Wednesday, November 19, 2014

House de-building; Tirot Lo Blanc; & Another UK gripe.

Take a complex set of local, regional and national land laws, throw in some corrupt lawyers and even-more-corrupt local politicians and you're bound to come up with people - Spanish and British - not owning the properties they thought they did. Then take a regional judiciary determined to punish someone and you get houses being demolished and court orders being made for compensation that will only be paid, as the judges well know, when Hell freezes over. Meanwhile, the guilty parties will, if they're unlucky, get short jail sentences which will then be suspended. Moral hazard? The question doesn't arise. Thus, the British Embassy in Spain estimates that 4,000 Brits with homes in Spain are now fighting to save them. As well as thousands more Spaniards and other foreigners. All of which is a hangover from the carpetbagger decade before 2007. This doesn't apply to those Brits who fell foul of a crooked lawyer or even a bent notary but it's a fact that an astonishing number of foreigners fall for the agents' spiel that a lawyer isn't necessary, no matter what they've been told. As they say here - They leave their brains at the airport. Caveat emptor and all that.

For no good reason, I'm ploughing my way through 650 pages of the medieval novel, Tirant Lo Blanc. I'm reading it in English, of course, but I expect my net colleague Trevor of Kalebeul has read it in the original Catalan. Anyway, I wouldn't go so far as to recommend anyone read it - except as an aperitif to Don Quixote - but it certainly does have its moments. Like the description of a woman being dragged around the town while being beaten with a cow's bladder. BTW . . . I bought this book 29 years ago and have only just got round to reading it. Which is probably a record for me.

Finally . . . Another gripe about the UK - The quantity of junk mail is phenomenal. Especially if, like my daughter, you've signed up for a charity and they've sold your (known sucker) details to all the others. But this does have an upside. The marketing men are in charge, so - along with all the heart-rending fotos - there's always a little gift. Of money even. Some people may not be capable of taking this without contributing but, on the other hand, some of us can. While chucking all the paper in the bin.

1 comment:

Barcelona's Singing Organ-Grinder said...

I read all of Quijote in one go, so figured no one would mind if I didn't finish Tirant. Cervantes was smart: he wrote short snappy stuff as well. WHEN you finish and feel life has no further purpose there's always Jaime I of Aragón's ghostwriter's Llibre dels feyts - sexless, humourless caballería with bits I'm not sure anyone understands.