Monday, March 24, 2008

Some excellent news - deaths on Spain’s roads in Holy Week were very significantly down on last year’s. Hopefully some of this is a result of safer driving, rather than reduced traffic because of the poor weather.

Heathrow’s new 5th terminal is due to open later this week but may not. Or, if it does, there may be chaos to match that of Madrid’s new terminal last year. The cause will be oppositon to BAA’s policy of fingerprinting domestic transit passengers both as they enter and leave the central facilities, where they’ll be able to mix with international passengers. This, of course, is to ensure everyone’s given the chance to max out on their credit cards in the thousands of shops. So it’ll be interesting to see whether in the new Britain rank commercial interests will once again take precedence over civil liberties.

Talking of Britain, one of the more depressing experiences of the last week has been listening to both my teacher daughter and her doctor friend listing the appalling practices carried out in the education and health worlds in order to meet targets dictated by a well-intentioned but micro-managing government which is apparently wilfully blind to reality. The most heinous practice must surely be that of giving old folk appointments for, say, hip operations, which will never be achieved and which the administrators know from the outset will be postponed shortly before they’re due to take place. Though it’s a close race between this and moving people out of the hospital into ambulances in the car park so they won’t appear on any waiting list.

Thanks to Benitez, Torres et al, Liverpool is regarded pretty much as a local team in Spain. For us Scousers, this is a useful ice-breaker when meeting people for the first time. I say this but, of course, the concept of an ice-breaker is utterly inappropriate in a country where people are invariably warm. And, on occasions, hot. That said, it’s a tad galling for an Evertonian to bask in Liverpool’s reflected glory. Which is why I didn’t feel too bad about their defeat by Manchester United yesterday.

Galicia Facts

The region is forecast to lose 320,000 inhabitants over the next 10 years, which contrasts with a national gain of 2.2 million. Other regions/‘nations’/enclaves expected to suffer a reduction in population are Asturias, Castilla & León, the Basque Country, Extremadura, Ceuta and Melilla.

Galicia boasts perhaps a disproportionate share of the nation’s chapuzas, or ugly home features. Admirably, the Voz de Galicia has been waging a war against these, asking its readers to suggest entries in a competition for the worst sight in the region. Copy and paste this for details and links to photos of the top three. Sadly, I fancy I’ve seen worse.


Mgonz78 said...

Hi Colin, my parents are from Galicia, they moved to the U.S in the late 60's, I was born in the U.S but I usually visit Galicia every year or so. My father is from Ribeira in A Coruna, and my mother is from a small town near Celanova in Ourense. I was wondering if you ever visited Ribeira or Celanova, and if so what did you think?

Stefani83 said...

My father is from Galicia (Cesantes, Redondela). I travel there every year as well. I'm currently living in South FL. I went to a Spanish restaurant, and ordered Pulpo, gallego style. What a mistake! I miss Galicia's seafood.

Anonymous said...

Cesantes, uno de los sitios de Pontevedra donde mejor se come

Colin Davies said...


I've passed Ribeira many times - en route to and from Santander or France - but have never stopped there. Next time! But I certainly been to Celanova. A pretty place, as I recall.

And I know Cesantes well. Though I'm not aware of its reputation for good eating. Must check it out.

Nearby Arcade is big in oysters but I don't actually like them. And may well be allergic to them.

OK I have to admit I'm not a fan of pulpo a la gallega, even in Galicia . . .