Friday, October 10, 2008

I think it was in down-market Clacton-on-Sea in 1995 that I first realised the financial world had gone mad and it would all end in tears. At least in the UK. There was a NatWest stand at the fairground there, offering free overnight bags as an inducement to anyone opening a credit card account and it was under siege from Clacton’s finest. Under pressure from – or perhaps just to impress – a new ladyfriend, I used my bank account number and an address in the north – possibly both false – to get a bag not just for the said lady but also for her two daughters. Of traditional financial discipline there was clearly no evidence and I think I’m right in saying the NatWest bank has since disappeared. I recall being quite stunned at the time as to how things had changed since my youth, when you had to lick the shoes of the manager of the local bank or building society to have any chance of getting money from them. And when your account was summarily closed if you went a penny overdrawn without prior permission.

Back here in Spain, the committee of investigation into the recent Madrid plane crash has issued its preliminary report, blaming design faults in the plane and exonerating the airline company and the pilots. Both of these had been thoroughly excoriated in the media here on the basis of persistent leaks about initial findings. Which only goes to prove how disgraceful these leaks were. The company, of course, is unlikely to recover from the consequences of this treatment, and the allegations its safety measures were deficient.

I heard a rather histrionic actress on the radio this morning, extolling the virtues of her latest film. I'm just guessing but it may play to the most popular themes of Spanish TV, being called something like Sexykiller. But it's a comedy, I believe.


The brothel up near Pontecaldelas which used the same letters in changing its name from Tu & Yo to Tony [blog of 6 June] recently came under new ownership and is now known as Club Bonecas. But three days after this, the place was raided and a number of illegal Brazilian immigrants taken into custody. I do hope this means the local mayor is cracking down and not merely that the usual licence fees were not paid.

There was an interesting column in the Correo Gallego yesterday, asking why the Galician nationalists don’t object to the Portuguese trying to subordinate Gallego, when they rise up in arms at any suggestion this is being done by Spanish speakers. If I had a real internet connection, I’d give you a link but the author is Carlos Luís Rodríguez, if you want to chase it up.

Maybe it’s just me but I find it quite depressing that – ahead of our regional elections next spring - the three main political parties agree it’s time to come together to better promote Gallego and condemn Francoism.

Finally . . . The Super Bark Stop – Evidence is mounting that the thing actually works, even if I do have to go out late each night to stick it on top of the offending canine’s kennel. But a week or two of more trialling is really required before I can be definitive about this. What I can say is that the service of the provider – Dog Goodies Dog Shop on – has been stellar. Today I received in the mail a copy invoice I hadn’t even asked for – ‘For your records’. See . . . I can write nice things. And it’s not my fault it’s a British company.

OK, I owe an apology to the Facenda. When I went to their offices, the lady who’d reviewed my forms in July explained [nicely] that it was essentially my Gallego that was the problem, as the letter said that they would transfer the files to Pontecaldelas and therefore I didn’t have to do anything more. So it was my own fault I wasted an hour. If I were fluent in Gallego, it would never have happened. Back to the grindstone. Or does France beckon?


David Jackson said...

Talking of brothels... I just watched a report on Canal Sur Andalucia on how the crisis is affecting people - in this case, they decided to illustrate the point with a report on prostitutes in brothels. It seems the crisis is so great they are being laid off and being forced to work in the street. Immigrants are, as always, the first to be laid off.

Colin said...

Laid on, laid off. Either way, they get screwed, I guess.

Put it down to this Rioja . . .

Jose Antonio said...

I wonder why the people who moan the most about how Galician is written or spoken (e.g. with Portuguese spelling or otherwise), are all Spanish speakers. Like Carlos Luis Rodriguez.