REFLECTIONS FROM NORTH CHESHIRE
Well, I'm now the Grandfather in Residence, here on the border between the lovely county of Cheshire and the not-quite-so-lovely South Manchester. And I'm delighted to say that the first sight of me by my 4-month old granddaughter didn't reduce her to either tears or laughter. Only to a bemused silence of semi-recognition.
Driving into Liverpool from the airport yesterday, I asked my sister whether there was a route to her house which wasn't rather depressing. She insisted there was but I'm not aware of it, even though there are parts of the city which are quite delightful. More often than not, though, one passes through areas of run-down shops and houses. Which is sad. Fortunately, most tourists are confined to the fine centre and the impressive waterfront. Unless they take a trip to Penny Lane by the shortest route from either the airport or the city centre.
I should just mention that Liverpool now has an International Music Festival – some of it free! - 22-24 July this year. And then there's the International Beatles Week 24-31 August, organised by the famous Cavern Club. In 2015 there was even a group of from Guatemala! I can't leave this paragraph without saying that this is a (rather charming) video of the pre-fame Beatles performing at said Cavern.
Nearer to my current home . . . There's a Facebook page dedicated to an organisation called Me Gusta Pontevedra. Or, 'I Like Pontevedra'. Trying to sign up yesterday, I was persistently taken to a bloody page dedicated to slimming nonsense about a woman who lost 38kg in 2 months. Likewise just now. Give it a try, here. If you can be bothered. More interestingly, the foto on the page this morning is of the Veggie Square I've mentioned many times in this blog over the years.
FINALLY . . . My daughter's experience at the checkout at the local Tesco store yesterday:
Sorry. I can't sell you these roses as they're past their sell-by date.
I'm not planning to eat them.
No, but we're not allowed to sell anything past its sell-by date.
But are you sure? I'm still willing to pay the 5 quid for them.
[To a colleague] Dave, are we allowed to sell these flowers past their date?
[Dave] No. You have to put them in the trash bin.
[Daughter] If you're going to throw them away, throw them at me.
I'll ask the supervisor. . . . .
[Supervisor]. You can have them for 99p.
The challenges of the modern world.
A WORD OF ADVICE: If you're resident in Spain and have assets overseas worth more than €50,000, you've been obliged since early 2013 to tell the Hacienda about them, on the infamous, internet-only Modelo 720. As I've reported, the fines for not doing so – or for being late – are criminally outrageous. The EU may yet declare them illegal but, until then (and possibly for a lot longer), you're obliged to report the assets by 31st. MARCH. As you'll be fined €100 for each alleged 'mistake', no matter how trifling, you might want to have a gestor or accountant submit the form for you. Or you can ignore the whole process and run the risk of having the Hacienda find out about your assets and then hit you with a fine well in excess of the value of your assets. Say your UK house. Or you can leave Spain and only live here for fewer than 180 days. Portugal is quite handy, of course. And it's possible, I'm told, to be non-resident in either country. To the detriment of respective tax authorities. Who deserve everything they don't get. If only for allowing the big fish to get away scott-free while plundering the low-hanging fruit.