I never try and "play the market" and I only move £ into € when we need to on the basis that you will inevitably win some and lose some. Except inevitably, I always seem to lose more than I win and if you want to know the dates on which I have moved £ over to € recently, then all you need to do is look at a graph of £/€ performance and pick the low points.

Last time was on 20 May - see what I mean?

Anyway, recently, the pound has been rising a bit towards the giddy heights of 1.20€ and yesterday even got to 1.21€. So I decided to break my normal rule and move some £ over into € even though we didn't need to, this on the basis that I just couldn't imagine the pound getting any higher given its recent performance.

And what happened today? That's right - it moved higher to €1.22!

"I don't BELIEVE it!"

 Still, Italy getting slung out the World Cup was a consolation. (Mustn't be too hubristic (Ooh! "hubristic"! Suits you, sir! Ooh!) as Portugal need to be careful not to be gubbed by too many goals by Brazil tomorrow to be sure of going through.)


Kathie said...

On my first trip to the Azores in spring 2002, 1€ = US $0.895, so there were real bargains for the American tourist. On subsequent trips it rose to somewhere ultimately around $1.60 in 2008 -- yikes! Now it's declined somewhat vis à vis the US$, although still nowhere even remotely near parity.

Needless to say, over the years I've developed various techniques for economizing on my visits, in order to stretch my money.

OTOH, I gather that tourism in the Azores is still rather more reasonably priced than most anywhere else in the € zone.

Força Portugal!!!

Kathie said...

I assume all of Iberia will grind to a veritable halt later today when Portugal plays Spain. Please share with us if you decide to share the experience with your neighbors at the local café, snack-bar or other public gathering place.

Força Portugal!