Thursday, March 10, 2016

Words, pictures and songs. What more could you want?

Spanish Tax Evasion: I was impressed to read this morning – HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas again – that the desperate-for-cash Spanish tax office (Hacienda) has been using drones to find illegal properties, extensions and/or swimming pools down in the South. Who'd have thought it would come to this?

Other Drones: Meanwhile, I'm negotiating with the company in Vigo to buy a drone disguised as a hawk, to better deal with the rapacious pigeons and seagulls in the square I patronise every day. I expect this to be even more effective than the water-pistol I currently use for this purpose - much to the amusement of the locals. But what's the point of being English if you can't be eccentric?

Spanish Property Purchases: The locals may not be buying much but the British are coming, again. Notwithstanding reports of widespread fraud and the threat of huge fines posed by the Modelo 720 ordinance, sales to my compatriots are well up. And Brits continue to be far ahead of the French and Germans, etc. when it comes to buying homes here. Mostly in the South, of course. And, would you believe, the evidence is that they continue to accept the the smiling agents' line that they don't need to bother using a lawyer, as the notary – who represents no one but the government – will protect their interests. Hey, ho. Fools and their money are soon parted, they say.

Spanish (non)Government: You'll all be asking where we are. Well, in No Man's Land. Where we could still be this time next year. The next major development is likely to be a second general election in June(?) which will produce another stalemate. As the writer of this article says: The only other option would be for the country’s politicians to display a capacity for compromise that has so far evaded them. And probably will continue to do so as long as they dedicate themselves to publicly insulting each other. And while Sr Rajoy stays as leader of the (not-exactly) 'victorious' PP party.

The Pretty Tennis Player: Not everyone, it seems, has fallen for her brilliant PR. And some cynics have even opined that Nike, etc. are delighted to have an excuse to dump her, in the final stages of a career which has been very expensive for them. It is quite an 'achievement’ for a sports star these days, writes the author of this article, to get Nike to suspend their endorsement contract, yet Sharapova has managed it with this confession. At the heart of this jumble are questions about the calculated nature of her mea culpa and her precise medical and drug-taking records. So, not just a pretty face. Possibly also a long-standing cheat. Time will tell. Meanwhile, enjoy this Matt cartoon on the subject:
Don't take this if you're driving or if you have a £49m deal with Nike.

A Thought-provoking Statistic: Against the backcloth of so many billionaires in today's world . . . A million seconds is 11.5 days but a billion seconds is 32 years. It's impossible, then, to imagine the wealth of all those multi-billionaires created in the last 20 years. And to understand why they want even more and can't retire to enjoy – or give away - even a fraction of what they have. A form of madness, I suppose. With considerably less cash in hand, I decided to retire to (north) Spain at 50 and enjoy the final third of my life even more than the first 2 thirds. This was the best decision of my life. But it helps to be a humanist and to believe we're going nowhere after we die. Maybe all those billionaires suffer from having a faith which tells them this life is nothing compared to the next. And that they must work hard to get through the eye of a needle. It takes all sorts

Finally . . . Irritating ads: There's usually one ad on the TV which drives you mad. At the moment, it's this one, for Admiral. I enjoyed the comments below it, which chimed well with my own thoughts. I don't actually know what they sell as I launch myself at the Mute button as soon as the ad starts.

To improve your(my?) mood . . . Here and here are another 2 songs from the talented Hayley Westrena. One of them is a nape-raising a capella performance. What fool said that the devil has all the best tunes? Probably a theist anyway, rather than an atheist.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

"What's the point of being English if you cannot be eccentric…"

Now, there's a fine sentence!


Colin Davies said...

FYI - I wrote 'can't'.

If you're going to quote me, please get it right, Mr Pedant.

Sierra said...

It appears that you are in the 1.4% concerned about the lack of government:

Colin Davies said...

Well, I would be if I really were . . . . It's just a pretence. For my art . . . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Is it really so hard to say something nice from time to time, you grumpy old man??


Colin Davies said...

Bloody 'ell! Look who's talking. But I'll take that as an apology for your egregious mis-quote.

Sierra said...

The use of drones is just an update from using satellite images - the EU have been using both checking on farmers, as per this BBC news article from 2012:

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