No sooner has Franco’s daughter told us he admired Brits than all signs and symbols of his existence are stripped from his home town of Ferrol, here in Galicia. As it’s a port, perhaps a gunboat would be the appropriate response to this grave insult. Sir John Moore is probably spinning in his grave up in La Coruña.
Just as I suspected – foreigners are being singled out for particular attention by the traffic police. Sort of. Actually, I’m not the only one, of course, to have noticed what’s going on. A cartoon in the Voz de Galicia today has President Zap injecting funds into the banking system, the car industry and the town halls, while in an parallel sketch he’s drawing a huge vial of blood from a cringeing motorist.
I’ve been saying for years now that – in the UK at least – it’s The Age of the Bureaucrat. This article describes just how things have developed there, during a high-growth period when the great majority of new jobs created were for luxuriously feather-bedded civil servants. As the writer says, “Every time there's a problem, we stick a quango on it like a child's Band-Aid, and the system is becoming so top-heavy it can only topple over. We're quickly becoming as bureaucratic as a third-world country.” Can’t see myself ever going back there. These things have a habit of being difficult to change, whoever comes to power. And then there’s the education system . . .
On Friday night my house in Pontevedra was shaken by the loudest thunderclap I’ve heard in my life. The accompanying bolt of lightening apparently knocked out some folks’ central heating boilers. Which is odd as it seemed to shock mine into action. Or at least that’s what I told the engineer who’d had no success with mine until the garage door was almost blown in by the blast and we both jumped out of our skins.
I’ve mentioned that most of the stuff in our Sunday flea-market looks like it just came out of the house of the last person to die up in the hills. From time to time – as befits a seafaring people – there are overseas artefacts of possible interest, like a carved bone walking stick I saw today and thought of buying for future use. But I wonder who could have sailed off and got the top hat and bowler hat I saw on sale today. Complete with their original boxes. My bet is they’ll take a while to shift. Especially as we don’t have an amdram society here that might just make use of them.