Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I wonder why it is that 85% of those who bothered to vote in an El Mundo on-line survey felt that Spanish kids wouldn't go as far as their French counterparts and protest against the possibility of having a quality of life less good than that of their parents. Is it, perhaps, because they just can't imagine this happening? Or is it because they feel confident that, if they can't live off their parents or their inheritance, they can always find someone else? Or is it simply because most of them still live at home and their parents wouldn’t let them?

I’ve mentioned a few times that the airport down in Oporto benefits from the infighting between Galicia’s three small airports. But the latter have now been given a ray of hope. By the Portuguese government, of all people. The latter has just introduced tolls on all main roads down to the airport, ensuring that we’ll have to a pay a minimum of 70 euros even if we’re only going to make the journey once. This is because there’s no way to get there without buying a gadget that lets you through the booth-less tolls, plus a minimum of 50 euros credit for this. One can understand that they’re looking for new revenue from wherever they can get it down there but did they have to shoot themselves in both feet in the attempt? I won’t be surprised to see a change of policy quite soon.

Which reminds me . . . The Pontevedra town hall has just decided to arbitrarily re-draw the local maps and bring in numerous businesses in the nearby port of Marín. To whom they then sent 4 years worth of municipal tax demands. As you can imagine, this hasn’t gone down too well with our neighbouring council. The first of many such spats, I imagine.

Forgive yet another picture of the public works outside the town hall but I wanted to point out the piles of lovely bricks that are stacked there, alongside the work that's already been done. The quality of the latter looks terrific to me but the slow pace at which it's being done is astonishing. As with the building site behind my house, days pass without any sign of anyone doing anything. The inescapable conclusion is that several sites are being worked on at the same time, on the principle that you can displease all the people all the time.

If you’re interested in Galician literature but need it translated into English, try this - Breogán’s Lighthouse: An anthology of Galician literature. It contains more than 200 texts of mainly poetry and fiction, covering medieval literature, the so-called Dark Centuries and the 19th and 20th centuries.

Finally . . . The new museum showing the huge defensive ditch just inside Pontevedra’s walls is still not open but I managed to get these sneak pictures today. The first is from just inside the entry doors and the second from further in, near the ladder you can see in the first. When challenged, I asked when it would be open, to be told that they had no idea . . .

Tailnote for new readers: The first eight chapters of my daughter’s novel can now be read and/or downloaded in pdf form, for easy reading. It’s 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. If this entices you, click here.

1 comment:

Traction Man said...

The Portuguese are the world's masters at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. As a nation they constantly stab themselves in the back while shooting both feet. The silly thing is, the Portuguese public are a wily bunch and there is no tax known to man that they can't get round, dodge, avoid or ignore. This latest mad move by the hapless government in Portugal is just yet another sign of how out of touch the elite bunch of poorly trained lawyers from Lisbon who pretend to rule the country really are. Lovely country, wonderful people... totally inept rulers!