Showing posts with label monaco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monaco. Show all posts

Sunday, 15 December 2013


I know it is a bit early but this probably will be my last post before Christmas as my place of work is now open on Sundays and I will be working 6 days a week, so I want to leave you with some wonderful images from planet money in the fake snow.
It is nice to work in a place where you pretty much have a policeman on every street corner. I can only imagine what would happen to all these decorations on a Saturday night in Edinburgh. It would probably have traffic cone on top and a few Irn bru cans dangling of its branches.
Hotel hermitage; this is where the rich and famous stay when visiting planet money. It all looks even better at night but I haven't succeeded in taking any good night time pics.
Planet money wouldn't be planet money without its banks and financial institutions and as you can see no money has been spared at the Companie Monegasque de banque. At Barclays they went for a winter cute fest with teddy s and other stuffed animals.
I hope you all have a very merry Christmas. I'll try and survive my last 13 days of work and hope to put up another post before the New year.

Friday, 13 December 2013

The border

This might look like any other street in Monaco and on the face of it nothing special, but this is the border between Monaco and France. The picture was taken from the Monaco side and where the pharmacy is, begins Beausoleil and France.

 Living in the EU we are used to walking from one country into another without any border controls, but mostly you know you have crossed the border; the language has changed and the road signs look different. Here you wouldn't have noticed you had walked into another country; roadsigns and language are the same, however on the other side of planet money things are very different.

In France, workers enjoy a 35 hour work week. (I do have to explain that the 1.5hour lunch break is not paid so days are actually longer than in Britain where your lunch is 45min, paid and counts towards the 40 hour work week) On planet money we work 40 hours and the 1.5hour lunch break is unpaid. France has decent healthcare that covers 70% of what the government says it should cost. Monaco covers 80% of what your treatment actually cost.( I must say healthcare here is pretty excellent.)
France has very strict employment laws. I'm sure Planet money has employment laws too, but they seem to be optional.(Unpaid overtime! What! That can't be legal, surely!) France is a republic where as Monaco is having no plans in the near future to have either a revolution or behead their monarch.

I'm sure there are many other differences you can't see on the photo, but the most important one for my colleagues and I is that France is cheaper and that is why we often walk up here to have lunch and do some shopping. If you're coming to Monaco, book a hotel in Beausoleil; it is just a few minutes walk from the casino and prices are much more reasonable.

Friday, 6 December 2013

More bigger boats

Before you call in the grammar police, let me explain the title. It was inspired by one of my favorite you-tube video's and if you like cats I would advice you to have a look at it. It is titled 'Many too small boxes and Maru' and features a cat trying to get inside a series of boxes that are too small for this portly but persistent kitty.

I thought of this video when the biggest boat of the year so far, The Queen Elizabeth (Cunards flagship) moored up in Monaco yesterday. It looked just ridiculously big for the small harbour, dwarfing even the most impressive luxury yachts. 
This was taken from the spot where I normally enjoy my lunch. This week we've been having just the best December weather, allowing me to strip down to a short sleeved blouse. Looking at this large cruise ship I was wondering if I could use it in the book. Vampire being stuck on a large boat with carefree holiday makers would make for a good story line. I'm sure Cameron would have a great time, drugging hapless victims and maybe even leaving a body or two in his and the Queen's wake.

Friday, 22 November 2013


I've not had much time to dedicate to my blog, this might come as a surprise as I'm enjoying an extra day off this week. However I'm really hoping to get stuck into doing some writing on my book as it has been sadly neglected over the months. I've given my target audience (my husband) the book to read and according to my focus group; the first eight chapters were great but then it got really crap but the ending wasn't bad. Lots to work with there then, so I'll just give you some pictures of the wonderful place that is inspiring me; Monaco.
Monaco is one of the most densely populated place in Europe, I thought this picture demonstrates nicely the challenge builders face putting up another highrise.
The wonderful view to be had near the princes grace hospital, looking towards France; It must help the healing process having a view like this.
This made me giggle one morning and I found it to be very planet money; a wheel clamped limo.

It's often difficult to appreciate the town that surrounds you when you drag yourself there for a job you don't particularly enjoy. I run past the Monte-Carlo casino every day to catch my train home, but I've never set foot inside. I hope to remedy this soon as it seems a shame not to enjoy all the attractions this place offers. Now turn off the TV, the internet and get writing!!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Fête du prince

Today the 19th of November Monaco shuts down and celebrates its monarchy and national day. I get to enjoy an extra paid day off and of course as sods law will have it, it’s pishing doon with rain.(As we say in Scotland) Down by the port in Monaco there has been a fair with all sorts of brightly lit attractions to entertain children of all ages and all over town red and white flags have gone up. Shops have decorated their windows with roses and little flags and Place du casino is a sea of red and white.

I do believe that this colourful out pouring of patriotism is genuine; Monegasques have a lot to be grateful for. This tiny principality of 2.02² Kilometres has seen a huge improvement in its economic fortunes in the last century. In a short time it has gone from tiny place stuck between the rocks and the sea without any natural resources to the planet money it is today. 

The Royal family is loved here and they’ve had a huge influence in making Monaco what it is today; from building the casino in the late 19th century to attracting major financial institutions. Some people might say that only a few families have an awfully big say in what goes on in planet money, but today you will hear no criticism. Being such a tiny place it is inevitable you bump into a royal at some point and even I in my short period working here have met one of Albert’s nephews. So the relationship the Monegasques have with their monarch is often a personal one. I’m sure despite the rain Monegasques will turn out in force to cheer on Albert&co.

So happy fête du prince Monaco, may the good times last!