Unmistakable signs of tough times:-
1. One of the Chinese shops ('bazaars') in the city is closing,
2. The Somali umbrella seller tried to rip me off twice this warning. Firstly, by selling me a broken brolly and then substituting another broken one for the good one I'd chosen.
3. All the brollies he was selling were second hand. Presumably either stolen or bought from cafés and bars where they've been left. As I did with mine yesterday.
4. The phone shops now only have one person behind the counter instead of the customary two that allowed them to chat to each other while you were waiting for attention.
Which is a nice link into the inaugural lunch of the Rías Bajas chapter of the Anglo Galician Association (the AGA). Apart from costing me my umbrella, this was a great success. In so far as we were able to put in some serious eating and drinking. The next meeting will get down to the trivia of what we want to do as an association. And how we're going to do it. Anyone interested in knowing more can contact me via the button above. Especially if they've got some ideas . . . By the way, 'Anglo' denotes that the proceedings are all in English, not that the AGA is confined to Anglo nationalities. It's open to all with an interest in Galicia.
Which reminds me . . . I've formed another association recently and, again, indications of interest are welcome. This is VOGA - the Victims Of Gallegas Association. Which is pretty self-explanatory, I think. In time, we may go nationwide with this. In which case, it'd have to become the VOEA. Which doesn't trip off the tongue quite as well. Perhaps if I exchanged 'Españolas' for 'Brujas', to form the VOBA. But the real problem would surely be that, if we opened this to all nationalities, membership could run into the millions. Perhaps we'll just start with the Galician version, the Victims Of Bruxas Association. Vamos a ver.
In the UK, it's illegal to put on the hazard lights of a stationary car. Here in Spain it's virtually obligatory. What they signify is that the vehicle isn't doing what it looks like it's doing - causing the traffic to slowly slalom along the street, blocking the traffic entirely, or parking on a zebra crossing, for example. In fact, the basic understanding to which we're all expected to subscribe (including the police and the car-pounder) is that the vehicle simply isn't where it looks like it is. And, truth to tell, the drivers normally get away with it and nobody complains. The police certainly drive past the cars as if they didn't exist, raising their popularity among the locals, I suppose.
Accidental discoveries are regularly made in Pontevedra. The most recent of these is a stretch of the medieval walls near the basilica of Santa María. As pictured here.
The council is - very slowly - restoring these. But it's not clear if they'll go as far as to rebuild the tower that used to stand above a gate at this point. Let's hope so.
Finally . . . I asked three companies to quote for both a small and a large-tree cutting challenge up at my house in the hills. The first two quotes came very quickly and the third arrived last night. And here they are, in euros:-
3. 1000 (Yes, virtually three times the lowest quote).
So, a no-brainer. The best quote came from the guy who charges 25 euros an hour. Which, as a few readers pointed out, is relatively cheap. Let's hope he doesn't fall and cause problems because he's got no insurance. Of course, if he kills himself, I'll just bury him behind the house. Under a new patio.
Finally, finally . . . Somebody sent me this list of things to know about satellite dishes. May be useful.
Finally, finally, finally . . . Here's a web page which may or may not provide at least some info on how money is raised and spent in Galicia. And here's another which might just prove useful to someone.