Monday, October 29, 2012


I don't know whether it's generally true or whether it's confined to those who've signed a specific type of contract but there is regular reporting here of people who've been evicted after defaulting but still held liable for the loan on the house which the bank takes onto its books as a sellable asset. Indeed there was a case this week of a suicide in exactly these circumstances. It seems extraordinary that the banks don't offset the value of the house on their books but, then, they'd naturally be reluctant to do this at the inflated value attributed it

I'm now more confused that ever about flashing amber traffic lights, a common feature of Spanish streets at night. I mentioned the other day that I'd never seen a Spanish driver stop for pedestrians waiting at the lights. But I did last night. And the guy waiting waved me on.

Queen Sofía of Spain is having a bad year. Her husband has continued to demonstrate that, at 74, he's still a serial philanderer; her elder daughter's husband is a guest of the courts on charges of embezzlement; her invitation to the London celebrations of Liz's 60th anniversary was ripped up by Madrid because of some stupid manufactured tiff over Gibraltar; and now she's been forced to sue an online dating site which used her photograph in an advert without her permission. Worse, they featured her face above the slogan - “Now you no longer have to spend the night alone.”

Another lady consort is also in trouble, it seems. The North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, belatedly admitted that the woman at his side for several weeks was his wife. But now she's suddenly departed the Korean scene with even less commentary than that with which she arrived on it. Old Kim is a bit of a toughie. Three days ago, one of his military men was executed for the appalling crime of drinking alcohol during the mourning period for Kim's father. In keeping with his position, he was mortared to death. Honestly. I'm wondering whether there's a connection between these two events and the military man was guilty of something rather more serious. Or accused of it anyway. But I guess we'll never know.

With Galicia being a major portal for Colombian cocaine, there's a lot of money to be laundered here or elsewhere. I mention this because the subject's been raised twice in the last 24 hours. Firstly in respect of two large edge-of-town shops which rarely see customers – one offering pets and related products and the other bridal gowns. Then, tonight, someone told me about the surprise closure or a well-located café and it's possible sale to someone who needs a shop. Of course it could all be unsubstantiated gossip but, then, that's Pontevedra.

The worst thing about house-cleaning – especially for the less diligent among us – is that tackling Item A invariably exposes Items B to M. If you're really unlucky, to Item Z. So it is this beautiful Sunday morning that I found myself attending to the much-neglected, glass-topped coffee-table, home to a thousand crumbs (and one money-spider) in one crevice or another. And then to the fireplace, the floors, the CDs, the TV and the several machines connected to it, etc., etc. I shall be mightily relieved when the lovely Ester finally finds a chica whom she feels she can trust and shares her with me. Meanwhile, I'm almost tempted to call the one she sacked when I was away in the UK. Even though she's a tad clumsy and talks at a decibel level greater, even than Toni's. And, per Ester, can't/doesn't clean for toffee.

Finally . . . The dream I was having as I woke this morning involved my ex-wife and President Clinton. As I didn't write anything down, I can't now recall what they were doing in my dream. But it's an unlikely duo, if ever there was one.

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