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Monday, June 09, 2008


The limbo of waiting-for-death has been followed by limbo of waiting-to-hear-when-the-funeral-will-be. Big Brother's body has to be repatriated which explains the delay. When the news comes Granny will have to leap to her laptop to buy a ticket, thereby adding to her carbon footprint - yet again - but what can she do about that? Apart from moving back to England for good, not such a simple move just now, with the island economy slowing down, a high unemployment rate, all new tourist development stalled (good) and barely a house selling anywhere - mortgages not currently on offer. (Bad)

Beloved, always proactive in such areas (a bit too proactive in Granny's view) is leaping into action. Though Granny is happy to leave it to him - the only kinds of financial activity she wants are those that involve large sums of money turning up in her account with no input whatever from her, except of the literary kind -some hope- she wishes sometimes he wasn't quite so proactive. She can't keep up.

'Beloved, didn't we agree we'd do x only if all else fails?' she asks plaintively as he outlines how not only x is being set up, is almost arranged but y is following on fast: as he threatens to rearrange her tax status in ways that if he's not very careful will end up in her being taxed both in Spain and the UK. 'I've explained it all,' he says crossly, 'Sometimes I think you must be stupid,' 'Of course I am,' says Granny, 'when you are galloping ahead like this.' But she might as well save her breath. He's proposing other manoeuvres now - ones affecting her less directly - that involve him moving money round accounts, so making it unnecessary to change sums from one currency to another, given that the pound appears to be in free fall against the euro. The problem is that these days, because of terrorism, even such relatively innocent operations are picked up and can give authorities the wrong idea - that you are avoiding tax or much worse. Such activities are fine, she points out, if you're a large corporation that can afford large numbers of cunning lawyers and accountants to get them around all sorts of things meaning that they end up paying ridiculously small amounts of tax relative to their worth. (Attend to this Gordon. NOW. But of course you're too chicken, you won't.) But certainly not worth the hassle for Mr-and- Mrs-Small Accounts-in- two-different-countries which is where Granny and Beloved are at. Big sigh. Granny hates to deflate Beloved's enthusiasm. But.

To think people make careers - and fortunes - out of playing with money. Oh how BORING. No wonder Granny is not rich, nor ever will be - nor Beloved for that matter, for all his efforts - she's not sure financial sleight-of-hand is one of his talents; she might love him less if it was. Pause here: by the sound of it Beloved is about to leap into her room with yet another burst of ideas and sheaf of papers. Granny would rather do the crossword herself. Not that it's profitable in any respect, socially, financially, culturally. Never mind. She enjoys it. As she also enjoys reading detective stories, which she is off to do now, a French policier in this case, translated into Spanish, which does at least add to her Spanish vocabulary. Noone is going to employ her to manage hedge funds are they? Good.

Besides, there aren't any hedges on Lanzarote; merely stone walls. What could any accountant do with them, she wonders?

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