Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yesterday the local council issued a booklet giving us the details of all the summer Fiesta events. This is a helpful pointer to all the numerous attractions, though obviously not for those which took place during the first 2 weeks of July. As ever, the guide is now entirely in Gallego, which is fortunately easier to understand written than spoken. Even, I imagine, for visiting Basques and Catalans who decline to learn/speak Spanish. And, if not, well, they now know what it feels like.

On this, I was astonished to see this morning the official site of the Pontevedra football club is not only all in Spanish but also lacks a Gallego version. I can’t see this being allowed to continue, especially if they get any money from the town hall.

And still on football, reader David Carr has sent me a copy of an interview with Liverpool’s new signing, Fernando Torres. Young Fernando seems to be very happy about the prospect of playing in the UK and says he won’t even mind the bad weather as his live-in girlfriend comes from Galicia and “It’s always raining there”. Well, no it bloodywell isn’t. It understandably annoys Galicians that this misperception forms a large part of the negative image the rest of Spain has of the region. Especially those who live here in the south, where we have far fewer grey, drizzly days than the north of Galicia. Or ‘far less days’ as even the BBC says these days. Mind you, in the light of this morning’s news, this is clearly far from being the organisation it used to be in respect of more important things than its grasp of English grammar.

The administration of justice is generally reckoned to be quite slow in Spain, especially perhaps in the area of landlord-tenant disputes. I suspect the problem is not too few [‘too less’?] courts as I get the impression there are a lot of these here. However, one can perhaps be forgiven for thinking things would improve if the courts were devoted to something other than the endless constitutional disputes which take place between the various interested parties of this fissiparous state. Most obviously the regional and central governments. I can’t pretend to understand these but the latest I’ve seen is the Catalan government asking the Constitutional Tribunal [I think] to rule on whether the PP party has been inconsistent/frivolous in querying the legality of elements of the new Constitution for Catalunia which they allegedly found acceptable in the case of Andalucia. I suppose it all makes work for impoverished lawyers. Not that I have ever met one of these. To round this off, I think the Spanish government is giving thought to the creation of separate courts for landlord-tenant disputes. They’ve already done this for domestic violence episodes. Though, ironically, the incidence has continued to increase.

Finally, I saw that rare beast, a nun, yesterday. She was parking a car in the ambulance bay of a private hospital. Very Spanish but I trust she shows rather more compliance with celestial rules and regulations.

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