Friday, May 17, 2013

My doctor's secretary called me this morning to tell me the report required for my driving licence renewal was ready. When I turned up to collect it - saying 'You called me earlier" - she asked me for ID. I momentarily considered asking her what the odds were I wasn't me but forwent the opportunity. When I went back to the company doing the tests, they asked me to pose for a foto. "What about the one you took yesterday?", I asked, to no response. And then they asked me to sit for a third one. Anyway, my application has now gone in and my new licence will arrive in the mail. Meanwhile, I have a temporary driving permit, which expires in August. Suggesting a lack of optimism in a speedy process at El Tráfico

One of Spain's leading dubbing actors has died. He was the voice of several Anglo stars and was considered, it appears, a great actor and a star. Which seems a little ridiculous to me. Essentially he was just a radio actor, with a career built on the back of real acting by others.

Which reminds me . . . There was something new in my life today - A Tarantino film I enjoyed. Inglourious Basterds. Even if it didn't seem quite the comedy the IMDB said it was. And even if I couldn't understand half of what Brad Pitt was saying, in his thick Southern drawl. Or whatever it was.

Princess Cristina has again been assured she won't be questioned by a judge about her involvement in the corruption scandal in which her husband's implicated. This has prompted plans for an anti-corruption demonstration in Madrid on 25 May. The slogan will be:If you weren't a princess, you'd still be facing interrogation”. It's just possible things may change again in the light of today's report that evidence of a 'hidden' offshore account in both their names has been found. But who really knows? 

I wrote the other day that an underlying dynamic here is that things take longer than they do elsewhere. So it was with LLanera, a major property developer down in Valencia. It went into administration 6 years ago. But, despite being insolvent all this time, it only closed down this week, leaving many Brits hung out to dry in respect of the money they'd paid as instalments on properties never finished. If they're lucky, the banks might cough up on guarantees taken out. But I wouldn't be too optimistic.

In the wake of the media storm sparked by the Brit who advised us to get our cash out of Spain PDQ, our Ambrose here displays a good deal of sympathy for Spain and her troubled economy. Looking to the future, he says "The level of pain still to come depends on the housing market, the great disaster that has infected everything." To which one can only say there's a consensus that prices have yet further to fall. And that very few people are buying. 

I know I said I'd stop obsessing about the way people (mis)use 'amount' and 'number of'. But when you hear someone on the BBC's intellectual channel, Radio 4, say 'the amount of people' as you're cutting the lawn, you just want to scream out 'Number of people!' Well, I did anyway.

Finally . . . Thanks primarily to the EU and all its works, the Spanish now consider Germany to be the "most arrogant" and "least compassionate" nation in Europe. But also the "most trustworthy". As for respective economies, only 4% of the Spanish think that theirs is good, compared with 75% of Germans. In contrast, almost 80% of the Spanish say their economy is "very bad". Presumably the other 20% are cave dwellers.

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