Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The new minority government in Spain is reported to be courting the PNV party as a coalition partner. This is described as a moderate Basque nationalist party. Presumably, then, the socialist party in Catalonia did veto a pact with its Catalan equivalent, the CiU.

The wintery Easter weather has at least afforded me the pleasure of learning that the Spanish for ‘snowman’ is muñeco de nieve. Or, snowdoll.

Another surprise this morning was to read that the Spanish average 7.8% hours of sleep a night. As the article said, most tourists could be forgiven for thinking the number was considerably lower than this, even if a siesta were included. Residents, too, I imagine.

Here in the UK inflation is officially 2.5%, against more than 4% in Spain and 3% in the EU as a whole. Unofficial estimates of the UK rate put it nearer 8% and I suspect a much higher number could be calculated for Spain as well. It all depends, of course, on what is put in and left out of the ‘basket’.

Before my younger daughter could take up her first post as a teacher in the UK, she had to have a police check, via the Criminal Records Bureau. If she now moves to another school at the end of two years, she will need have another one, even though her employers have not [yet] reported that she is either a predatory lesbian or a wanton seducer of 14 year old boys. But it gets worse; if she wants to be just a doler out of Eucharistic hosts at her church, this too will trigger an enquiry of the CRB. Can there be any more eloquent testimony of the madness that results from a combination of the fear-generating tabloid press and the Something-Must-Be-Done brigade? Well, yes. My daughter wants to throw away a kitchen knife set her mother and I bought 37 years ago. But the law says she can’t and, as yet, I don’t know what she’s permitted to do with the kinves. Perhaps I can take them back to Toledo, where you can buy and take home a vast array of medieval weaponry. Including, as I recall, a double-headed war axe.

And finally, in response to overwhelming demand - A printer update:-
Epson UK: The only party to emerge with credit so far. Answered my initial questions quickly and politely, even though they weren’t a party to the sale.
Epson Spain: Jury still out. Polite first response but no reply for a week now to my proof that the printer stopped working within 30 days. Let’s put it down to Easter for now.
Carrefour Pontevedra: Don’t let me start. Have given up on them.
Carrefour France: Diplomatic initial response which may or may not really mean ‘Nowt to do with us, mate. You’re on your own.’ Let’s see how they respond to my follow-up today.

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