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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I would have money!


Given the absurd opening hours of my appalling bank (BBVA) I can never actually get to it when it is open until the summer holidays. One problem of this customer-hostile attitude was solved when I had an unexpected holiday and was actually able to get to collect a replacement card at last, but other problems remain.

The most pressing one concerns how to get the deposit for the new flat to the estate agents. They do not have the facilities for the use of a card and everything has to be done with cash. God knows my opinion of estate agents is not high, but their insistence on cash brings all my deepest suspicions to the surface. I have also worked out that it is probably impossible for me to withdraw sufficient funds from the hole-in-the-wall because there is a weekly limit to the amount you can take out.

To those of you who think that the simple writing of a cheque would suffice I would merely point out that I am in Spain and not Britain.

In Spain cheques exist, but not in handy book form for mere customers to use. If you want a cheque you have to go to the bank (impossible given my working hours) and ask the manager to write a cheque which he will sign and then charge you for the experience! So far in Spain I have had one cheque written and the cost of it made me determine never to repeat it. This is a real problem and I think that it is something that the estate agent should work out and I think that I will say so!

We have had a very expensive quote from one group of movers, but I am hoping Toni’s telephoning today will bring the rougher end of the profession into play and the prices may well be more reasonable.

The living room of the flat is now looking like a storage facility and I am beginning to hate the aroma of mouldering cardboard. We are now down to our last boxes and Toni has assured me that he will pack the china today.

His plan is that we live for the next ten days using plastic plates and cutlery with all the decent stuff carefully packed in boxes. Plastic plates and cups I can take, but not plastic mugs for tea. There are limits. And I must have quality cutlery too. And this is rapidly sounding like the Betjeman poem about middle class pretention!

The expensive money from Britain should be in my Spanish bank account today so that means that El Corte Ingles. I know that you can get cheaper elsewhere but the reputation of the shop means that you also get peace of mind about quality and after sales service. Our experience with the ‘keen price’ MirĂ³ store does not encourage us to look only at the price tag before we buy!

The acres of time that we thought that we had are rapidly disappearing and I am getting more panicky with what needs to be done. Perhaps I am even enjoying the panic; perhaps I should try a little more reality!

We have now returned from Gava where we have bought the more obvious bits and pieces to tart up the flat in preparation for the handover.

A valuable suggestion from Ian was that we take photos of the flat before we hand it over and further that we get the Owner to sign that they represent the accurate appearance of the flat at the point of handover so that nothing can be done after we have left. Such precautions give you some idea of the lack of trust that we feel for the estate agents and the person who owns the flat!

The chamfering we have to do has to be done reasonably quickly because time is running out and terrifyingly major things have not been done.

This evening the packing of the ‘Office’ and the wearing of contact lenses so that the sweat doesn’t interfere with the work rate – always thinking of the most efficient way to get a horrible job done!

So I’ll get on with it!
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