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 Emigré. Or CADE. Which, fortuitously, can be combined with the one above. In any order you like.