Tuesday, February 08, 2005

How foolish and presumptuous of us [blog of 21 Jan.] to think that we had cracked the problem of a health card for my daughter just because a bureaucrat in Pontevedra finally accepted the application form and its attached mountain of paper. Today we’ve received a letter [recorded delivery – why?] from the head office in Vigo asking us to supply more information. This is 1. proof of her nationality, 2. information as to any private medical insurance anyone in the family has, and 3. a statement of the annual income of each family member. The first of these was supplied with the application form and the second two, I suspect, are not required under EU regulations. But hey, what can we do? Well, the answer to this is that, armed with the Social Security number she got here, my daughter will use the knowledge gained to return to the process in Madrid - where she actually lives - and get a card there. No, on reflection, the real answer to this question is that we will continue to do what all Spaniards do when faced with these bureaucratic hurdles and use our contacts in Madrid to extend the treatment my daughter is already getting even though she doesn’t have a card. In Spain, this is called being enchufado, or plugged in.

Last night, Spain won an international handball competition. So it was always going to be hard for lone yachtswoman Ellen McArthur to dominate even the sports headlines. In fact, she’s yet to get a mention on Spanish new bulletins. In retaliation for this flagrant lack of interest in such an astounding maritime feat, I’m tempted to suggest that Volvo moves the start of its next global yacht race from Vigo to Falmouth. On the other hand, I’m not convinced that everyone Spanish reading this would appreciate this was a joke. And Vigo is only down the road.

Sky News, at the other extreme, gave Ellen’s achievement prime spot, above the agreement of a ceasefire between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This says everything you need to know about the UK media.

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