Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
There are two sorts of weather in which I feel absolutely no remorse for just sitting around doing nothing - extremely hot and extremely cold.
I used to be able to work very hard in the direct sun and heat, but not any more. Yesterday I intended to go home and continue with some drawings I have to make as designs for some stone carvings being done by someone else, but I lay on the sofa and slept. Not today though. I have to make the drawings.
I have to admit to a niggling little bit of racism when it comes to modern China. I think all racism springs from fear, and up until fairly recently we had much to fear from the Chinese. Now North Korea is getting tooled-up, all we had to worry about was Chinese goods flooding the European market and undermining local economies with subsidised goods, like extremely inexpensive steel - extremely inexpensive everything.
The thing is, the poorer we got the more expensive our production became until we could not afford not to buy the Chinese stuff, at one third of the price. The stuff sent over began by being cheap and shoddy, but these days it can be very good quality indeed. Now the Chinese economy is showing signs of self-inflicted stress, so the threat to other countries has diminished considerably. The P.R.C. is also heavily investing in British schemes like the rail network and power production, which may come in very handy indeed if Brussels decides to punish us for the divorce petition.
As you know (yawn), I have stopped smoking tobacco and taken up vaping. The little 10ml bottles of liquid cost between £3 and £5 when bought in shops here, and are usually made in Italy. They even proudly say that they are made in Italy and approved in the UK, as if anyone would trust a seal of approval issued by the entirely unregulated and extremely lucrative new marketeers of vaping.
I went onto eBay and found a source of Chinese vape fluid containing nicotine in the tobacco flavour for £20 for 20 bottles - including free delivery. The name immediately put me off - Hangsen. It made me think of the stock market's Chinese index. It seems that Hangsen just means 'versatility, unconventional methods and enthusiasm', which is probably how you would describe most of the Chinese modern economy.
Then I Googled-up the vaping company and discovered that - far from jumping on a bandwagon - Hangsen have been pioneers in vaping for 11 years now and have developed techniques and recipes which everyone else uses without patents. China has a massive medical problem with smoking, so a company like Hangsen is also fulfilling a social service with their alternatives to tobacco.
Then I looked up reviews for their products, finding suspiciously glowing reports from American sources which I did not trust as being genuine.
So I found the most independent reports I could recognise, and read up some more. It turns out that the Chines vaping companies willingly follow strict rules of purity and quality set by the European laboratories - something which many European laboratories do not. For instance, Hangsen's nicotine is 99 percent pure and derived solely from vegetable matter, not synthesised.
I bought a box of twenty bottles and they arrived yesterday. They were posted from the UK and the cost of it was £4.80.
Do you know, it is very good! It is, in fact, much better than the stuff I had been buying at the shop for £5 a bottle which is made in Italy. I now feel guilty for my initial mistrust...