Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is there nothing bad about red wine? I recently read that a glass or two a day will increase my life expectancy. And now this good news.

Here in Galicia, it hasn’t so far been one of our hotter summers. In fact, down here on the coast, I doubt it’s been above 30 more than once in two months. Which is fine with both me and most Gallegos, as we can’t take the heat of elsewhere in Spain. Not that this stops the locals complaining it’s not a great summer. It’s this aspect of the culture which convinces me more than anything else that not just Ireland but also England was colonised by Iberians sailing North West from here 15,000 years or so ago. Moaning about the eternally variable weather is in our genes.

I have some very good Spanish friends who regularly invite me to lunch with them. But, as with today, this invariably follows contact I’ve initiated with them. As I’ve said a dozen times, this is a reactive and spontaneous society and things tend to happen to you when - one way or another - you force yourself onto someone else’s radar. Which is why, if you’ve come here as a wilting violet, your best option is to go back home again. Or join an expat community and forget about Spain. Which, come to think about it, is what many people do. Essentially, I suppose, because they’re only here for the year-round sun. Which is why we don’t get a lot of them in Galicia . . . .

Years ago, when in business in the UK, I came to realise that civil servants love to invent a scheme, give it a label and then devise self-fulfilling criteria to prove its effectiveness. Even better if the they can come up with a nice acronym as well. I was reminded of all this when watching TV reports of the British government’s new scheme under which a 'Flu Friend' can go and collect your Tamiflu once it’s been established to the satisfaction of a dumb computer that you have swine flu. Particularly amusing was the Flu Friend Tamiflu Collection Point that wasn’t satisfied with being merely the Tamiflu Collection Point. Sometimes the acronyms are particularly apt. I’ve just read of the Fund Under the Control of the Keynesian Office of Financial Folly. Disappointed applicants say that, whatever this name lacks in catchiness, it more than makes up for with the accuracy of its acronym.

As these things happen, another acronym has occurred to me this evening – viz. Chippy and Demented EmigrĂ©. Or CADE. Which, fortuitously, can be combined with the one above. In any order you like.


Anonymous said...

mr davies, you shouldn't be mentioning me in every other of your posts. It seems you are starting to get nervous, and that is not good for you, it will only make me want to come to your blog even more.

You say something, no problem, just back it up. Talking is so easy, but you've got to back it up man. I am here for the long run. Remember, what mostly counts: endurance.

have a good day

mike the trike said...

There are two Cades here again. This comment is not from the real Cade that we know. The English structure is wrong for the Cade who first appeared on this site.

Midnight Golfer said...

Just two?

I am curious to know from the non-Americans here if "To get nervous" is a common English(UK) usage?

Ferrolano said...

MG, as a non-American (original UK), I think that we would normally say; “I am starting or I am beginning to get a little worried). To become or to get “nervous” is something that I tend to hear from those who speak English as a second language. The “I am” could also be “you are….” Worried as opposed to nervous being the detail.

MTT, I was intrigued by your question of yesterday regarding burial in a “Nicho” or be cremated. Ever since I first saw a Spanish cemetery, with the rows of niches, I have felt that, that is the only way to go. In particular when you see them on a hillside overlooking the countryside and the sea – nowhere more peaceful for a final resting place. I only hope that my heirs understand this and also arrange for a spy hole so that I can see and savor the scenery and atmosphere. Kids, please take note!

mike the trike said...

It's a team. One in the squirrel cage to generate the electric. Another on the keyboard. One in the hall to warn Cade his mother is coming and others on ancillary positions.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks, there is only a galician man who signs cade and who writes and speaks English the best way he can but without worrying too much about it. Some people seem to worry too much about correctness, political or otherwise, and that is not a good thing, especially when you need not to worry about it.

You see, being Galician, even expatraited, I never learn to speak or write correct Spanish, nor Galician. And that is not a bad thing, especially for those Spanish nationalists: We galicians must try harder to be better at Spanish, and to be better Spaniards too. So let's shut up, because we are coarse country folk whose accent must be polished to a superior madrid standard. And at the same time, we can't even speak or write proper Galician, because WE MUST BE PROPER SPANISH, so they just allow us to use a kind of "gallego light" that is too comprehensible to the rest of Spaniards and doesn't look too country like and, even most importantly, PORTUGUESE like. You see, Galicians must be Spanish, not barbarous or portuguese!

To "ferrolano del caudillo": the culture of death, cemeteries, etc, that you see in Galiza and in Spain is the same you will see in Corsica or in Provence or in Campania, broadly speaking. It is nothing exclusively Spansih or Galician.

So you keep at it, my very cultured and wise folks, keep sticking your labels "Spanish, yes!" all over the place, and will keep reminding you that you can dare to think by yourself and you don't have to swallow all the propaganda, official and unofficial, that floods our lives.

And I'll do it without worrying too much about correctness. I favour inteligence.

Colin said...


I think it's quite common to hear something like "I'm getting nervous now".

Anonymous said...

And one last observation, while I am here, for those who, like our witty host, keep sticking the label "Nationalist" whenever they hear a voice that strays from the civilized and universal Spanish speech.

If I am not a Galician nationalist, then I have to be a Spanish nationalist. Did it ever occur to you that accepting the supremacy of Castilian Spanish over Galician, in the galician country, is accepting the ideology behind that postulates that there is a Spanish nation, that all the citizens of the Spanish kingdom have the right to and MUST be able to speak Spanish?

Did it ever occur to you that the Spanish Constitution states there is "other nationalities" whithin the "Spanish" nationality? How do you explain that absurdity? Is it that Spaniards are stupid, and they believe whatever told? May be. Fagocitosis?: Galician, yes, but Spanish too.

So my dear Irish friend who so much worries about the next life, and my other friends: You can not live in the air, or as if you were Santa Theresa. You accept the official ideology, you put the label "nationalist" to a Galician nationalist, or to a Basque or a catalan, or a Corsican, but you won't have a label stuck on you.

Well, I am sorry:

YOU ARE ALL A BUCH OF PRO-SPANISH NATIONALISTS. You may have a peaceful life and be wonderful folk, even much better than me, but YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO CENSURE GALICIAN NATIONALIST, as you subscribe to the ideology that IS INTENT IN ABSORVING OR DESTROYING GALICIAN CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

Anonymous said...

... and the fact that there is a majority of galicians who susbscribe to the Spansih mantra gives you no right to join them happily: if I went to Iran, for example, and subscribe to the regime, just because there is a majority of iranians who accept it, does that justify my choice? Just because of the majority? The same as in Nazi germany, they were majority too

Midnight Golfer said...

Well, it took a lot longer than I thought it would before we all got accused of being as Jew-hating Nazis.
On the internet, it seems inevitable for someone who is unable to satisfy themselves with their own postulations to "go there."

Anonymous said...

@ midnightgolfer

no, don't get me wrong. It wasn't that the point. The reference to the nazi regime was to make clear that going with the majority doesn't necessarily mean you are right and you're democratic. The nazi parti got to the power through the polls, they got the majority in a democratic way, but, were they right and fair?

In galiza the majority backs the Spanish nationalist parties (PP, PSOE), but that doesn't mean they are being fair. What I say is that many of them are being deluded by the regime (in the same way that the UK public opinion, for example, was duped by Blair when the iraq war) and others are just intent on assimilation for all us, as something positive, which obviously it is not (unless that Spanish nationalism postulated a system and society civil, just, sustainable, etc, WHICH IS NOT THE CASE, ON THE CONTRARY, IT IS THE OPPOSED TO It)

ointe said...

Yes , it´s a team, 3 to five people. By now, however, I see some frustration on the arguments "ad hominem" that the team employs against Mr. Cade.

Anonymous said...

get a life

ointe said...

You only deserve 2 minutes. Move your ass from the keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Now you know why the internet is no place where you can debate sensibly. Just look at some of the garbage spouted on this site. I'm here to be entertained and nothing more. The only place to talk sensibly is by joining a debating society where everyone understands the purpose.

ointe said...

I already knew, that in some places it´s impossible to have a fair dialogue, or even understand what the h*** is going on the head of some people. Is this place one of these?.

Anyway, here or in the whitehouse, there is a standard rule to follow. Some people call it: "tit for tat".

Anonymous said...

Only passing through but looking through the blog looks like Cade is some strange character who appears to be living in a dream world or maybe shouldn't have access to a computer unsupervised.

ointe said...

I agree with Mr Cade in most of his thoughts. The problem here is that Mr Cade comes too late for some of you.