Saturday, August 18, 2007

If, like me, you feel the old political terms of Right and Left have limited utility these days and want to know where you where you fit on a Left-Right, authoritarian-libertarian graph, click here. You might or might not be surprised.

As for politics here in Galicia - On the hilltops on the north eastern outskirts of Santiago, there is emerging a large white elephant called The City of Culture. My impression is this a tribute to the affection in which the last Xunta President was held. In particular, perhaps, by himself. I speak of Manoel Fraga, the ex-Franco minister who coined the phrase Spain is different and who now, aged 112, sits in the Senate. Anyway, El Pais tells us today the budget for this collection of what-the-hell-are- we-going-to-do-with-them-now modernist buildings was originally 120m euros, against the current forecast of 370m. The paper also reports that some of the companies profiting from this monumental expenditure are owned by members of the previous administration. This shocked me almost as much as last week’s report that stone for the construction is coming from an unlicensed, illegal quarry. It can only end in tears.

Meanwhile, the plague of voles down in Castilla is now threatening vineyards there and, having failed to burn the rodents to perdition, the desperate farmers have resorted to a huge roller, so as to flatten them out of existence. Alas, it appears to be too heavy for the tractors they have and the voles have taken to laughing at their inability to get things rolling. And crushing.

Talking of creatures taking the Mickey – The humane rat trap I have at the bottom of my garden has not been spectacularly successful of late. But I have caught – and then released – three robins. Or possibly one bold but very dense bird three times.

My piano-learning in Argentinean-accented Spanish is further complicated by the differences between Spanish terms and those I learned several decades ago and still half-remember. So, the key of C is Do, D is Re, and so on. And a quaver is a corchea. How I wish we could adopt the simple American terms for notes of 4th, 8th, 16th, etc. And then a 32nd would not have to be a demi-semi-quaver. Or even a fusa. I was reminded of this agony when a recent American visitor called our cafetière a French push. But, as I discovered this morning, whatever you call it, the coffee won’t pour if you forget to plunge it first. Even if you are French.

By the way, yesterday’s post was as late as this one. So may have been missed. But this is irrelevant if you’ve missed this one too.

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