Monday, September 13, 2010

I went on a shopping expedition this morning. As ever, this was about 75% successful. But it did include a trip to my favourite shop in the city – the ironmongers (ferretería) in the old quarter where you can buy a single screw. Or, indeed, a single little spring and a single ferrule for the end of your walking pole. At a total cost of 20 cents. Elsewhere, I finally managed to get something to get rid of the mould stains on the inside of the (cold) northern wall in my ático. ‘Mould’ is moho in Spanish and I was not keen to tackle the pronunciation of this word. I knew the ‘h’ was silent but unsure whether the ‘o’s were separated by a (semi) glottal stop and whether they were pronounced exactly the same and were of equal length. So I had some fun in my regular bar, practising with one of the staff, before I went off to ask for it. I finally got it right. But still sounded like a cow with a cold.

One of the other shops I visited was the kitchen goods store which sold me a сafetière on Saturday. This was to tell them the plunger was two inches (5cm) too short, making the machine useless. There was no problem getting this changed, of course. We took a replacement from the display item and I left the inadequate plunger with the shop assistant. I’ll now try to resist the temptation to go back and check whether it’s simply been put back on the shelf. Which is a Carrefour speciality, in my experience.

There was a useful spread of forecasts for the Spanish economy in one of the papers today. The range for this year was -0.1% to -0.7%, with an average of -0.4%. For 2011, the range was 0.4 to 1.3% growth, with an average of 0.75%. Need I say that the Spanish government is the most optimistic for next year, forecasting 1.3%.

As for politics, the right-of-centre PP party is now reported to have a lead over the governing PSOE party of almost ten percent. What’s not clear is whether this lead would be bigger but for the huge corruption cloud hovering over the PP party leadership in Valencia. I guess it’s conceivable it could be smaller, such is the accommodating attitude to corruption here.

I think I suggested a week or two ago that this month’s Medieval Fair (the Feira Franca) was our last big event of the year. But I now recall we have an Oktoberfest in Pontevedra. A google search didn’t throw up much on this today but I was interested to read that there’s an annual “Anglogalcian cup”. Which appears to be a football match. Does anyone know anything more about this? All of which reminds me . . . I seem to have again missed the tripe festival in my barrio of Poio again this year. Damn.

It’s ten years today since I took up residence in Spain. Time, I guess, for a review to replace the document I wrote after only nine months here – Welcome to Another Time and Somewhere Else. So, watch this space.

Meanwhile . . . and Finally . . . Sometime this week, the counter I’ve been using longest will record the 250,000th hit to this bog. There’ll be a huge prize for whoever this is, on production of proof.

Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published five 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 at the rate of at least a couple of chapters a 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.

Non-Google Advert: Looking for accommodation for the ETU triathlon European championships in Pontevedra next June? Click on the Contact Me button above for details of a great place just outside the city.


Diego said...

Quick question, Why Spain and why Galicia specifically?

I guess one of the reasons is it´s closer to a Ferry than say, Andalucia.

But i´d really like to know why you made those choices.


CafeMark said...

I think Colin chose the one place least likely to get a fast AVE connection in the short-term (unlike Andalucia, Valencia, Catalunya etc) so he could have a regular moan! ;)

Colin said...

I used to have an answer to this on my Galicia page ( but the link is now broken. Which I think happened when I was dealing with the consequences of a desktop repair which cost me most of my files. In a word, then . . . I was planning to buy a holiday/retirement home in N Portugal, close to the previous home of my then (British) wife and her two (half Spanish) sons. Eventually, I decided to forget Portugal and bought a house in Pontevedra in a zone favoured by my (now ex)wife. So, short answer - "A woman". As ever.

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