Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Well, in one of his little cosmic jokes, God sent us the rain just after the last fire had been put out. And a few hours after the fireworks display which inaugurates the lengthy fiesta period here in Pontevedra. Happily, the rain is of the gentler kind required by the ecologists to minimise the risk of soil erosion and pollution of the rivers and estuaries. This, of course, would bring another disaster in its wake – the contamination of Galicia’s shellfish.

Today's rain will nturally initiate the slow process of regeneration but, as local ecologists have warned, this can’t be left to itself. Foreign tree varieties such as the awful eucalyptus are much more aggressive and quicker growing than the native oaks, chestnuts and pines. If this is not stopped, the risk of another [even greater] disaster will simply increase as a result of further changes in the character of Galicia’s forests.

Meanwhile, of course, life is returning to normal and I can comment again on such bizarre happenings as the discovery of a miniature submarine in Vigo Bay. This is suspected of being the latest hi-tech way of landing Europe’s cocaine along the Galician coast but the jury is still out.

I read last night that Sunday’s corrida in Pontevedra was so successful 4 of the 6 [always ‘brave’] bulls were given the honour of a celebratory circuit of the ring. This would, I believe, have been prostrate and at the end of a rope being pulled by two horses. In other words, post mortem. In truth, the tribute must be directed at the breeder; the bulls themselves being long past caring.

To return to the fires – can we be a bit more optimistic now that the President of the Xunta has finally admitted the fundamental cause of the disaster was poor organisation and planning?

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