As part of the probate process for my father's will, I went this morning to swear a few things on oath. This was in front of a solicitor who's also a Commissioner of Oaths, which is the English equivalent of a Spanish notary. More or less. It was my first time for this and I had the impression it was hers as well. Or perhaps she was rusty. Anyway, knowing how these things can go in Spain, I took four different identification documents, plus photocopies of each one. Which was all unnecessary as she only wanted sight of two and didn't want photocopies of anything. Quick and easy. And only 7 quid to pay. That's the way to do it.
As I was a shopping this morning, I became aware someone was looking at me as if he knew me. But his portly, dishevelled appearance meant nothing to me. So I was a little surprised when he said “Hello, stranger. How are you?” “Sorry,” I said, we don't know each other.” “Sure? He asked. “Yes”, I said and walked away. Initially, I was amused by this. But then I was struck by the unwelcome thought that he might have mistaken me for my father. Well, he looked a lot younger than he was.
I talked the other night about the relentless innovation which hits you when you go into a British supermarket after the absence of a year. Today's example is roast potatoes you only need to heat up in the oven for 20 minutes. Like buying a tin of cocido in Galicia, I suppose. Which may well be possible. Must check.
My friend Mike gave me this definition of a gentleman this morning – Someone who can play the trombone, but doesn't. Of course you can chose your instrument but Mike went with the trombone as I used to blow on this when he was playing the trumpet in the school orchestra. We did a mean Grand March from Aida. It stays with you.
A conversation with my mother this evening, towards the end of the match between Barcelona and Paris St Germain:-
Well, Messi hasn't done much this half, has he?
No, Mum. But there's a very good reason for that.
He hasn't been on the pitch since half-time.
More seriously . . . To no great surprise, it's becoming increasingly clear that the new tax measures in respect of assets held outside Spain are aimed primarily at foreigners. If that weren't all, they're being introduced in a disgustingly underhand manner, with swingeing penalties for those whose submissions are in any way erroneous. As this article stresses, none of this will do anything for Spain's reputation and will almost certainly lose Spain investments. Especially as we foreigners are not entitled to vote. Truly taxation without representation. And a fine example of disgusting expediency, from a discredited and corrupt government. Perhaps I should move south to Portugal.