I guess it’s time to own up that it seems I was wrong to suggest Banco Santander was possibly not as soundly based as claimed. On the other hand, there’s this report citing its UK subsidiary, the Abbey National, as the worst of the country’s Bottom Ten in terms of customer service. By quite some way.
On a loftier plane . . . I’ve reached the point in Henry Kamen’s book on Spanish exiles – "The Disinherited" - where he addresses the 1930s. We writes of the ‘intellectuals’ who were a prominent feature of the early part of that decade that several of them set up a journal in 1939 from their exile in Paris. This was called España Peregrina and its aim was to rescue ‘authentic’ Spanish culture from the Franco Nationalists. Rejecting both these and the Communists, the journal spoke up for ‘the universal awareness that is characteristic of the Spanish people’. Or, as one writer put it, “A more profound type of humanity”. To these people, says Karmen, Spain had a special value, its spiritual leadership, which no other country had. Indeed, Spanish culture was the highest form of western culture, and the Spanish language was its highest expression. . . . No hope could be entertained of the materialistic culture of the United States and England, only Spain’s spirituality was the way forward. . . The only authentically human form of civilisation. I can’t say I’ve observed much of this way of thinking since I came to Spain but I do wonder whether the regional nationalists of the Basque Country, Cataluña and Galicia see this Spanish nationalism as the enemy against which they define themselves. Especially when it comes to language.
Coming back down to earth . . I’m now aware, from a British TV ad, that Ryan has been suffering for some time now with problems related to his ‘digestive transits’. The trouble is, his system has not been sure which end of the spectrum to have problems with. So he has veered from one extreme to the other, much to my cost. So, imagine with what joy I observed the return of solid matter to my front lawn this morning. Which is not a sentence I ever thought I’d write.