I hadn't known that – in the same way as the small Spanish fleet was destroyed along with the French fleet at Trafalgar in 1805 – the smaller Portuguese fleet went down with the Spanish armada in 1588. Largely thanks to bad weather, of course.
Which is a nice segue into advice that BBC Radio 4 has recently being broadcasting a program called The Invention of Spain. This can't be downloaded, it seems, but you can listen to the three episodes here. Here's a taster - Catalonia, Castille, Galicia and the Basques . . . it's been said that many of Spain's problems come from the pretence that she is one country. By the way, the beautifully spoken woman from the LSE is from Galicia
I was amused to see the usual depiction of a plutocrat in a Spanish paper this week. A stovepipe hat; a fat gut; a large cigar; and a stuffed briefcase. But there were two differences from the standard caricature of a rapacious businessman or banker. Firstly, there was no dollar sign on the briefcase, and, secondly, the guy is wearing sunglasses. Which, I believe, is to signify he's a homegrown rogue.
You may have seen this week the seven men who run China. Personally, I don't hold out much hope for the guy who broke the ranks of red and sported a blue tie.
One of the most disturbing things about the saga of pitiless evictions under Spain's draconian law is that previous attempts to ameliorate it were quashed both by the previous socialist (PSOE) government and by the current conservative (PP) government. In the interests of bankers, one assumes. Good to have friends in high places. And a populace which expects little of its leaders and politicians.
Talking about governmental failure – One of the reasons why the Spanish property market is flat is that many Brits have been fed a constant diet of abuses in Andalucia, the worst of which left the Priors living in a garage next to the rubble which had been their house. Even the EU was brought in to pressurise the Spanish government, resulting in the Auken Report on the abuses and defects of the Spanish property market. This was sent the Spanish authorities at the beginning of 2009. Almost four years on, no response has been made. It's hard to believe they take it seriously. Or accord it a high priority.
Finally, here's an article on Galicia's up and coming godello white grape.