Wednesday, June 16, 2004

As I recall, the last time I received a Council Tax bill in the UK it came with pages and pages of incomprehensible detail about where the inflation-busting annual amounts were going. All printed on high quality paper and so a very far cry from the cheap, single page I received the first time I ever paid a Rates bill. Here in Spain they just send you the bill. And charge you 20 percent more if you are late paying it. On the other hand, today I received a very glossy brochure from my local council, giving me immense detail of the events taking place during the imminent fiesta fortnight. I can’t help feeling this says quite a lot about the respective cultures.

Of a morning I walk my dog, Ryan, through the forest behind my house, taking a small track off the main one. In the past three days this has been blocked – at 11 in the morning - by a car occupied [I believe] by a young couple. Since – for obvious reasons - I don’t look at them, I can’t say whether it is the same occupants every day. But I’m beginning to suspect that it is the same enterprising young woman each time. We are used to the forest being used, at least at night, by lovers desperate to find alternatives to their family flats but this matutinal activity is a new development. And not entirely welcome. Perhaps those small ads at the back of the local news papers will now add ‘Forest visits’ to the list of acceptable venues. I must check.

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