Firstly . . . I’m still waiting for a replacement modem and so am without internet. My apologies for erratic posts and for the delay in responding to people who’ve either written to me in the last week or made comments not yet posted. Normal service may or may not be resumed shortly. This depends entirely on Ya.com, who clearly don’t operate a ‘Be with you within 24 hours’ policy. At least not when you’re in the lowest category of individual – a customer who is tied into an 18 month contract.
El Mundo finally appears to have had some success with its campaign to prove the government is manipulating the enquiry into the Madrid bombings of March 2004. A court has ruled there’s a case to answer around a key document which appears to have been tampered with, using that white stuff which covers type. Or, in this case, signatures. Last week there were calls from other parties that the opposition be prosecuted for its attacks on the government on this issue so it will be interesting to see what this week brings.
Talking of prosecutions – the main theme of Giles Tremlett’s book “The Ghosts of Spain” is that the pact of silence which followed the end of Franco’s reign – and which allowed a peaceful transition to democracy – is beginning to break down. He cites the fact that not a single individual from the Franco era has faced any criminal charges and contrasts this with the campaign waged by Spain’s celebrity judge, Baltasar Garzón to prosecute the right wing dictator Pinochet for crimes committed in another country. This may or may not rank as cheek but is certainly ironic.
On a less serious note - I firmly believe some of the world’s great dishes have arisen from error in the kitchen. I, for example, have been responsible for Crispy Kipper - 3 minutes in the microwave instead of 30 seconds - and last night I came up with Stir Fried Chicken in Gravy Browning instead of Soya Sauce. This tasted fine – after I had thrown a lot of other things into it – and had the distinction of being, without doubt, the darkest meal I’ve ever had.
I have an Argentinean piano teacher. He is a great chap but likes to talk. Even more than me. Last week I asked him a question at the start of the lesson and he took an hour and a half to answer it. I mentioned this to a friend who told me the Argentineans are regarded here as extremely talkative because of their mixed Spanish and Italian ancestry. Bloody ‘ell. . . the Spanish believe other people are talkative! Everything’s relative, I guess. As I’m always telling my daughters.