I’m not sure that any of the constituent nations of the UK have a National Day. England certainly doesn’t and there are few there who even know on which day the feast of her patron saint (St George) falls. I mention this because yesterday’s feast of the Virgin (also Our Lady) of the Pillar was Spain’s National Day. As well as being that of Madrid and the Guardia Civil, I think. The trouble with these days is that – other than in a totalitarian state – their management can be a bit tricky. So they can illuminate not only national unity but also national disunity. Especially in the Nation of Nations that is modern Spain. Accordingly, there was quite a bit of booing and jeering at yesterday’s parade in Madrid. And some scandal over remarks made by a Catalan politician about genocide. On top of that, there was a bit of international disunity as well, with Venezuela announcing at the last moment that her ambassador wouldn’t be attending and her flag wouldn’t be flown in the march past. While stressing that relations with Spain were as ‘good as they have ever been.” Or as bad, perhaps.
This sentence, from Guy Hedgecow at Qorreo, merits citation for a number of reasons, but mainly because it echoes my comment yesterday about corruption in Spain’s Deep South. And East. Or should that be The Wild West? - The tribly-hatted Del Nido may resemble the typical steward of a Spanish coastal club – his peers spend their spare time masterminding corruption rackets, fixing matches and, in the case of one second division club president, emptying a handgun into the door of a brothel to which he had been denied entry – but he nonetheless runs Sevilla with rare prudence.
By the way 1: I wonder if Guy’s predecessors used to be called Hedgerow, as my fingers keep typing?
By the way 2: Can anyone tell me where I can get a tribly hat?
Here’s another picture of the new café specialising in chocolate drinks, on the far edge of the public works in front of the town hall.
As you can see, there was no one working there today. As was the case on the building site behind my house, where they’ve already taken more than a month to erect what looks to me like a simple concrete wall, about 60cm (two feet) high. As predicted by my plumber, the ‘bridge’ of Monday and Tuesday appears to have been extended until at least the end of today.
The café, I realised today, is nowhere near the centre of either the old quarter or the new town centre and one could be forgiven for worrying about its survival chances. But this is to ignore the fact it’s strategically located between the city’s town hall and the offices of the provincial administration. Which is, perhaps, an even better location than that of the common-or-garden café at the side of former, which advertises its total reliance on the statutory coffee breaks of the civil servants by not opening at all at the weekends.
Finally . . . You’ll all be wondering who won between me and the rat. Well, my humane trap did snare a rat last week but I’d unfortunately forgotten to check it during a couple of days of heavy rain. Meaning I wasn’t able to release a happy rodent into the forest. But I do now know what a drowned rat looks like. And since then, I’ve managed to catch four mice at the bottom of the garden, all in one night. The first one in presumably shouted to the rest “It’s lovely here. Come on in!” Now to see if, like snails which you chuck over a neighbour’s fence, they have homing instincts!
Tailnote for new readers: Exciting news. 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.