Monday, November 23, 2009

In a recent BBC podcast from a student bar in Glasgow, there was so much background noise it was difficult to hear the speakers. It rather reminded me of Spain. But, given there's so much emphasis on fun in both places, I guess this is hardly surprising.

Anyway, President Zapatero says Spain’s recession will be over by the end of the year. Meaning this year, I believe. He may well be right but, with his forecasting track record before, during and after the recent general elections, I doubt there’s many people here prepared to bet on it.

Well, a quick read-through of the book in Gallego on Galicia’s history didn’t endorse my suspicion it would argue that Galicia had been an independent/suppressed nation for hundreds of years. But there certainly was a stress on the Celtic connections. The first person to emphasise these appears to have been one Manuel Martinez Murguía, in the 19th century. Why he opted for the Celts rather than any of their antecedents and successors – Iberians, Romans, Goths, Visigoths and Moors – I don’t yet know. Especially as it’d be extremely hard to find any trace of a Celtic language in Gallego. As opposed to place names, of course.

Talking of Galician luminaries . . . Aubrey Bell wrote a nice little chapter on two of Galicia’s leading novelists of the 19th century - Condesa Emilia Pardo Bazán and Don Ramon del Valle-Inclán. You can read this here. And, as I did finally manage to get yesterday’s extract on the Spanish character posted to my web page, you can see this here. Or download the whole book (“The Magic of Spain”) from here.

Ahead of the ecotalkfest in Copenhagen later this month, here’s a couple of interesting observations from the sceptical side of the divide. And a bit more on the recent developments which don’t put the scientific majority in a terribly good light. I wonder where the truth lies.

Finally . . . I haven’t posted a foto for a while, so here’s one of a shop in Pontevedra. I suspect it sells furniture. Though my first thought was that the slogan on the window was a good encapsulation of the Spanish concept of customer service.

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