Friday, November 18, 2005

As some readers may know from my web page, I have a border collie, Ryan. As with all the breed, he is smart but [as he ages] a little intemperate. He could be me. Anyway, watching a news item this morning about a border collie winning a dance competition in Germany, he was infuriated to hear the winner wasn’t considered a pedigree dog. He wants to write a letter to the TV channel but I’ve refused to take him down to the notary public to have his paw print attested. If my experience this week around a divorce form is anything to go by, this could take months.

And talking of Spanish bureaucracy, I again gave the postman an erroneous ID number this morning. I wonder when they’ll be coming to cart me off to prison.

Yesterday I went to see an exhibition on the Titanic. Huge mistake. It consisted of little more than large photographs, mock-ups and sundry replica items. I could’ve learned more in 5 minutes in a local library. In keeping with the low standards of today, the idea was that – after the inevitable ‘photo opportunity’ – you spent 2[!] hours walking around while the various items were slowly described to you on a headset. In the event, I saw everything twice in less than 30 minutes. It was billed as the most successful exhibition in the entire history of the world. Since, by Spanish standards, it was far from cheap, I assume this means in terms of separating you from the contents of your wallet.

Two more ‘kamikaze’ drivers were arrested this week in Galicia. Both were driving the wrong way down the autopista and both, of course, were over the drink limit. Six times over in one case. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, though in one case several cars were written off before the imbecile was brought to a stop. By himself, of course.

The EU commission has upped the growth rate forecast for Spain for this year but warned that the economy is displaying some worrying signs, such as a poor trade balance, increasingly high domestic debt levels and no improvement in the country’s low productivity. I thought of the latter this week when one of my teacher colleagues returned from a trip to the UK and commented on just how hard teachers have to work there. But then, from what I’ve gleaned from teachers themselves, the profession must count as the cushiest number available in a country where hard work is decidedly not seen as something which dignifies.

In a nice example of ‘localism’, the Diario de Pontevedra today ran an article headlined ‘Most public works contracts in the Community go to foreigners’. By this was meant companies from other parts of Spain, of course.

I read that normality has returned at last to France, with only 100 cars being burned last night. Or about the nocturnal average, it’s said. Some normality!

For new readers – If you’ve arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, you might find my non-commercial guides interesting – at

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