Friday, November 19, 2010

Down in Pontevedra, right next door to the boarded-up Better shop I showed last week, is this newly-opened pastry shop.

This is a sister to at least another Capri shop in town. They’re considered the best of the several hundred we have here in Pontevedra. And they must be, as their Santiago cake is frightfully expensive.

Readers may recall the new coffee-and-chocolate place near the town hall I snapped a few weeks ago. Clearly there are plenty of folk here still rich enough to patronise these places. And, if things continue as they are, a visitor from Mars in, say, twenty years time will find little but pastry shops and tapas bars in Pontevedra city. So, they may mistake it for Vienna. A city which inspired this eulogy from the wonderful A A Gill:- Cafes have spread to every corner of the world: from the high Himalayas to the oases of the Sahara you can sit in a cafe. They are Vienna's gift to all of us. Properly egalitarian, they belong to everyone - you can read a paper, talk bollocks, write a book about alienation or discover an Oedipus complex. Cafes aren't just the transcendent examples of civilisation, they are the crucibles of culture: more great thoughts have been had in cafes than in all the world's universities, and Vienna has the finest and the best.

Reader Mike the Traditionalist has asked for more fotos of the other chicas in my regular bar-café. So, here they are. It's my hat, of course:-

And here’s another sneaked foto of Maria, who’s still refusing to cooperate with the camera.

Finally – and more seriously – here’s an article on Ireland’s economic history of the last ten years. It has loud echoes of Spain – the same combination of powerful elements:- real growth in the 90’s; a falsely high currency from 2000; a falsely low interest rate; over-easy credit; lax regulations; and governments which stood by while a predictable phoney boom and a ‘genuine’ property bubble developed. Reader Moscow would have me think things were exactly the same in the UK and that Britain will soon pay the same price as Greece and Ireland. But I hae me doots. Looking both backwards and forwards, in fact.

Incidentally, a recent Guardian article claimed that the Irish situation was proving quite useful to Germany, in its challenge of taking over from France the task of forging the EU in its own image and likeness. Which I suspect is true.


Mike the Traditionalist said...

Colin - many thanks for the pictures of the guapas in your hangout.

CafeMark said...

I suspect a proportion of the population are doing well in most countries. In fact a UK government minister had to resign today, for stating that some of us had never had it so good. A bit harsh I thought, as Gordo was able to state his "no more boom or bust rubbish". If you're in a stable job and paying off a mortgage,I imagine these days of low interest rates are very good news. Not so pleasant for those losing their jobs or businesses though.
Still hard to see here in the UK what is really happening. I've not seen any evidence of exports improving (yet there has been good news regarding this subject in places like Germany and Spain). I'm hoping Dave and Gideon's trips to India and China may help in this respect, but I'm not over-optimistic.

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