Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A few years ago, Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python cartoon fame) tried to realise the dream of a lifetime and film his (characteristically odd) version of Don Quixote here in Spain. I know this because his DVD of the calamity this became – Lost in La Mancha – was available for 5 quid in a Liverpool record shop a couple of years ago. And now he’s trying again. Or perhaps he isn’t, as the promised finance has evaporated. I wish him luck. If it ever gets made, it should be a good watch. More here.

Incidentally, I was surprised that Terry Gilliam was described as being British, as I’d always thought he was American. Turns out he took out British citizenship in 1968.

Here in Spain, a lot continues to be written about the latest developments with the Basque terrorist group ETA. The problem is that both the Spanish government and ETA are on the ropes and room for manoeuvre seems to be small. Though this may, in fact, be an opportunity, should the PP opposition refrain from taking a narrow, party-political standpoint. Of which there is, I suspect, fat chance. Anyway, here’s James Badcock over at Qorreo, with a much more informed view than mine.

Talking of the Basque Country, they’re about to introduce the toughest anti-smoking legislation in Europe. Under this it’ll be a crime to smoke in private in front of your own kids. Even someone who detests smoking as much as I do has difficulty with this infringement of liberty. Though one can see the logic. Meanwhile, the Spanish state appears to have resiled on its promise that the tougher law intended for the rest of the country will be with us in January next. Hardly surprising really, as it’s already moved back from “Early in 2010” and “During the second half of 2010”. Apparently, the stricter Basque law will remain in place there even after the Spanish law has (eventually) arrived. You’ve been warned.

I’m interested to see the media talking of probable utility price increases – still dictated by the government here – in the region of 3 to 5%. This hardly squares with the details of my last electricity bill (from a Catalan gas company), which showed unit prices to be 23 to 32% above what they were this time last year. Without any explanation, of course. Or perhaps I've got the decimal point in the wrong place. Must check . . .

Finally . . . It’s not all bad news. I had my day in court yesterday, against my ex internet provider Well, my day in arbitration at El Consumo anyway. failed to turn up, of course - well, would you for 39 euros? – and things seemed to go smoothly for me, after the inevitable delays in getting started. The young lady who presided over the proceedings was far prettier than she should have been and the other good news was that she thinks they’ll be ordering to give me some money back. Albeit in another two years or so.

Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published three chapters of a novel she describes as “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalised Cuba, it’s being e-published one chapter per week. Click here, if this entices you. If you do go and you enjoy it, please comment. It’s tough being a novelist. And the father of a novelist.


Rudy Vinyl said...

what? dificulty have you got.
Sorry I'm lost ?

Colin said...

Sorry, Rudy. Don't understand your question about the difficult I'm having.

Rudy Vinyl said...

....has difficulty witht this infring
ent of liberty,
sorry my mistake.

Colin said...

Well, it's arguable that people should be free to do what they like in private, even if they harm themselves and their kids' health.

If one takes the opposite view, where do you draw the line at interference in a family? Why not monitor parents with CCTV cameras, to ensure they are not harming their kids psychologically in any way? Which would be true of probably 100% pf parents. As Larkin famously said . . .
They fuck you up, your parents do.
They may not mean to but they do.
They fill you with the faults they have.
And add some more, just for you."

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