Friday, June 03, 2011

After a successful Anglo-Spanish dinner party at my house last night, I'm prompted to say that one of the things I like most about Galicia is that there isn't a foreigner here who doesn't speak good Spanish. And some of us can even get by in Gallego. Which is quite a contrast with other regions in Spain.

Talking of household matters, my bottle-laden trip to the (colour-coded) communal bins this morning reminded me that some of my neighbours have difficulty with the concepts of 'plastic' and 'paper'. Either that or they just can't be arsed to put things in the right contenador.

Life in Spain. My two young visitors had arranged to meet a friend last night but, at the appointed time, he was nowhere to be seen. So they came home and, eventually, went to bed. He did finally call, though. At 3.45am.

I mentioned the other day the controversy provoked by the sympathetic treatment of Franco in the Royal Academy's Dictionary of Biographies. Here's the IberoSphere take on this. As Guy Hedgecoe says, "The furore sparked by [the] dictionary entry is indicative of a wider issue in Spanish society: the lack of consensus about how to remember the civil war and its aftermath. . . . The monument to Franco at the Valley of the Fallen outside Madrid is an embarrassing blight on the landscape of an otherwise dynamic Western European country." I'll say it is. Though I will visit it one day.

The A8 is the motorway which runs along Spain's north coast, from the French border to Galicia. It's been under construction for a long, long time and, indeed, there's one 22km stretch in Cantabria for which the route has yet to be determined. Every now and again it's announced that a new bit has opened and today it was the turn of that between Touzas and Villalba. Along with stretches opened over last winter, this should ease my journeys to and from Brittany Ferries in Santander. But I fear it will be another five years - possibly even ten - before this trip will be motorway all the way. As has been the case for several years for a trip from Pontevedra to Malaga on the south coast. Taken with the slow progress of the high speed AVE train, it all certainly smacks of a lower priority for the north of Spain. Presumably the President of our government has always lacked clout in Madrid. Possibly because we need too much largesse from the central coffers.

Finally . . . Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that my profile picture has changed. This follows my old friend, David Brown, sending me a new version of the sketch he did of me. To show me in my blue period.

No comments:

Search This Blog