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My Committee of Discarnate Entities

The national property specialists and mortgage companies keep releasing figures that show house prices on an inexorable upward swing again, and we’re constantly hearing in the news about the shortage of housing, and the shortage of properties on the market, and how there’s help from the Government to buy a house with a guarantee for your mortgage and so on. And there’s that relentless pressure in the town for short-term accommodation, that is eating up all the available properties, except mine. Sterling is good against the Euro… There couldn’t be a more compelling time to sell a house and retire abroad.

My Committee of Discarnate Entities

I have to conclude, therefore, that there is a metaphysical reason why my little house refuses to be sold after, now 19 months on the market. As Sherlock Holmes might indeed have said, once you have eliminated all the possibilities, only the improbable remains. An Invisible Hand is preventing me from retiring abroad, for who knows what specific end. Quite likely, it is preventing me from doing something silly, keeping me from danger, or insisting that it has put me here for a Higher Purpose as-yet unrealised, and wants me to stay put.*

I have detected its presence many times in the past. Its actions are usually providential: three times in the past 20 years I have been about to become homeless – workless and scrabbling under the cushions for loose change – only for Something to Turn Up at the eleventh hour. Many other times, I have found myself growing angry and frustrated at being unable to achieve an earthly ambition, only to realise much later that, had I been allowed to do so, I would have been putting myself in a very much worse situation. And then the Right Thing has come along, sort-of. It just took time to knit-up all the stringiness together. (You can tell this is becoming religious, by the increasing use of capital letters…)

I call it, jokingly, my Committee of Discarnate Entities. Sometimes I feel they are not really in touch with the situation down here, the prices of stuff and suchlike. They don’t seem to understand my need for an income of some sort; my desire for ever-more expensive guitars. And I wish just once in a while they would explain what the Hell is going on, because I never get copied-in on the minutes of the meetings. They operate on a strict Need to Know basis.

One thing I have learned about them, whenever they do indulge my little desires and fantasies, it’s usually to teach me a big lesson.

I can’t wait to see what this one is about.

*Very much Post-scriptum…

My bent had been on retiring to Portugal and living cheaply on rough red wine, artisan bread, olive oil and ripe tomatoes. I was even looking at spectacularly affordable houses. But, as this article speculates, it seemed I was being prevented by obdurate forces that simply refused to let me sell up here, despite my earnest imprecations.

Well, gentle reader, in case you have found your way back to this Post, you may not believe in discarnate entities – angels – but here is living proof.

Barely two years after I wrote this piece, a majority of dumbfucks were persuaded by a cabal of obvious crooks and charlatans to vote Britain out of the European Union. That disastrous and historically blundering decision has left the residential status of expatriates in critical doubt, both in the UK and abroad. I might well have lost everything.

To rub the point in, last month there was a massive forest fire, the result of months of drought and unbearably high temperatures, in which many people were killed. The fire consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed homes in and around the very same villages in central Portugal where I had been intending to buy a house.


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