Monday, January 01, 2007

Anticipating numerous ‘individualistic’ guests in my neighbours’ houses for New Year’s Eve dinner, I erected a simple barrier in front of my garage in what I feared would be a vain attempt to secure a parking space on our return from dinner in town. To my surprise – nay, astonishment – it was respected. But I now wait to see whether my neighbours will react badly to this provocative Anglo behaviour.

My German guests have pronounced they couldn’t contemplate living next to my neighbour, nice-but-noisy Tony. I suspect it’s this sort of effete attitude which cost them the last war. I, however, shall soldier on - raising my hi-fi to ever higher levels, as required. And keeping the ear plugs in at night.

A couple of days ago, there were reports in the UK press of widespread EU dissatisfaction with the euro. One of our local newspapers – the Voz de Galicia – has now weighed in with a report which confirms what everyone already knew, viz. that the prices of some everyday products soared into the stratosphere and that inflation for basics has been twice as high as the official figure. Worst of all, the components of Galicia’s traditional stew dish – the cocido – have risen by 300% since the euro’s debut. But, says the paper, it’s not all bad news. Firstly, this daylight robbery was concentrated in the first three years and the growth in prices has since levelled off. Secondly, products such as shower gel, nappies [diapers] and toilet paper are actually cheaper now than in 2000. Shame you can’t eat them. Though I have heard it asked by ignorant foreigners whether cocido doesn’t contain similar items.

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