A few weeks back I mentioned I had a bit of a bit of a bitcoin. For those who don’t know what a bitcoin is it is a cryptocurrency.
Crypto is a digital currency. Many people think it will replace money as we know it today. Many people believe it is a ponzi scam.
I was a real, crypto believer. I am not so sure now. I do think something will replace cash, but I am not so sure it will be bitcoin.
Am I an influencer?
Twenty minutes after I set the blog live bitcoin jumped by 10%. I was wondering if I had affected the market. All my readers decided to buy bitcoin. I jest, of course. One hour later, bitcoin fell by 12%.
It did remind me of one of many days I had visited a horse racing course in Ireland.
The herd mentality
I was not a successful gambler. The problem was I had to have a bet on every race. They call it being in action. The weird thing is it is not the money. It was the buzz of being in the action.
One day I decided to go to Mallow racecourse. Mallow is about 25km from Cork city in Ireland. I boarded the train full of hope. Today was the day I would beat the bookies.
I arrived before the first race. Back then, the odds of a horse was decided by how much money was wagered at the racecourse. I am sure it is different now as most betting today’s is online.
I took my place with all the other racegoers as we stood in front of the enemy. The Bookie.
The betting battle
The way it worked is the Bookies offered odds on horses in a race, and the racegoers decided if it was good value or not. If no one put money on a horse, the Bookies gave better odds. If enough people put money on a horse, the odds went down.
That day for the first race, it was a stalemate. The Bookies gave their odds for the favourite horse to win at 6/4. That meant for every four you bet and if the horse won you received six back and the four you had a bet.
Everyone waited for better odds. I had other things on my mind. I fancied a pint of Guinness.
I decided to have my bet and watch the race from the bar in the stand. I had no awareness of a large number of people waiting for a move.
I walked up to a Bookie. One hundred pounds in my hand and said I will take the 6/4 on offer. The next thing a surge began.
The waiting crowd seeing a guy bet one hundred pounds reckoned this person must have information and knows what he is doing. I only wanted a Gunniess.
Everyone started betting on the horse I had bet on. The odds tumbled. I went to the bar with my Gunness in hand. I was looking at the television.
The presenter was saying there was a massive gamble happening on the first race in Mallow. The smart money was going on the favourite. How wrong he was.
The horse won. Unfortunately for me, I lost on the other five races.
Leaving the racecourse, I did not have enough money for a taxi to the train station. I had to hitchhike.
A guy stopped. I recognised him. Joe Sherlock. A member of the Irish parliament. How did you get on, he asked? How do you think I replied I am hitchhiking. He laughed.
Those were mad days. I have not been to a racecourse in over twenty years. I don’t miss it. One day I was speaking to another former racegoer. I said we must have been crazy back then.
He replied we were busted, disgusted and not to be trusted. I knew what he meant.
I eventually gave up that life. Soon after I went back to education. I then joined a Hotel group, and in five years, I went from a builders labourer to have a senior management position.
I had a lot of determination back then. I would be happy with 20% of that energy now. I am sure it is there. I just need to find it.
Who were the original Canarians?
Most people who visit the Canary Islands on holiday never really give a thought to the island’s history. The few that do may think the Islands have always been Spanish.
The Spanish conquered the islands in the 15th century but, who were the original settlers. This question is still a hot topic for many local historians.
José Farrujia de la Rosa, an archaeologist, based at La Laguna University in Tenerife has now shred some new light on this topic using DNA evidence.
The report does not support the theory held by some people that the Celts were here first. As an Irish Celt, I knew that already. The local beer would a lot better if the Celts had been here.
The report claims that the most likely original settlers were Berbers from North African. They would have first arrived over 2,500 years ago.
They would have had light boats so they would not have been able to bring animals to the Canaries. The report says that fourteen couples would have been enough to populate the Islands overtime.
They say that approximately 10% of the world’s population is gay. As a gay man, I can’t help wondering if one or more of the 28 were gay.
The original settlers were primitive. They worshipped the sun, moon and rocks. Thankfully as a society, we have evolved to worshipping statues, books and buildings. I think we still do worship a few rocks.
In case you think the Canary Islands are named after the Canary bird they are not. The Latin word for dog is Canaria. It is believed the Romans called the Islands this after seeing large dogs on the Islands when they visited.
Caldera de Bandama
On Saturday, I took another look at Gran Canaria’s history. I took a local bus up to Caldera de Bandama just 16km from Las Palmas.
This is an outstanding example of a volcanic crater. It was last active over 2,000 years ago.
It is 200 meters deep. I enjoyed walking down. Walking up not so much.
If you are in Gran Canaria, Bandama is well worth visiting.
I felt this guy looking at me on my way back up.
To see a bit more click here to see a short video.
Join me on my journey.
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