Monday, June 06, 2011

As I need to pollard some trees in the garden of my place in the hills, I contacted the chap my neighbour had used and was surprised to find his rate was 20 euros an hour. More than a native speaker gets for teaching English in these parts. So I wrote to five local companies who advertised pollarding services on the web and asked for their hourly rates. Only two replied, both saying things didn't work this way and that they'd have to come and see the trees, before giving me a quote. I can understand why this would be necessary for an estimate of how long the job would take but not for how much an hour it'd cost. But, anyway, the upshot is that I will get three quotes and thus waste some of my time and quite a lot of the time of the two companies who don't get the job. Must make sense to someone.

It's generally reckoned by the females I know that I have a crap cleaner. And that she's crap because I am crap boss who, like a typical male, doesn't superintend her and make her work better. But this isn't the main problem. This is that she's bloody clumsy. So things get broken. Not that she's ever admitted to breaking anything; she always claims not to know how damage occurred. Returning from England, I found one of my silver Iranian wine goblets broken on the tray. My assumption was she'd knocked it to the floor. But, no. Apparently the stem and the base simply parted company when she was cleaning the goblet. Short of calling her a liar and making her pay for the repair - or summarily sacking her - I feel rather short of options. I cling to the fact that she's at least honest. Except when it comes to admitting she's broken anything, obviously.

My using a couple of mild swear words in the last paragraph has taken me back to the C word I touched on a week or so back. As I said, it's commonplace here and is often a term of endearment. Not so in the UK, of course, where it's still very much a taboo word. Even more so in the USA, I believe. So it's all the more odd that the BBC seems determined to crash through the taboo barrier and get it accepted for comedic use. Read more on this here, where the author alleges:- "BBC producers complain about being forced to move up North, as part of the corporation’s mad exercise in regional equality; the truth is that the corporation already inhabits a different planet, not a different region, from most of its audience."

I think I've mentioned that the fashion this year in Pontevedra is  for very brief denim shorts. From reading this, though, I'm now aware that, unless these are so brief the pockets are visible below them, then the young ladies sporting them are not as fashionable as they think they are.

Which reminds me that the guide for what's on in Pontevedra this month urges us to Pontevédrate: Goza da Cidade Imaxinada. I assume this is a reflection of the fact that, come summer, the city's wonderful old quarter is essentially one large tapas-cum-cocktail bar and disco joint.

And talking of enjoying yourself . . . If you're down near Mojácar, this looks like a must-see. And, if you're in London, then you should pop along to the 6th. 'Taste of Spain' festival in Regent Street.

Finally . . . The author of the bullfighting article I posted last night - Alexander Fiske-Harrison - has written to say he's moved from writing about corridas to actually taking part in one. And then writing a book about his experiences. Here's his blog, where you can read Times and Daily Mail reviews of this, and his comments thereon. Plus a more recent post, which cites an FT review.


Ferrolano said...

Colin, if your arborist is charging 20 Euros per hour for time actually spent on your property and if he provides his own tools and insurance, then go for it and let him get back to his office to waste time preparing estimates for work that he will never get…..!!

BTW, I can imagine that his assigned time is on the order of 60% or put to actual working hours, something like 24 per week or less than 500 Euros. And don’t forget that he pays for his own; holidays and sick days.

Colin said...

Yep, points taken. I will probably end up with the 20 euros an hour (very local) guy but I'm now worrying what 2 days work will cost me. A min of 320 obviously. Unless he works a ten hour day, equals 400. Vamos a ver.

Pericles said...


I thnought I'd tease you with
1 Timothy 5:18

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn & the labourer is worthy of his hire.

Bewailing the total cost because of the number of trees you have, reminds me of the film Amadeus in which the Emperor of the AH empire comments that Mozart put "too many notes in the music"; to which Mozart replied -------!

Colin said...

The real bugger is that this is expenditure on a house I am selling. It's a wonderful place but it was bought at the instigation of an (ex)partner and is surplus to my current needs.

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