Monday, September 06, 2010

I guess it says a lot that the only person so far to say anything good about ETA’s proposed cessation of violence is Gerry Adams. Though maybe Tony Blair has got in on the act by the time you read this. Anyway, Guy Hedgecoe says everything that needs to be said over at Qorreo.

I may say that major construction projects continue to dot the skyline here in Pontevedra and ruin the sylvan tranquillity behind my house but Mark Stucklin says it looks like there’ll be fewer than 100,000 residential planning approvals this year in Spain. Which compares with nearly 900,000 at the peak of the (phoney) boom. As he puts it “Moribund is the only way to describe the present state of the Spanish home-building industry, especially on the coast.”

There was a letter in El País today on the various unscrupulous ways the mobile phone companies here empty your bank account. My elder daughter’s partner warned me of one last week, when I said I was considering moving from Orange to Vodafone. The latter have a translation service for voice messages but they don’t tell you about this or give you the option not to have it when you sign up. They just bill you for it. Which possibly explains the sour reaction I got in their office a couple of weeks ago when I insisted on reading the contract.

All of which reminds me . . . I have an arbitration session at El Consumo tomorrow morning involving my (ex) internet supplier, Which is owned by the same (French) company as Orange. The outcome of this may just affect whether or not I stay with the latter.

In my morning wi-fi café, they may finally have got their act together following the installation of a couple of computer terminals a month ago. Today I got a chit containing my table number, my order, the name of my waitress and the cost. But we’ve had false dawns before. So vamos a ver. All I really know is that I’ve lost a plug socket.

Celtic Corner: - The cultural and language origins of Galicia are very much rooted within the Celtic family of communities found elsewhere in North West Europe. Hmm. The language, Gallego, is an amalgam almost of Portuguese and the various other Gaelic tongues. Double, if not triple, hmm. More nonsense here.

Finally . . . My humane trap continues to catch mice but, so far, no rats. Worse, it’s clear that at least one rat has learned not only how to get in through the counter-weighted hinged trap-door but also how to get out again, taking the bait with it. I’ve added extra weights so now we’ll see if the rat’s cleverer than me. If I never mention this subject again, you can assume it is.

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.

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