Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I attended Mass with my Catholic daughter yesterday. If I wasn’t actually the second-youngest person there, it must have been close. My daughter says things are very different in her parish in the UK, raising the question of whether the Catholic Church in Spain will last much more than a single generation. Perhaps the country will be flooded, as with Britain, by Catholics from Poland. If so - and as I am still waiting after two months of broken promises - I hope at least one of them is a plumber who likes the look of Pontevedra. He could probably sustain the entire Polish economy with remittances arising from his [easy] earnings here.

The Mass was in Spanish, though I have heard them in Gallego. One wonders how long it will be before it effectively becomes obligatory to go with the flow and have them only in the local language. Probably never, as the Xunta doesn’t pay the priests’ salaries. And, if there is pressure in this direction, I suppose the Church can always play the same game and ‘normalise’ back to Latin.

Today is not a holiday in Spain. So, instead of endless TV ads for huge shop sales or holidays in the Maldives, we have the Portuguese workmen banging away at the front of the house and a pile driver doing its stuff at the back. And it’s only 9am. Which is dawn at the moment here in Galicia. Oh, and my next door neighbours have people in ‘reforming’ their bathroom, mostly by banging on the wall it seems. To say the least, my daughters are not best pleased. Especially the one who always writes until 4am.

There’s been a spate of reports recently on how much prices have risen here, not just but over the last few days, weeks or months but since the introduction of the Euro in 2002. Some of the increases are astronomical but everyone interviewed adheres to the standard line that, firstly, it’s someone else’s fault and, secondly, that everyone else is a liar.

The worst news of the week has been that, in the case of the illegal abortions is Barcelona and Madrid, the police have found foetuses with air in their lungs. This, they say, is evidence they were born alive. One doesn’t have to be religious to find this truly appalling.

And the best news? El País says four people have been arrested in the slimming products fraud in Málaga

Finally, Spanish critics say the recent Spice Girls’ concert in Madrid ‘consisted mostly of bright lights and costume changes and was not dominated by either outstanding singing or choreography’. There’s a surprise.

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