Tuesday, March 01, 2005

There’s understandable excitement here at this week’s Oscar for El Mar Adentro, in the foreign language film category. This is set in Galicia and some are beginning to talk of a new Galiwood. This seems just a tad premature to me but, right on cue, someone called me today and asked if I wanted to play a part in a film about an English shipwreck. I assumed he meant a boat, rather than, say, some alcoholic writer or other. Anyway, I agreed to meet tonight to discuss the proposition. Naturally, he called to postpone.

Reverting to George Borrow and The Bible in Spain, it struck me today that the one trait he never even mentions is the one most obvious to all newcomers to modern Spain – their individualismo. Perhaps this is because everyone in the world was rather more individualistic in the 1830s and so it wouldn’t have been remarkable in Spain at that time.

The Spanish economy grew by a healthy 2.7% last year but, for the first time in several years, failed to ‘converge’ towards the EU average. Specifically, per capita income and productivity fared badly. With reductions in EU subsidies getting closer by the minute, this must be rather worrying for the government. Though it’s not all bad news; a report today predicts that Spain’s per capita income will have overtaken that of Germany by 2011. Can this really be true?

The advertisements during the football matches televised by our local channel have reached such a level of intrusion that it’s now a moot point as to whether the ads are being shown during a football match or a football match is being shown during the ads.

Pontevedra’s market traders met with council representatives yesterday to sort out their long-standing differences about the bi-monthly street market. But the meeting had to be abandoned when a fist fight broke out. That’s individualismo for you.

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