Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
Life in Spain:-
- Driving in Spain 1: Here's another of the local junctions where you can't see what's coming from the left. Perhaps it's deliberate, forcing you to slow down.
- Driving in Spain 2: I'm only able to write today because, on a roundabout last night, I slammed on my brakes when the car coming from the right failed to stop. But at least the driver raised his hand in apology, just after I'd avoided broadsiding him. I feared he was a local gypsy - infamous for ignoring rules. They don't take well to being remonstrated with. Luckily, he wasn't.
My ex-bank - Popular/Pastor - is on the block and is being looked at by 2 leading Spanish banks. To say the least, it's a distress sale and the trouble is no one has the slightest idea what it's worth, least of all the bank's own management. This is because: Popular’s books are filled with impaired real estate assets that date back to before the collapse of Spain’s gargantuan real estate bubble. They are now in varying stages of decomposition. And the prices at which they’ve been valued on the bank’s books appear to have little relation to today’s reality. More generally, as Don Quijones puts it: Despite all the restructuring, forced mergers and acquisitions, and the €300 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of the country’s savings banks, Spain’s banking system is not nearly as fixed as the authorities, both political and monetary, claim. More to the point, some investors may even begin wondering if Popular is the only bank in Spain to have massively inflated the value of the “assets” on its books. We will see, I guess. I'm so worried I've moved to an Italian bank!
I wonder how many Brits know that there was a second French invasion of England, in 1216 to be exact - after the those English barons unhappy with Henry II had invited the french king to come over and sort him out. Only a bit of good luck before the Battle of Lincoln in 1217 saved the day for the locals. The leaders of whom still spoke a sort of French, of course.
You'll all be wanting to know how much the bougainvillea sucker has grown in the last 7 days.
Well, it's an astonishing 23cm or 9 inches.
Finally . . . . Here's something I happened upon yesterday: How to be Unhappy. Translation tomorrow:-