Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Guardian newspaper has praised the Spanish government for its vanguard intentions to save energy by reducing speed limits, turning down air conditioners and minimising street lighting. As ever, much will depend on how much notice the regional governments take of guidance from Madrid. In the case of Galicia, one can only hope that it will mean that Pontevedra's new granite and glass monstrosity of a museum will cease blighting my nocturnal cityscape by displaying 3 or even four wide bands of light around the entire building.

In the nursery unit of a hospital in Marbella, they've installed an electronic ear on the wall. By changing colour, this tells the nurses when the noise levels are excessive. I wonder what it would cost to put one of these on every wall in Spain. And whether it would be remotely worthwhile. I imagine not.

Much as I love humour, I can't stand the wisecracking, smart-arse kid that's the standard fare of TV and cinema these days. And has been for a while. If you agree, you'll find this article appealing. As the writer observes, Kids aren't terribly witty. They've written very few Broadway comedies or effervescently observational novellas.

I also enjoyed the readers' comments to this article, especially that of Ceri in Estepona - Thank God for Spanish kids who, while being frequently obnoxious and bratty, have at least by-passed the current American wisecracking phenomenon. I'm guessing she's not American. Or Spanish.

Galicia Facts

Here in the province of Pontevedra, holiday bookings in August are 35% down on last year. And prices are lower too. So, good news for last-minute bargain hunters. Not that Spain possesses many folk who are anything other than last-minute everything.

The really good news is that deaths on Galicia's roads in July were 44% down on last year's. If this goes on, it will soon be safe to venture out of an evening. Though I suspect it will always remain wise to approach roundabouts with great caution. And no fixed idea about where your fellow motorists are going to end up exiting. See here for general advice on this subject.

Yesterday was a big day for Pontevedra's car impounder - the dreaded grua. All three of the company's tow-trucks were hard at work at midday, removing [one by one] a long line of motor-bikes and scooters from where they're always parked on the edge of the pedestrian precinct. I guess some sort of protest was expected as the trucks were guarded by three carloads of local police. My conclusion was that the latter had not published their normal warning of a 'surprise' campaign against illegal parking. Which seems hardly fair. And is very un-Spanish. Has the national crackdown on speeding and drunken driving gone to their head?

Last night I sat down to an excellent seafood and fish dinner at 11.45. If you think this was late, the owners and staff were just starting theirs as I left at 1.45. Only in Spain?

Finally, my congratulations to the 48th member of the AGA Forum, who wittily registered as justanothersillyname. So, only another 2 registrations until the big cash prize, which is already in the envelope just awaiting a name and address . . .


Mark said...

Didn't they introduce speed limits in the 70s in the US precisely to do this ie save fuel? Not much point implementing it in the UK - caught in traffic jams we rarely have a chance to exceed 30!

Colin said...

Yes, they did. And in 1979 I got caught doing my normal 69 in a 56 area. But the cop let me off when I volunteered that all lawyers were bastards. He was so sympathetic [as I had guessed he would be] to this view that he even recorded a lower speed on the ticket. My American friend and co-pilot, Rick, said this was an unprecedented turn of events.

I still have the ticket. Along with my Iranian driving licence which names me as Devil Davies. For reasons related to transcription of English into Farsi and then back again into English. Big prize to anyone who can figure out the sequence . . . .