Sunday, September 09, 2007

I’m off into the hills this morning so, with time short, here’s a couple of photos taken at last weekend’s Medieval Fair, the Feira Franca. There were quite a lot of lovely women at the event sporting the classic Middle Ages attire of very short skirt or tight shorts but the police politely asked me to stop snapping them for your benefit. I will be posting other photos to my Galicia page soon but meanwhile . . .

In an article on Mrs Sarkozy in one of today’s UK papers, a columnist suggests that “Thanks in large part to her, the tabloidisation of the country is well underway”. La pauvre France.

Meanwhile, not very far away, Belgium is now into its fourth month without a government. Some commentators have suggested the country is on the point of breaking up and ceasing to be a nation. But as one commentator has said, this shouldn’t surprise anyone as “There isn’t, in any meaningful sense, a Belgian nation: no Belgian language, no Belgian culture, precious little Belgian history”. I suspect even Stalin would have been hard pushed to see the case for a single nationality in this case and would presumably have gone for Flemish and Walloon variants, pending their possible absorption into Holland and France. Vamos a ver.

Talking of nations, my sincere thanks to all those Nationalist, nationalists and Galicianists who’ve recently boosted the readership of this blog. I don’t suppose you will stay once I get off the subject but it’s been nice having you. And your opinions.

Finally, on the issue of the moment . . . There's been a lot of comment - not only in the UK media - about the Portuguese police failing to display anything resembling genius. But I wonder. Is it not just possible that the latest incredible developments are part of a brilliant strategy on their part to flush out the repentant real perpetrator because he's sympathetic to the plight of Madeleine's parents? Or, at the very least, that it's all aimed at forcing the McCanns to flee Portugal so that the case can be slowly dropped and embarrassment contained?


Angel R Louzan said...

re Photos : I always knew you were a dirty old man.

re Madeleine : In the interests of the child, I am sure nobody wishes to leave any stone unturned. I respect the bravery of the Police, in view of such overwhelming international scrutiny.
I will only say this, as this isn't a subject anyone ought to meddle with at this point.. that parents taking the lives of their own children unfortunately isn't a rare occurance at least in Britain these days, one only needs to take a look at the other headlines in the UK press.
Unfortunately the sort of comments we're getting only go to show how dimwitted people are, that even in a scenario are grave as this one we are still led by the compulsion to read a book by its cover.

Xosé Manuel Carreira said...

The Portuguese police is not that bad and the truth will be known sooner or later. However, something weird happens with the attitude of Maddy's parents:

1- They (and most of the foolish and chauvinist Brit media) always tried to orient police investigations in favour of the kidnapping hypothesis.

2- Gerry and Kate claimed they are catholic but extreme guiltiness is the main idea of being catholic. They did not care about leaving alone a baby, they have stayed cool all the time and they have never shown any sign of repentment. When you lose a daughter guiltiness is unavoidable even when it is not your fault.

3- According to internet rumours, the main line of investigation could be based on a mixture of the evident parental negligence, lots sleeping pills for kids and fear to lose the medical licence and the professional reputation.

Rumours are just rumours and I am confident that the Portuguese police is serious: anyone can be named suspect and anyone will be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Anonymous said...

He is a dirty old man. And that's fine. But if this evening the pictures are still there I will double check with the police if that's legal.

Angel R Louzan said...

I'm not sure if it's legal to publish someones picture, or even their likeness on the web without their permission.. unless you're a member of the press.
I don't know if this was ill intentioned though, just Colin.
I'm not sure if the people in pics feel as laxed about this issue as I do though.
If it were I.. Where's that damned rifle. :-)

Angel R Louzan said...

Here cometh the Angloscolas

Migrant workers face English test

Angel R Louzan said...

... But Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told the Sunday Telegraph that immigrants needed to feel "part of our national culture".

She added: "They need to integrate into our country, learn English and use our language". ...

Colin, are you listening.. straight from your horses mouth.
The same applies here mate.

Eamon said...

angel r l - I agree with your last statement about trying to speak the language here. I think you will find that those who come to Galicia are going to make an effort to speak the language be it Spanish or Gallego. That's why we are here and not down at the costas in the ghettos. I don't expect or want anyone here to speak to me in English. I have done everything here like registering at the town hall and sorting out the electric and water bills without having to use a translator at my side. Sorry for those who had to struggle making sense of my vocabulary but I only found one person who gave me a bit of grief. So in general everything works out as I expected. Talking about Gallego, we have friends here who talk to us in Spanish but when I mention something that they need to confirm they speak to each other in Gallego and then reply in Spanish. No problem for me as it gives me something else to learn.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I wish all the immigrants were like you.

Immigrants like you contribute greatly to the cultural richness of a country.

Well done!!

Anonymous said...

Do grow up, people. Anyone can publish photos taken in a public place. If you don't want to be photographed then don't go out. Incidentally, governments photograph you all the time with their surveillance... sorry... safety cameras. Also, the press does not have special rights to publish photos. As journalists (I am one) we don't have special rights or closeness to government. In some EU countries, it strikes me that the press is the official mouthpiece of the government.

Angel R Louzan said...

Luckily there's less of a need for 'safety cameras' here than in certain other countries.

And no you cannot just take photos of others and publish them freely, not of a provocative nature at least not in Spain, the numbers of Brits that get fined for taking pics of women wearing bikinis (or less)using their mobiles around beaches and near swimming pools here should serve as a warning.

No one has said Colin falls into that category though.

Regarding media as mouthpieces of government in the EU.. this person thinks only governments in Europe use Newspapers and Television in an attempt to manage what their populations think about current events.. the hypocricy of that statement makes even 'shock and awe' sound lame.
Fox News and Sky News are a absolute embarrasement for the nations they represent, and an insult to human intelligence, worldwide.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Spain had such a law about taking photos of women in public. I was in Italy last week snapping away quite happily and no one bothered me there. It must be a Spain thing. Probably gives a job to someone on a nice salary and a fat pension.

As far as the media goes, my experience has taught me that many journalists on mainland Europe are a lot more reverential of authority and don't appear to question so much. I meet foreign journalists on a regular basis and this is just something I've noticed.

Angel R Louzan said...

There's no law about taking photos of women, there are 'rules' in certain districts, mainly the tourist hotspots that exist to protect women from the minority that feel it is necessary to take pictures of body parts, and up the skirts of women I hope I don't need to go into more detail.
I also hope no one has a problem with that.. would anyone want their daughter appearing on a network of sleazy websites.. caught in some compromising position as she steps out os a pool ?


Unknown said...


I must say that if such a law or rule in Galicia that intends to put taking photos like these under some type of penalisation, damn it.

Come on... 'oh, I enjoy showing more than half of my body, I enjoy all that dity men looking at me as animals, but by no means I want a proof of it by a photo.'

Angel, if I had a daghter I would try to prevent her to some 'forward put' attitude rather than blaming the others for picturing it.

There is no any senseful human right by which you cannot picture what your eyes are seeing in 'normal situations', like people walking or sunbathing on the beach. But there well may be a law...

Nice pictures, Colin. :-) I don't know if you may have problems (I seriously doubt it) but, nice pictures.

Colin Davies said...

Mike the Trike,

Thanks for your comments. You are right, of course, about the sort of Brits who come to Galicia.

Personally, the only people I speak English to are those who insist on speaking it to me. Not that there are a lot of these in Galicia. And I will happily try my Gallego if that's what required. But it almost never is. Occasionally up in the hamlets of the mountains. I was up in one today where one of the place's 6 inhabitants spoke to me in Gallego at first but happily switched - at his election, possibly because my Gallego is not perfect! - and then talked for an hour or more in the clearest Spanish I've heard in 6 years. More of him in tomorrow's post.

As for the photos, 'humour bypass' are the words which spring to my mind when reading some of the comments. As for causing offence or committing a crime, is it not obvious that the faces are not shown? But perhaps I'm really a paedophile for showing the young girl who really is in Medieval costume. Doubtless we'll now be told that the UK is full of these. Or at least as full as Spain is of mothers who offer their young daughters for prostitution or men who throw acid on the faces of their ex-parters - two reports from the Spanish press of the last 2 weeks which I wouldn't normally think worth mentioning as they are, of course, significant of absolutely nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

The Portuguese Police is crap, of course. It does not hold a candle to the British. How they stopped the bombings, how they killed Menezes, and so on.

And if the sniffer dogs fail to do their job, it is not because they are trained in the UK, it is because they are "Portuguese shepherds".

Anonymous said...

"as full as Spain is of mothers who offer their young daughters for prostitution or men who throw acid on the faces of their ex-partners"

That's well below the belt line. This tells much more about the author of the comment than about the spaniards.

Keep spitting venom!!

Colin Davies said...

Well, you seem to have completely missed the point of the citations. which was to stress these widely reported incidents are as UN-representative of life in Spain as are most of the comments posted about the UK.

And are you really saying you missed the reports in El Pais and El Mundo, which are hardly tabloid newspapers? Whether you did or not, were these hitting their fellow Spaniards below the belt as well? Or merely spitting venom?

Perhaps you should re-read what I wrote, only more carefully this time. Or stop reading.

And, believe me, if I really wanted to gratuitously hit below the Spanish belt I would cite an incident I saw myself this evening on the way back from the hills. But, of course, I won't as this is the last thing I want to do.

Angel R Louzan said...

Yes, something isn't quite right.
I suggest caution before things boil over a tad too much. Nobody should box with a blindfold on.. who knows who you're hitting.

Rancid reply Colin, justify it, provide valid references, if you possibly can if you want to salvage your credibility.

Last I heard of the acid burning was in Central Africa.. a horrid reality, done specially to mark those with HIV as a warning to others.. but here in Spain ?

Colin Davies said...


Do your own search of the newspaper sites. It shouldn't take you long.

As for my credibility - Does my face look bovvered?

Frankly, my dear . . .

Colin Davies said...


This took me 10 seconds to locate. You find the other one. Please don't bother to tell me they were Romanians as the whole point was that it was an event unrepresentative of Spain, even though it happened here.

MADRID.- Una mujer de 42 años se encuentra grave después de que un hombre le rociara el cuerpo con un líquido químico tóxico provocándole quemaduras de primer y segundo grado en el 15% de su cuerpo, según Emergencias Madrid.

La víctima, que ha sido trasladada con pronóstico grave al Hospital de la Paz, presenta quemaduras en manos, cara, tórax y pierna derecha. El agresor podría ser su pareja, según el relato de la propia víctima a los médicos que la han atendido y el testimonio de su hijo. Tanto el agresor como la víctima son de nacionalidad rumana.

El suceso ha tenido lugar en el portal 11 de la Plaza de los Reyes Magos, en el distrito de Retiro.

Anonymous said...

La policía local de Sitges (Barcelona) detuvo este lunes a una mujer por ofrecer a su hija menor, de dos años, para realizar actos sexuales a cambio de dinero, según ha confirmado la Guardia Civil, quien aún investiga el caso. La detenida se encuentra imputada por delitos de corrupción de menores y en libertad con cargos.

Angel R Louzan said...

I neeed to make it clear that questioned you out of shock, not out of disbelief, at least if it was done by immigrants, that makes it easier to cope with.

There is a very serious problem in Spain when it comes to violence used on women.

No disrespect to women but this all pales in significance when compared to voilence (or worse) directed at children.

Anonymous said...

Colin, What exactly is your point? Apart from showing us you're a dab hand at copying and pasting?
We can do it:
"There are 5,000 prostitutes under the age of 18 in the UK according to a major childrens' charity. The charity suggests that around three-quarters of the 5,000 child prostitutes in Britain are girls"
Ah esquenciame, nos non, ti si, ti es britanico, e vos podedes facer unha cousa e dicir exactamente a contraria o mesmo tempo sen caer en nengunha contradiccion, adoitades facelo acotio cunha desvergonza abraiante.
Dirty old man and supergaleguista, uffff non sei cal dos teus vicios eche mais sordido.