Sunday, July 22, 2012

There was a wooden owl the same dimensions as mine for sale at today's flea-market down in Veggie Square. It lacked colour but stood on a skull, giving it a little cachet.

Naturally, I asked the trader how much:-
Two hundred euros.
(Stifling a guffaw) Are you joking?
No. It's very old.
Maybe. But it isn't well carved and isn't worth that.
Well, what do you think it's worth?
About twenty.
It's worth more than that.
Maybe, but I'll see you here next week with my twenty.
(Returning later with my own owl.)
Look, my owl is more than three hundred years old.
It's made of plastic!
No, it's wood that looks like plastic.
(Trader's wife) I've got one made of clay at home.
Is it coloured like mine?
No. (To husband) Does it have any colours?
Yes, four or five.
OK. See you next week.

Yesterday I read that Spanish house prices had fallen more than 8% over the last 12 months and were now 24% down from their peak in 2008. But these are official figures and are universally believed to understate the decline. Then this morning I read in the Diario de Pontevedra that prices in this city have risen by 12% over the last year. So, pick the meat out of that! Meanwhile, here's a foto of what I think was the last block of flats built in the city. Unbelievably, it was started after the property bubble had burst and, as you can see, it has For Sale signs in several of the windows. Like the block of houses behind mine, it looks completely unoccupied.

It's not only shoe and dress shops that are closing n Pontevedra. There's the electrical shop where I used to get the batteries for my TV-B-Gone, for example. And the place specialising in Chinese massage. And another one specialising in Depilación. One particular oddity is that estate agents(realtors) have taken over two or three of the empty premises. Perhaps because it's true that prices have increased by 12%. But it's possible they're now outnumbered by the kiosks where you can sell your gold.

Finally . . . During my annual visit to the pool in my community yesterday, I was disturbed by the sound of granite-drilling. Bringing back memories of the two years of it when the early work was done on the (empty) houses behind mine. God forbid it's some new construction near us.

Which reminds me . . . It struck me this morning that it would be a much simpler world if God got rid of all religions. Perhaps I should start praying to him. But what's the point – he already knows what I'm thinking. And, as ever, is choosing to ignore me. There'll be words when I get up there. But I guess he knows that too.


Ferrolano said...

Colin, I know what you mean about house prices in Spain. On my last visit to Andalucía, I went by a couple of developments that were clearly showing price reductions from the previous; “seriously overpriced” to a more reasonable “just overpriced” – but still no takers. Here in Galicia the scene is somewhat different in that sellers feel that whatever they ask, somebody will sooner or later come along and buy at their asking price. Meanwhile, who cares?

Now getting down to your own homespun matters, I think that you could become the next Edward Lear with the adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat in Pontevedra – all the makings are there, we just need your genius to complete the scene and the poem.

Alfred B. Mittington said...


I quote from someone who knows what he's talking about:

The Romans saw owls as omens of impending disaster. Hearing the hoot of an owl indicated an imminent death, it is thought that the deaths of many famous Romans was predicted by the hoot of an owl, including Julius Caesar, Augustus & Agrippa. While the Greeks believed that sight of an owl predicted victory for their armies, the Romans saw it as a sign of defeat. They believed that a dream of an owl could be an omen of shipwreck for sailors & of being robbed. To ward off the evil caused by an owl, it was believed that the offending owl should be killed & nailed to the door of the affected house."

I'm with the Romans!!

Alfred 'Wringneck' Mittington

Colin said...

@Ferrolano. A nice thought.


No wonder their empires crumbled if this is representative of their lame-brained thinking.

ANA said...

I like the last paragraph a lot!!

James Atkinson said...

Symbol also as I am sure everyone knows of the greek goddess of wisdom Athena. Presumably because of superior vision, and the ability to turn their heads 270 degrees (yes I had to look it up) and thus see the disaster coming.

Candide said...

Alf, these owls mentioned here, of plastic or mud or wood, have never been alive and will not ever hoot. They cannot offend.

No life owl, no hoot, no Shakespearean shriek. No harm.

No nails needed.

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