Friday, January 25, 2008

People Do the Craziest Things! European Edition

I was going to write my yearly post on how today is the poet Robert Burn's birthday, and how he led a life of poverty and shagging, while writing many poems in the Scots dialect, including the ode to the haggis, as well as everyone's favorite New Year's Eve song, Auld Lang Syne, but I got distracted by reading on Yahoo! News how a Russian woman came home to find out that her house had been torn down by accident by construction workers.

Lyudmilla Martemyanova had been at her country home, when she returned to the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod to find that construction workers clearing a site nearby had torn down her home instead of the one that was marked for demolition. So let's get this straight, a site was clearly marked for demolition, but the construction workers torn down the wrong house? Is this like when people push on a door that's clearly marked PULL in big letters, or those who have a hard time distinguishing between the UP arrow and the DOWN arrow on the elevator?

Lyudmilla is suing because apparently the construction company's offer of money was insulting. According to her, it wasn't enough to get a decent room on the outskirts of town.

Then there's the guy in England who built a secret castle hiding it behind a screen of hay bales, instead of getting permission from the local planning authorities. This guy Robert Fidler hoped to take advantage of a planning law that allows buildings to be declared legal if there are no objections made after four years. Since no one knew the castle was there, they couldn't exactly object could they?

But the local authorities in Reigate and Banstead in Surrey aren't buying it. Their argument is that because the property was hidden, he can't take advantage of the law. They want the entire castle demolished, including the conservatory, marquee structure, the wooden bridge, patio, decking, and tarmac racecourse (seriously this was all hidden by the bales of hay? That must have been alot of hay!)

Apparently the house is mock-Tudor with turrets and a cannon. I love it!

Fidler's wife Linda told the Daily Mail newspaperin the UK that their children grew up looking at straw out of the windows of the house and that they kept their son away from playschool on the day his class were due to do paintings of their houses. Just in case he blew their cover by drawing a picture of a big castle.

Anyone else read any good stories in the news lately?

Thanks for reading,


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