Since the dreadful Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004, a whole series of bizarre allegations has come out of the government’s investigation into the tragedy. The latest is that a car found in June 2004 near the scene of the explosions had been planted there by the security forces to implicate someone already under arrest. At least, I think this is what’s claimed. But, as with an earlier allegation of police corruption around dynamite stolen from a mine in Asturias, the details are more complex than the plot of a John Le Carre novel. Someone will surely make a film of it all one day. Less likely, I fear, is that the truth will emerge.
Optiline is another of the easy credit companies that monopolise daytime TV here. Needless to say, all of these use premium phone lines, making it a no-lose situation for them. Either you get a loan and pay astronomical rates of interest or you don’t but run up a massive bill during the rejection process. Or both. Perhaps it’s all nothing but a phone scam and no one’s got any money to lend at all. So, before the bubble bursts, I’ve registered a new company – SukaCash.
My [Basque?] friend, Aleksu, tells me Navarra already is part of the Basque Country. Which might come as a surprise to the vast majority of the world’s cartographers. And if it were, I wonder how the Basques would feel about the bit that regards itself as Spanish bombing its way to partition and succession.
My Galician friend, Acedre, tells us the version of Gallego used in the placard shown yesterday is ‘Galego reintegrado’, the form closest to Portuguese. According to my third friend, Theremon the Cockroach Sexer/Killer*, this is the one most favoured by Galician nationalists. Of the following classes of the language I listed last November, I guess it belongs to the third:-
1. Literary Galician. Unintelligible to most
2. Academic Galician. Also largely indecipherable. May be very similar to 1. The preserve of the Royal Academy. Taught in schools. Changes annually, I’m told.
3. Popular Galician. Understood by virtually everyone in the region and spoken by a significant percentage, albeit with major differences between provinces. And between the coast and the mountains. Doesn’t change annually.
4. TV Galician. This is a mixture of all these and is spoken by ambitious young people who didn’t start to speak the language until their 20s and so have a vocabulary and a [‘Castillano’] accent that amuse the real speakers.
Unfortunately, none of this leaves us any the wiser as to the meaning of the slogan ‘Roads have a gender too’. Anyone?
For any Brits wondering whether they really need to slay the bureaucratic dragon to get a residence card – No, as Lenox says, you don’t. But - in a country where you must carry identification - a small, laminated card is a lot easier than a passport. Once you've got the bloody thing, of course.
There are not many headlines in the Arts section of a newspaper likely to strike fear into your heart. But how about this one: - ‘Kylie Minogue – The new JK Rowling?’
* See the link on the right of the page to ‘An Spaniard in UK’.