Monday, 21 January 2019

Moon serendipity. Houses in Sicily. Settled status. And films.

Well, I was convinced that today I was going to begin by saying that, as I had predicted, I had not seen hide nor hair of any red moon. This was especially so as when I went to bed the rain was hammering down and there was cloud cover all over the sky. Not at all auspicious for moon-spotting or stargazing.

And then serendipity stepped in.

At somewhere around 4.30 in the morning I woke up and went to the bathroom. Noticing the time I decided to take a look out of the window. And there it was, in a mostly clear and starry sky:- a rapidly disappearing sliver of moon. So I climbed back into bed, leaving the blind open so that I could see what was going on.

Gradually the sliver of silver disappeared and little by little the rest of the moon reappeared, orangey red in colour. Not quite as spectacular as I had been led to believe, and indeed, less spectacular than an orange-coloured moon I saw one evening in the summer in Vigo, reflecting the sunset sky, but it was considerably more impressive than the eclipse of the sun. I saw that, or rather didn’t actually see it, while out running, whenever the last eclipse of the sun was visible around here. It was a bit frustrating because, of course, you can’t actually look at the sun. I just kept getting odd glimpses out of the corner of my eye of the sun looking not quite right. And later I sat and played with a colander to get images of the eclipse projected onto the bedroom floor.

But the moon business was much more interesting in the end. I watched it for a while and must have dropped off back to sleep, or at least dozed, for the next time I looked either the cloud had moved in or the moon had moved on. Either way there was nothing more to see.

So I closed the blind and went to sleep. In Sambuca, in Sicily, they are selling houses for €1. It’s an attempt by the municipality to prevent the little town from dying as people have moved away to bigger places and houses are standing empty. However, the deal does have one condition – new owners must invest €15,000 ( £13,000) into refurbishing their new home within three years, as most of the abandoned homes are run down and dilapidated.

There is also a €5,000 ($5,700, £4,400) security deposit to consider, which will be returned once the renovations on the houses, ranging from 40 to 150 sq metres, have been completed.

Still, if you have the spare cash and the will, and perhaps the knowledge, to refurbish a house and settle in Sicily, it’s an opportunity,

Ah, but will it be affected by Brexit? Well, that is another story! Who knows?

Meanwhile, EU citizens in the Uk are invited to apply for settled status, using an app on their phones and paying £65. Here are couple of things I have found on a forum for EU citizens:-

“After 22 years, 6 months and 25 days of living in England - in continuous employment - paying all my taxes, married to a British citizen and a home owner I now have to apply for settled status (and charged £65). If I don't, I risk being DEPORTED.

Yes, in 2019, the word DEPORTATION is back in our vocabulary...

What's next? Am I going to have to wear an identifiable star on my clothes??

This is no Project fear.

This is the reality for 3.7 millions of us.

Over 1500 crimes and incidents related to brexit have now been reported to police since the referendum.

Thanks to all the Leave voters. You managed to get this country to the brink of civil war and collapse.

Still let's remain optimistic and hope for a no Brexit!

There is still a little bit of time to save this country….”

“I have just downloaded the EU Exit app...

 My phone fits the requirements… but guess what? The app cannot read my passport!

My only option is to send my passport for manual checks… and be without any form of ID???

I don't think so!

Anybody else having problems?”

So that seems to be another bit of well thought out hostile environment planning!

 And here’s another amateur review of the film “Mary, Queen of Scots”, found once again on Facebook:-

“The movie Mary Queen of Scots has had good reviews but having seen the trailer it seems to make a nonsense of the facts. In the first place Mary would not have spoken with the kind of a strangled mix of Scottish and Irish accents adopted by Ms Ronan. If anything, she'd have spoken English with a French accent. Secondly despite Schiller and Donizetti, Mary and Queen Elizabeh NEVER met!” 

Well, a review of the trailer anyway.

Goodness knows if I will get around to seeing it.

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