A couple of days ago, Nice-but-Noisy Toni next door asked me if he could borrow my garden shears, my hedge-trimmer and my extension cable. Yesterday he brought them back and today I connected the cable to my lawnmower for what I hoped was the last mowing of the winter. Nothing happened. Likewise when I tested the hedge-trimmer. So I took the plug apart and found a loose wire. Something tells me it's unlikely the wire came loose between Toni giving me back the cable and me trying to use it. Which is a tad irritating. Especially as he then came round tonight to avail himself of my printer.
The 'bad bank' which has a ton of Spanish properties to sell has announced that this will be done at a significant discount from the market rate. They insist this won't lower prices generally. Which shows how much they know about markets. Or that, more likely, they're simply lying.
Which reminds me . . . Sr Rajoy has said that a bail-out for Spain isn't essential. Maybe not objectively but, as the markets think it is, it is.
Near Madrid yesterday, a woman chased two thieves on a scooter who'd stolen her bag at traffic lights. When the scooter fell over, she ran over the pillion driver and killed him. She claimed this hadn't been deliberate but her protestation was undermined by the fact she'd had to mount the kerb to reach the scooter. Anyway, she hasn't yet been charged with anything. But this could change.
The good news is that the accordionists have all disappeared from Pontevedra – do they fly south for the winter? - but the bad news is we're now having our ears assaulted by a bagpipe player. Who doesn't do us the honour of playing just one tune and then going round with the begging bowl. Rather, he stands in one spot and plays for 15 minutes or more, before seeking payment.
On Saturday last, I was taking a lady friend to the house of a mutual friend for lunch. We'd agreed to meet at 1.15, before driving to a place north of Pontevedra. She arrived at 1.20, with the comment - “I'm sorry I'm late. I'm just going to the cake shop to get some pastries. Won't be long.”
If you're thinking of becoming a tour guide in Spain, you need to know that every region in Spain has its own laws about who can and can't do this. Except for the Basque country, every region demands that would-be guides pass an exam before granting them a licence. Absent this, you can guide people outside buildings but not inside. In theory at least.
I posted some tablets to my daughter in the UK today, in one of those cushioned envelopes. I told the woman in the Post Office that I didn't want it to go registered mail. Which was probably a mistake as she looked at me and raised her eyebrows, as if to say “Then there's no chance of it arriving”. Which I suspect is very likely to be true, when I reflect on just how many things have gone missing in the last 12 years. It's the perfect crime, of course, as no one knows whether it's committed in Spain or the UK.
Finally . . . There's a Dutch couple who are obsessed – in the nicest possible way – with a particular road in the UK. The A272, to be exact. In fact, they've written a book about it - An Ode to a Road - which became a cult item a few years back and has now been revised. Strange folk, the Dutch.