On Granny's island; it's been raining, windy, cold. Summer is no more. Outside her house the chickens too are no longer roaming; measures have been taken against the arrival of bird flu. They are to be shut up till May 1st - presumably to cover the bird migration period. Even so it seems a rather minimal measure, even for here.
But then most measures against most doubtful things are minimal here. Let's take the minimal measures against the rampant corruption, which everyone knows about. But which, according to Granny's best informant - let's call him only 'the demon headmaster' -makes the little matter in Marbella in Spain (its Town Council has been suspended by the central government, most of its councillor are in prison on corruption charges) look like small beer.
But back in that larger world not everyone is related to everyone else, the way they are here. That does make matters more complicated. Here, one mayor is being asked why he handed out 406 building licences, in areas designated rural in a period designated as 'zero development.' He is prevaricating - 'these are houses for workers' he declares, not tourist development', and delaying things to such extent the building work goes on and will be finished before long; looks like he'll get away with it as usual. Surprise surprise. Granny supposes such matters may be inevitable in areas once dirt poor, living on subsistence farming, and now pulling in tourist and expat money. Her friend Nieves, for instance, says her grandparents never did anything but work on the land; there was no other work. They got by more or less - inasmuch as anyone did. During the war, when no supply ships could come, and when there were years of drought people were half starving.
So maybe it's hardly surprising that those who have managed to enrich themselves - most of the construction firms were started by people from families just as poor - intend to keep going on that way; ditto the politicians, their relations, who get bribed to ensure they do.
'Politicos!' says Nieves. 'I don't like them. They do everything for themselves and nothing for the poor!' The only slight exception to this rule is in the year before the election. Granny and Beloved brace themselves for the road 'improvements' promised before the last election and so far unrealised. One, just at the end of their road, has started already - in hiccups - nothing proceeds steadily here - thereby closing one useful route into the town. (No diversions are offered for road works, except on tourist routes. It's called 'find one yourself.') They expect a lot of this over the next year or so. The mayor wants to keep filling his pocket. Which means getting himself re-elected.
Meantime, within the house, Beloved discovered an electrocuted and toasted mouse in the toaster. Granny has rather gone off toast.
She feels marginally sorry for the mouse, though. Merely in search of crumbs, it didn't deserve the domestic equivalent of the electric chair - it seemed an as "cruel and unusual punishment" for him/her as for anybody else.
Granny is off to England tomorrow for 3 days to go to a memorial service for her friend who died in January. Despite the distance, it did not seem like an occasion she should miss. This means she will not be around any more this week. Hasta la vista!