I guess if each British county council had a president and each of these belonged to either one of the three national political parties or to one of the nationalist parties in Scotland or Wales and you brought them together to agree a concerted plan to get the UK out of recession, they might just struggle. So why anyone thought a day of (probably simultaneous) discussion between 20 Spanish presidents would end in anything other than abject failure is quite beyond me. Especially as some of these barons have difficulty in following the party line from Madrid. But, anyway, our leading local paper – the Voz de Galicia – added to the hilarity with this comment:- “The conference of Presidents has never been outstanding for its organisation. But yesterday it exceeded itself. Such was the chaos reigning in the Senate, you couldn’t find anyone to confirm any data, any order of the day, any timetable, any schedule or any press conference.” Sometimes you can’t avoid the conclusion the Spanish really can’t be bothered to be efficient. An impression that was horribly confirmed by a letter in the same paper which complained that a hospital had lost the results of a one-off cancer test that the patient had waited months for so would now proceed treatment ‘on the basis of probabilities.’
Oops. After a few months of the Spanish property market showing signs of thinking of coming back to life, things have again taken a turn for the worse.
The expression “false friend” is used to denote a word in one language which is the same or similar to one in another language but means something rather different. As with ‘sensible’ in English and French and ‘gamba’ in Spanish and Italian. But I thought of the expression yesterday when I read that a hunter had killed one of his companions with a stray shot. Not because he was, clearly, a lousy friend but because the Spanish report described the shot as ‘fortuito’.
Talking of luck – You need it when travelling on our north-south AP9 autopista these days. In addition to the occasional ‘kamikaze’ driver going down the wrong side of the highway, there’s also the odd horse. And, this week, three stray cows. These, too, were heading down the wrong side of the barrier but I suspect they knew nothing of this.
Is there no one you can trust here? A 73 year old priest in Jaen has been jailed for defrauding a fellow curate of 14,000 euros. What can you say? Incidentally, apart from the spell in jail, the offender has been fined 360 euros. Which should leave him with a nice profit. But will God be so lenient?
The fact that one of my sisters had gone down with swine flu has prompted the question – Wasn’t there going to be a second wave of this come the autumn/winter? Did I miss it?
I see that the number of delegates freezing in Copenhagen at the GW conference has risen this week from 16,000 to over 30,000. If they huddle together, they should be able to keep each other warm.
Which reminds me . . . Finding my lunchtime glass of Rioja to be too cold today, I cupped it between my hands and held it on top of the stool, essentially in what I think the Spanish call my ‘entrepiernas’ (and the Italians might just call the ‘entregambas’). Whereupon one of the bar ladies asked me where the wine she’d just poured me had gone. Unfortunately, she's the one with a tendency to blush at the slightest provocation. But all ended well as I was able to warm my wine on her face.