Yesterday was the feast of the Virgin of the Pillar, which is a poor translation of La Virgen del Pilar. But, anyway, this particular virgin – we have lots – is also the patron saint of Spain. So it was naturally a holiday – we have lots of them, too - celebrating the nation’s existence. And there was a military parade. Anglo readers might find this a little odd – associating it with totalitarian states or South American ‘socialist democracies’ - but there were are. At least there was some booing and jeering of the President, Señor Zapatero. At first I thought this might be the first signs of recession-driven social breakdown in Spain but I read that, in fact, it’s a tradition. Though I don’t know whether it stretches back to before the incumbency of this particular office-holder. And neither do I know whether the jeerers belong to the left or the right of the political spectrum. Or were just members of the unemployed community.
On the subject of break-down – either of just Spain or of the whole EU project – those who were left worried by the blog cited yesterday might want to return to it and read all the For and Against comments below it. Particularly that of Anonymous posted at 5.22am. This might set them a little more at ease. But, then again, it’s reported today that Moodys has now been rather negative about Spanish banks. Hopefully they meant the small fry of the known-to-be-parlous Cajas, rather than the big boys of Santander and BBVA.
My visitor, Mike, has been swimming daily in our community pool, come rain or shine. And, as yesterday hit 28 degrees, he naturally went down for a dip. Only to be back within a few minutes because the pool area was overrun by un-parented, noisy kids. From his description, I concluded that gypsy children had meandered up from the nearby parque infantil and somehow got past the large gate on the street. This suspicion was duly endorsed this morning when the gardener told Mike he’d put a lot of chemicals in the pool so swimming was out of the question for a few hours. And then had mentioned, Mike thought, a piano. Which I took to be gitano. I did wonder whether they’d been allowed into the pool as a concession, it being the Day of the Nation. But this theory was rather shattered when I went down to the pool today and found gypsy kids climbing over the gate separating it from the community pathway. So, it’ll be interesting to see how my neighbours react to this, given the fear that exists about the consequences of restraining gypsies from any of their anti-social activities.
Meanwhile, the only person who really has anything to fear is me, as I told the kids to get down off the gate and leave the community. Which, rather to my surprise, they did. Thank God I’m indistinguishable from everyone else who lives around here. They’ll never be able to pick out my pink face.