I’ve been doing more thinking since yesterday, specifically about President Trump’s comments on the “cowardly” security guard at the school shooting.
I thought about two things at that point. One was that if I’d been there I’d have been hiding behind him, so it’s not for me to talk about courage. The other is that a man who avoided service in Vietnam should perhaps follow my lead and not lecture others about lack of courage.
Mainly, however, I’ve been thinking about how to spend £32,000,000.
I could buy 100,000 good used handguns for that money, but I’m English and I wouldn’t know what to do with them.
When Derby built a velodrome recently (which can also host other events) it cost £22 million. Allow a bit for inflation, buying land and some running costs and I don’t suppose there will be much change out of the £32 million.
That’s a shame, as I was hoping the budget would stretch to some fact-finding tours in exotic locations and a couple of years as a “consultant”. (I have been learning from things I have seen over the last few years).
From what I’ve seen over the years you could set up a nice rugby club with £10 million.
Perhaps an ice rink – from looking at the internet it looks like you might be able to build one for the price of a rugby club. You could even build a rink for long track speed skating, as we don’t have any in the UK. I imagine there’s a good reason for that, such as a lack of long track speed skaters but it’s probably a Field of Dreams situation – if you build it they will come. If not, you’re going to be stuck with a lot of empty ice.
In my mind’s eye I’m seeing a cross between a velodrome and a long track rink. It features quite a long, banked track and features bicycles with studded tyres. It probably won’t catch on. Anyway, you’d probably find it hard to freeze water on a slope.
However, even as that idea fades a picture of men on skis going down a bobsleigh track replaces it…
How about a nice tropical island instead?
At least we now have a definite answer to the question of money and the Winter Olympics. For £32,000,000 you can buy one Gold and four Bronze medals, plus a lot of heartbreak, character building and learning experiences. And cliches.
Is it worth it? In truth, probably not. We don’t really have the facilities or the snow for most winter sports so it will always be a bit of frippery. In most cases we aren’t going to derive any lasting benefit from the Games as people generally don’t have access to the facilities needed to train, apart from curling and short track skating.
At this point I really should show the depth of my character and sensitivity and tell you how many starving children I could support if I had £32 million..
I’ve spoken about Mary’s Meals before, a charity that provides breakfast at school for kids in the developing world. They could provide a year of breakfasts for over 2,300,000 kids. That sounds like good value to me.
I’m sure there are many other projects that would benefit too.
Unfortunately for my reputation as a deep and sensitive soul I am having trouble getting past the idea of a tropical island. It’s getting colder at the moment and I’m beginning to think of warmth and sunshine.