Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Just so you know... Retirement in Spain Post Brexit


1) We left in 2006 and thus have been stripped of our right to vote the upcoming election due to the 15 year rule.

2) So that I can say in the future that no-one I know "didn't know this"...

Please read the requirements for a RETIREMENT VISA in Spain - for 3rd country nationals.


(This is the Spanish California Consulate Document)

In particular:

- Minimum income required is 25,560 Euros annually plus 6,390 Euros per each additional family member

- Proof of having international medical insurance - This will cost upwards of 350 Euros per month at age 65+ = 4200 Euro per year

(Note that pre-existing conditions will NOT be covered by private medical insurance)
 
I've highlighted a few fun things that will need to be provided by Brits in the future if they want to retire to Spain.
 
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Check constraint that is a field has a particular value ensure that another field must be filled in.

DB time!

So this post regards "normalisation", or lack of, permitting me to be more lazy, and have simpler databases - what's not to like?

I had a DB table "users", and two distinct classes of user:  Adult and Child.  Now the business logic demands that the Adult users have an email address entered, whereas the child user doesn't necessarily need one.

The Boyce-Cod or whatever blah blah method would be to have 2 tables, but that means loads of JOINs, the inability to view the entire user list in one place, and more logic everywhere.

I'd prefer to have 1 table "Users", but how to enforce the business logic above?

So I've discovered a way - using CHECK CONSTRAINTS in MS SQL 2012+




The "redmouse" is a child user, it is optional whether he has a email address or not.



([role]='Adult' AND [emailaddress] IS NOT NULL OR ([role]='Child' AND [emailaddress] IS NOT NULL OR [role]='Child' AND [emailaddress] IS NULL))

Allows me to denormalise to my hearts content and yet retain the rock solid data stability that we all crave.

Similarly above the "childDoB" column is only relevant to "child" users.   For fun what would be the CHECK CONSTRAINT for that rule?





Saturday, July 27, 2019

Land Rover Discovery 3/LR3 upper rear grab handle removal


I'm not very good with DIY.  Has to be said.  So I bought a Upper Cargo Shelf. Very nice it is too..  So I need to fit it....  How hard can this be??

Comes with a A4 page of written instructions.  Very 70s I must say...




Anyway so apparently I need to "pry back the plastic covers".  I'm trying to "pop" the bloody things out from the bodywork.  Lucky a neighbour walks by and clears things up for me.

There is a plastic "flap" that covers the screws.






So I know there aren't any photos online of that..  I've checked,  so if you in the same boat as me....  Now you know.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Natureo De-alcoholised Wine from Torres


I just finished this bottle off... I'd opened it for a family friend who visited as he was not boozing.
It "looks" very good... looks a lot like wine
Tastes pleasant.. (however doesn't taste like wine)
so worthwhile keeping a bottle or 2 in I think... psychologically useful if you fancy a glass, but shouldn't really.

If you are thirsty and have a fair bit in the glass, you can glug it down (it's grape juice more or less) and that is something that doesn't happen with wine.  People looking at you will think you are a maniac...



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I've had a idea for Boris.

This is what he should do.

He should go to Brussels and demand:

1) End of EU commissioner/president appointments.  These should be directly elected by the Members States populations.. think "US President"-style elections.
2) Move the European Court of Justice or the European Central Bank to somewhere in the UK (not London)
3) End the monthly move of the European Parliament to Strasbourg.
4) Probably a few other things he can come up with...

THEN

Come back to the UK and offer this new deal (and Remain) or full out (with all the implications like loss of NI and subsequently Scotland) to the people in a new referendum.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Waste rubbish dump in La Massana Andorra

There is a community waste disposal location in La Massana. 
Shared with the Ordino comĂș it is situated on the main road between the two towns, opposite the Elf petrol station.
It is open between 8 am and 4pm Monday through Saturday.



Monday, April 8, 2019

Calculating the benefit of going for a second hand laptop vs a new one living in a low VAT country.

So it is time for a new laptop!  My amazing Sony VPCCB has done so well over the years - I bought it in 2012 and it's still my daily workhorse.

Upgraded it to an SSD and had to service the fan a couple of times it was going good until something happened to the video card and I had to band-aid by loading Ubuntu and running Visual Studio in a VM to access Windows.  Not ideal, but kept me going for a few more months.

Now with VS2017 it takes just too long to get everything running. The power supply also died last week.  It is a sign.

Now.. I've never really used tablets but I do fancy seeing if having one will encourage me to read the paper again - and these are all e-versions now (except Private Eye - still only available on the street of shame).

So this fancy Microsoft Surface 2 looks nice.  Insanely expensive, but ooh so nice.

I'm going to go for the big screen 15" and either the half or full terabtye model.  256gb will be filled up in no time.

Living in Andorra there is only 4.5% VAT to pay, but if I do the importation myself I can claim the VAT back from whatever country I buy it from - in my case 21% from Spain.  On a hefty purchase like this, that makes a big difference.

Locally I can get the i7, 16Gb RAM, 512Gb model here in FNAC for 3026€

But in Spain FNAC is selling that model for 3134€.  Great if you from Barcelona and want to save 100 odd euro by buying it here.  But I can go to Barcelona myself and save a fortune.

3134€ - 21% = 2475.86 Euro on which I will have pay 4.5% to re-import. Giving a final cost of 2587€

For the 1 TB version the figure is 3609€ in Barcelona and that's final cost here to me would be 2851€ minus the Spanish IVA and then adding the import duty give  2979€

Now the other alternative for me is to buy one on ebay in the UK and get mum to bring it over.  I can't claim any VAT off that way, but prices are cheaper and I'm also happy to get a 2nd hand one if there is a reasonable saving.  The warranties offered by Microsoft are pretty poor really at only 1 year, so no loss even if it is few months old.

I tried to bid on a just-a-bit used 1TB over the weekend from a lass in Scotland using ebay's "best offer" system.  I bid 2K GBP and it went for exactly that - there must have been another bidder bidding the exact same price.  Anyway now I have a benchmark....

2000 pounds today is 2321 Euro. So that would have been a saving of 658 Euro.  That is the kind of saving I looking for! 658/2979 = 22% off.

So for the smaller one.. getting 22% off the FNAC price is 2017€.  This in GBP is £ 1737 - again this is the "mint condition, but taken out of the box price"

Converting the "brand new, 12 month warranty" prices into GBP I get £ 2573 and £ 2233 for the 1TB and 512gb respectively.  In order to justify the cost and hassle of getting the thing to me here in Andorra I need to see a price midway been these and the used price.

Spain € UK Pound Conversion UK Pound New Ebay GBP UK Pound 2nd Hand Mint
1Tb 2979€ £ 2573 £ 2286.50 £ 2000 (2321€)
512Gb 2587€ £ 2233 £ 1985 £ 1737 (2017€)

I will post here with my results....

UPDATE 18 JUNE

So here I am typing on my swish new Surface Book 2 - 1Tb


I had to bid on a fair few machines.  2 were cancelled by the seller, both due to incorrect screen size in the description.  Another, I mentioned above, was sold for the same price I bid to someone else, as they must have bid moments earlier than I.  I have been "watching" a lot of them, and now I see them coming down in price.  

Anyway I got this one, shrink wrapped, UK keyboard, £ sign... all good. 

The price... £2250 which is just under my predicted mark.  Amazing I paying 20% VAT and it's still cheaper to buy it in the UK than do an export from Spain, and cheaper than buying it here in Andorra.

As is typical with eBay you get a lot of activity at the end of the auction.. but I'd put in my max bid from the table above.. so will not complain.  The price I paid is fair value.

Happy hunting for your dream machine....!!