Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday evening

My daughter and I are staying tonight in the Estremadura town of Alcántara. This is high on 14th -16th century splendour but low on wi-fi cafés. So this Sunday blog is probably coming to you on Monday. And there may be another one later.

I alluded yesterday to the lack of precision and consistency when it comes to numbers in Spain. And, just by chance, Charles Butler of Ibex Salad made this comment in his own blog yesterday:- “The Spanish Ministry of Housing releases a wide variety of property-related statistics. Many of their studies, particularly those that claim to represent price levels, are useless beyond description.”. I rest my case.

I forgot to check the fashions in Cáceres yesterday but, by pure coincidence, while we were sitting having dinner in Plaza Mayor, my daughter pointed to a passing young lady and said she was the fifth she’d seen in half an hour strutting her stuff in shorts and high heels. So, a national fashion, then. Not just a Pontevedra fad.

At a more serious level, President Zapatero has used the occasion of a PSOE conference to obtain the support of closed party ranks, to assure us he won’t bow to ‘powerful forces’ - meaning the PIRSA media group - and to insist that his government will continue to implement policies which maintain social cohesion. In other words, if the ship is to go down, it will be very much a socialist ship. Which is all very commendable but is it really what Spain needs right now? Meanwhile, though, Señor Z may or may not be encouraged by the endorsement he’s received from the right-of-centre El Mundo paper for his ‘courageous’ decision to break the PSOE’s traditional links with the PIRSA group.

I’ve now checked and confirmed that - at the invitation of a friend - I joined Tagged in 2007 and that I’d received not a single contact until last week. When I was besieged by a number of women of varying morality. I assume, therefore, that Tagged has initiated some sort of strategic shift, which may or may not pass the test of time. Or the legal authorities in the USA.

And now a couple of unsolicited testimonials . . .

1. The Barceló hotel chain. On the evidence of the staff and facilities of their place in Cáceres, they are one of Spain’s better operators, and

2. The Turismo in Alcántara. This is open on Sundays and ‘manned’ by a very charming and helpful lady. They try harder, it seems, in Estremadura.

Finally . . . here’s a couple of pictures of my 15 year old dog, Ryan, doing what he enjoys most:-

1. Avoiding the attention of a small child


2. Swimming after a stick.

I hope I’m just as sprightly when I am, like him, in my 90s.

And here’s one of my elder daughter doing what she does best – contemplating which artistic photo to take . . .


Ferrolano said...

2008Colin, enjoy the jamon iberico and the vino tinto as delights of the area you are travelling. Perhaps some of the places that you visit and tell us about will become Colin’s recommendations to the tourist industry.

For a 15 year old, Ryan is looking wonderfully well and yes, please sign me up for whatever it takes to be spritely 90 year old.

In which part of Galicia did Annette Meakin live and why did she go to or travel there? What is the title of her book?


Colin said...


Here you go . . . You'll be wanting Chapter 24:-


" Lugar mais hermoso
No mundo n'hachara
Qu'aquel de Galicia
Galicia encantada."
- Rosalia Castro



I. Ancient Galicia
II. The Geography of Galicia
III. The First Golden Age
IV. The Salve Regina .
V. The Language of Galicia .
VI. Pilgrims to Santiago
VII. The Architecture of Galicia
VIII. The Cathedral of Santiago
IX. The Portico de Gloria
X. Sculptured Capitals
XI. The Royal Hospital
XII. The Colegiata de Sar
XIII. La Coruna .
XIV. Emigration .
XV. Rosalia Castro
XVI. Santiago de Compostela
XVII. Galicia's Livestock
XVIII. Padron
XIX. La bellissima Noya
XX. Pontevedra .
XXI. Vigo and Tui
XXII. Orense
XXIII. Monforte and Lugo
XXIV. Betanzos and Ferrol
XXV. The Great Monasteries of Galicia
XXVI. Trees, Fruits, and Flowers
XXVII. Dives Callaecia

You can download it from the web. Guttenburg Press,I think.

bawa said...

Surely it is spelt Extremadura, seeing that you are in Spain?

As to the politics, while I don't follow any party in particular, i think you do have to be careful for the statistics you get through the press. For some reason it is fashionable to hammer Spain at the moment.

Look at the figures themselves and Germany is "doing well" cos the prediction was that its economy would go down 6% and it has now been left at "only" 5.6. Spain is bad because it had been set to reduce 3% and now is revised at 3.5%.

Same case for the Swiss group that said salaries had to go down in Spain to improve combativeness. Same people also say Sweden is also competitive, with much higher salaries and tax burdens.

Now we have to believe the very people who caused/ aided/ failed to foresee the world economic crisis?

By the way, there is a lot of very competitive German or other industry based in Spain. Nothing new in that a large part of European cars have been manufactured in Spain. GM & Opel plant in Spain was labelled as the most efficient and productive among the entire group. The fact that it is being closed down & production moved to the least efficient plant in former E Germany; there are other factors here.

Have a safe trip, despite the changing kms!

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...

Ta. Sometimes I write Extremadura and sometimes I write Estremadura. I leave it to my subsconscious . . .