Once or twice a year, the banks decide they need yet another copy of a particular piece of paper or a copy of some extra document, some of it to comply with legislation from 2010 – being so recent, of course, there has been no time to prepare. What happens? You suddenly find your bank account ‘blocked’.

Last year I believe it was for an extra copy of DNI, this year something else There is no warning, the account is just suddenly blocked. Not good if it is an afternoon, evening, weekend, puente, festive or (actual case) you are merrily trundling along the French toll roads and ‘wham’, for no explicable reason your debit card isn’t accepted any more because it is ‘blocked’.

Embarrassing if you are in a shop paying for something or need to withdraw a bit of cash in haste. This happens to all the bank customers of all nationalities, including Spanish.

The latest ‘blockage’ on my account occurred earlier this week. I did, for once, get an email from the bank saying ‘failure to provide such and such piece of paper could result n your account being blocked’. Good? Not really, the email was sent long after the account was blocked.

More often than not there is no prior notification and you can only find out what is suddenly required by calling or going along to the bank itself.

Asking why it s done this way – block account first, then notify customer (sometimes) – always results in the same answer: ‘It’s not good but that’s the way we do it. Sorry’. Hand over the piece of paper and you are back in business immediately. I am fairly certain they do nothing with the paper except tick the checkbox on the requirement list and file it away.

News from the toothless, clawless, spineless and generally ineffective entity known as the UN:

The United Nations has come under fire for appointing comic book character Wonder Woman as its new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.

The UN is, of course, renowned for taking the lead and setting a good example when it comes to the ’empowerment’ of women, with nine out of the last ten top appointments going to….men. No doubt someone will send them a ‘strongly worded note’ on the subject. That will get them trembling in their comfy chairs.

The new UN Secretary General, Bart Simpson, was apparently unavailable for comment.

Back in January 2016 I wrote a post called Telephone Tales, basically outlining all the problems encountered trying to get a telephone line and ADSL connection for my apartment in the centre of town. Update: I never did manage to get a landline nor a static ADSL. The problem, apparently, relates to the owner of a property in the street and has meant that no-one can currently be connected if it means a new phone line.

Various engineers have tried to install new telephone connections at various times but have been pelted with stones, had their ladders pushed away and, on the odd occasion they did manage to insert a new cable it was to no avail because the woman simply cut the wires. For some reason she has decided that she doesn’t want anyone touching the wall of her property, which is a problem as the telephone connection box is, naturally, on her wall!

The woman has been denounced and the matter is now pending a judicial hearing, and we know how long that can take. Years. In the meantime, the telephone companies are not allowed to access the connection box. So no new phone lines for anyone at the top end of the street.

Locally, I was totally unamazed to read that many of the recently heralded ‘local investment projects’ in the 2016 budget- the Anillo Verde green zone (on the books since 2011) and update of the municipal computer systems to name but two – are actually being funded by the regional government, with EU funds of course.

As long as they are actually carried out….and open/come into use for a change….I don’t suppose it matters that much, it is municipal ‘revenue’ whether it is from local taxes or handouts from the regional government/EU.. Just a bit cheeky that’s all.