Saturday, June 30, 2007

With the inclusion in the EU of poorer countries such as Rumania and Bulgaria, average GDP has naturally fallen. The result is that, for the first time, Spain now ranks above this - at 102%, to be exact. But my impression is real wealth and ‘quality of life here’ are way above whatever average you can come up with. Your guess is as good as mine as to why this should be. And, of course, I may not be right. Sometimes I’m not.

In Sweden, it costs 0.48 euros per month to get one megabit per second of internet broadband. In Turkey, it’s a staggering 88.23. Of the 21 countries between these extremes, Britain comes in at an expensive twelfth of 7.50, compared with 1.25 in France and 3.96 in Germany. Sadly, Spain is even more expensive, at 9.50. The UK’s excuse is said to be an ‘antiquated system’ of copper wires, against fibre optics in many other EU countries. My guess is it’s the same here. Except where you can get cable.

Just in case you missed it, here’s the clip of the courageous US newscaster who refused to read out the lead item on that vapid buffoon, Paris Hilton.

More to add to yesterday’s comment on the property market - The housing market will come to a painful halt this autumn, experts warned yesterday, after research showed property is at its most overpriced since the last crash, in the early 1990s. Record rises in house prices have left property far out of reach of most families, raising the prospect of imminent falls, as home buyers start to desert the market. But this is a warning about the UK market, of course.

As I sat in my garden yesterday evening – surrounded by the noise of granite-busting machines and electronically-whingeing cranes – there were but two compensations for the loss of the tranquillity I used to take for granted. First, the absentee June sun, paying us a brief visit before it departs again today. Second, a superb glass of AlbariƱo from the Castro Martin bodega of my friends Andrew and Angela. If you’re in the UK, you can get this from Bibendum. And possibly from other suppliers. If the sun ever returns to Britain after Wimbledon, you should. Needless to say, the Bibendum write-up is pretentious nonsense. But the funny thing is – I agree with every superfluous word. And the label’s very pretty.

Finally, just two odd searches in June ending up at this blog:-
mature ladies who is looking for gigolo in spain
is ferrol ugly

There was also yet another search asking the question are the Spanish rude. This is such a regular one wonders whether it’s a single individual on a perpetual quest for an answer to this conundrum or whether it’s an issue that crops up regularly among non-Spaniards. I have my suspicions and plan to address it soon.

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