Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's all funny money, isn't it. Depending on whom you listen to, Spain (more accurately, her banks) needs a handout of 16, 25, 62, 100 or even 350 billion euros. Self-evidently, no one knows any more than you, me or my deceased dog. And, as I forecast last week, we're already hearing suggestions that dates and deadlines will be set so as to accommodate Europe's long summer holidays in July and August. Confidence-inspiring it certainly ain't.

Anyway, back to the daily grind . . . Having seen some old friends in the UK enjoying a host of feathered friends using a 'feeding station' in their garden, I bought one and brought it back with me. Despite my minimal DIY skills, I managed to assemble this a couple of days ago and set it up with a supply of peanuts. Since then, nothing. Absolutely nothing! Not even one of the forty sparrows that used to live in my roof. Current theories are:- 1. The birds have been frightened off by a cat which has taken to walking through my garden since the death of said dog; and 2. It wasn't wise of me to take the big plastic owl into the garden to show it to my lovely neighbour, Ester. Worst of all, I see Toni has blackbirds in his garden.

Talking of Toni . . . I was in the front garden when a couple of gypsies came to ask for foodstuffs. Toni's excuse for not giving them anything was that his wife wasn't in. Which they seemed to find acceptable. A lot more acceptable than my response of "No entiendo." Such is life.

Well, I went to the regional tax office (the Facenda, as opposed to the Hacienda) to ask about the re-instated Wealth Tax (the Patrimonio). The chap at the Information desk was rather amused and said he'd never heard of this. He suggested I try a third office (the ORAL) but, not wanting to waste further time, I went on the net and quickly found that it had, indeed, been re-introduced (bad) but that the the threshold of one million euros was way beyond my assets level (good). So, that's that.

The Euros: Just one (third party) comment:- The events of this season cannot have left anyone in any doubt as to whether England can win the European Championship defending deep, playing cautiously and inviting pressure from their opponents. Of course they can. [God forfend!] By the same writer:- Can they win the competition? If Terry and Lescott stay strong, if their opponents continue to spurn chances, if good fortune smiles on them, they can. But it won’t be pretty to watch. No, it bloodywell won't. And who on earth wants it to happpen?

One of the internet cafés I use has come up with a new definition of 'outdoors'. Basically, what they've done is to put a large translucent plastic 'tent' over their external tables and taken away the door between this and the café itself. As there's no ventilation in the tent, cigarette smoke quickly makes its way into the café proper. Which I realised when my eyes started to smart this morning. I mentioned the probable illegality of this to the waiter, who looked crestfallen. But he always does; so this was no measure of anything. I said I knew it wasn't his fault and he smiled and thanked me. But he didn't apologise for the pain in my eyes.

Talking about apologising - this is something that comes easily to the Spanish. As it does to me these days. The simple reason is that we rarely mean it. I'd go as far as to say that the Spanish are the best in the world at apologising. Essentially because they get so much practice at it - for parking in front of your garage, bumping into you in the street, jumping the queue, etc., etc. All of these, by the way, assume the offender has been caught in flagrente and has had to say something.

Finally . . . And taking of manners . . . Here's a picture of a car which parked near us in Vigo yesterday, on a zebra crossing. Of course, the driver left the hazard lights on to show the car wasn't really there. After ten minutes she emerged from somewhere and proceeded to park parallel to the legitimately parked cars, blocking one of the two lanes. There she waited until her friend turned up twenty minutes later. Inconsiderate? Moi! Viva yo. Yo tengo un gran Audi!


trebots said...

We had a feeding thing out for two years and nothing touched it. The nuts were still OK when I took it down.

Colin said...

Thanks, T. That's really made me feel good!

tim said...

Nice car... If all the English Players defend no one will get it past Rooney´s bulk, I just hope they are practicing penalties.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

My guess would be that your sparrow friends are busy elsewhere, building nests and things. Furthermore, this being high summer, there is enough for them to eat all around, so they do not need to stand in line for your soup kitchen. Wait calmly until winter, I'd say. Or add to your bird feeding house a bowl of water, which is in short supply on your desert hill side. This may attract them. Alternatively again, set up the feeding station outside your front door, fill it with fresh bread, chorizo, cheese, chocolate and a nice red wine, and hang up a sign inviting Gitano families to stock up from there. Thus your purchase will not have been in vain.

kraal said...

I use wild bird seed which seems to go down well. It would though attract pigeons to your garden which I don't think are your favourite bird. Sorry to read your dog is no longer with you. Kevin

James Atkinson said...

We had a feeder, and it was extremley popular with all sorts of birds. But we had installed because of the snow a couple of years ago. Once the snow went so did the birds

Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

If you want to atract sparrows and other small birds to your feeder, buy Canary seeds(Alpiste in Spanish)and have some water around.

SF Bay Area

Colin said...

Thanks, Jorge. I have used seed for a year or three but had none in the house when I got back. Buying some today. Cheers.

Colin said...

Thanks, Kevin. Buying seed today. Cheers.

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