Wednesday, June 28, 2006

There was an advertisement for a DVD game on the radio today and the proposition was that it would make a good end-of-school-year present for your child. Just what Spanish kids need – yet another reason to be showered with gifts.

Meanwhile, on UK TV last night there was an ad featuring a young man who looked like he’d been dragged through a wind-tunnel a number of times. The tag line was that the hay stack on his head was down to “Surf Hair” – ‘For that messed-up look’. Truly has life become insane in the West. Which reminds me – I wonder whether the genius who came up with three-quarter length trousers for men with a draw-string round the calf ever believed anyone would actually wear his creation. Vastly smarter than me, if he did.

As ever, the reports on last night’s Spain-France match in the Spanish papers were honest and incisive. The general view was that Spain had dominated possession but not the play. And that they deserved to go out, if only for failing to record a single shot on France’s goal. To my surprise, there was little comment about Henry’s theatricals.

In June’s Prospect magazine, the editor wrote that the UK is technically not a nation but a state formed out of the amalgamation of four countries some 250 years ago. Spain’s version of this happened almost 300 years earlier but, as we know only too well, arguments still rage about the status/description of her component parts. I even think I heard on a Galician channel today that the local nationalist party is demanding Galicia’s new constitution refer to the region as not only a nation but also an ex-kingdom. In contrast, a writer in one of the local papers yesterday asked what on earth was wrong with the word everyone used in everyday life – ‘country’. Perhaps he’s on to something; if all the 17 autonomous communities were now re-termed countries [just like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland] all this endless prattle would stop and people could devote their time and energy to something really serious. Like the future, for example.

My neighbour’s three Catalan grandchildren arrived today - for the whole of July. The noise they make in the garden drowns out the granite-drilling machine at the front of the house. So it’s not all bad news.

Time for a trip.

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