Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Downtown, the preparations for the weekend’s Feira Franca (medieval fair) are well advanced, as these pictures show. I’ve said a couple of times, one can’t fail to be impressed by the ingenuity,time and effort which goes into making events like this a success. If the Spanish approached the challenge of exporting in the same way, there’d be no question of the country being able to do a Germany.

As I had my camera with me, I thought I'd show you the entrance to the yet-to-be-opened new museum which harbours the big defensive ditch that was accidentally discovered a year or two ago.

I say 'museum' but it's actually called El Centro de Interpretación de las Torres Arzobispales. As you can see from the picture. Or not, because of the modern, artistic way this is represented.

I also thought I’d show you one of the 10 to 15 flat blocks which are still going up in Pontevedra, notwithstanding the end of the construction boom. I'll post more, if the demand is there . . .

 As with the houses that have been going up for more than five years behind mine, God knows when these will be occupied.

The same question applies to the house next door to mine, which was sold a couple of months ago. During August this has been completely gutted and internally rebuilt. Which delighted my summer guests by adding to the noise and dust we’re well accustomed to from the perpetual building site across the road. But, hey, the new owners will surely be in quite soon and doubtless the first thing they’ll do is to come round and apologise for the nuisance. And for the fact they’ve had not one but two skips taking up four precious car-parking spaces for the last month. But possibly not. The Spanish are among the most affable and polite people on earth but my impression is that neighbourliness is not their bag. Or maybe I’ve just been unlucky.

The Spanish phone company Telefónica (now Movistar, I think), operates the highest internet prices in the EU but this is not enough for them, it seems. They say it’s not right that heavy users should get the same price as everyone else and plan to find some way to charge these even more. I can’t help wondering whether this is a reflection of the fact that the Spanish are the worst (best?) in Europe at illegally downloading films and songs, thus hogging broadband space. Maybe so, but I suspect it's also another good profit opportunity for Telefonica. Bound to make them even more unpopular. As if they care.

Finally . . . I recently bought a humane trap to catch the (increasingly) fat rat which finishes off the dog’s dinner outside my front door. On each of the last three nights I’ve succeeded in catching a brace of mice but no rat. I release the creatures in the forest but I’m beginning to harbour a suspicion that . . . yes, I have a race of homing mice in my garden. A whole new sport beckons. For those who can’t afford to keep racing pigeons. Apply here for your starter pair. You could have a vast team of them within a few weeks.

Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now e-published the second chapter of a novel she describes as “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalized Cuba, it’s being posted one chapter per week. Click here, if thise entices you. I guess the easiest way to automatically get new chapters is to become a Follower of her blog. Or use Google Reader or the like. Why wait?

1 comment:

Ferrolano said...

Colin, you’re spot on about Spanish neighbourliness, or otherwise.

Some years ago, living in a flat in Ferrol and the one above was sold. The building being some 20 years old with very suspect water piping, the new owners decided to carry out a massive overhaul, which entailed hammering and banging from early morning until evening time. This encouraged me to go to work on time and wife to spend many hours in shops and cafes. After a couple of months of this, wife was getting accustomed to the noise and was trying to sleep in when she was awoken with the feeling of dust falling onto her face; she opened her eyes to see a jack hammer drill bit projecting through the ceiling – I believe that she set a new speed record for dressing and going upstairs to remonstrate with the contractors. Owners of course were not there!

That is not the end of the story. Some months later when the work was about complete, she was sitting in the room that served as the office, when she noticed that the chair seat was wet and, that water was dripping down on her. Looking up, she saw that the glass globe around the light fixture was full of water, to the extent that it was overflowing. The water was coming from above, running down the light cord and fixture into the globe.

This time, she rushed to find the portero who eventually tracked it down to the builders upstairs, who when installing the wooden flooring over the concrete, had nailed straight through one of the support strips into one of the embedded water pipes. The fix, you’ve guessed it, start banging and hammering again…!!

Needless to say, the new owners never did apologize or for that matter, never did speak to us all the time that we lived in that building.

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