Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Well, the Indignados's tent city in the centre of Madrid will be furled up next weekend, as it probably will be here in Pontevedra too. The number of tents in our Alameda has varied between the low 20s and the low 30s but my impression is that the whole thing has really become what someone has called "a lifestyle choice". Which explains why we have more dog-trailing-travellers than usual in the city. Not that they all bother us by mis-playing the pipes and begging.

Talking about my garden . . . I planted a fig tree and a lemon tree about 7 years ago. The former has grown rather better than the latter and has produced a single fig in each of the last few years but around 25 this year. The lemon tree has produced nothing at all until this year, when it has come forth with a single lemon. Albeit about the size and appearance of a small lime at the moment. I don't know why but all this talk of trees has brought to mind the old saying that:-
A woman, a donkey and a walnut tree,
The more they are beat the better they will be.

And one of these is still permitted, of course.

I mentioned productivity around the EU last night. It's a brave man who gets into the detail of this but Charles Butler has done so. Making some interesting observations on Spanish practices in the process. Particularly - "Many [workers], along with their employers who retain them on a part-time or as-needed cash basis, cheat the system." Making a nonsense of the data.

Talking of false statistics, here's an interesting article ("Truth, Lies and Euros") from the American Spectator, addressing Spain's regional debts and other aspects of EU (mis)management

I got this article, by the way, from a news service which alerts me to everything written on Spain in the entire world. The range is phenomenal. Just this evening, for example. I've been advised of stuff in the Himalayan Times and something called the Dong-a Ilbo. It's a bit of a nuisance having to weed out all the crap journals you don't want but worth it in the end.

Well, the Anglo Galician Association has been revived and the circulation list contains over a hundred email addresses. Maybe we can really get it off the ground this time, especially as we will link into the vibrant Portugal North organisation. Write to me at if you have any interest in knowing more.

Finally . . . Here's a short list of expat writers resident here in Galicia, and their recent works

1. Peter Missler: "The Treasure Hunter of Santiago". Like an historical Sherlock Holmes, Peter Missler traces the true tale of Benedict Mol, the treasure hunter, through the mists of time and a smoke-screen of cover-stories. It is a fascinating saga which takes us into Portugal with the looting French invaders, into the wildest mountains of Northern Spain with the brilliant polyglot George Borrow, and - by the hand of Mol - into the darkest nooks and corners of a hospital for syphilitics

2. John Barlow: "Everything but the Tail: A Year of Pigging Out in Northern Spain". Galician cuisine, with an emphasis on the staple dish of cocido, in its numerous forms.

3. James G. Skinner. "Serene Maiden". A novel about drug running in Galicia and Cornwall.

Finally, finally . . .  News of an enterprising thief

Thank-you and Goodnight.


Ferrolano said...

Oh the fig tree – I remember when at 9 or 10 years of age, my grandmother was widowed and a couple of times a week I would go along to her house to help with the garden. And, she had a fig tree, and from what I remember, it was about the same as yours; until finally one year there was a single fig. We guarded, nurtured and did everything possible to protect the “fruit”. The party was prepared, the fanfare was ordered, awaiting the ripening of the solitary fig – alas it was not to be and in spite of the care and the south west orientation of the tree, the lonely fig fell to its death while still green.

What is more amazing, is that your blog prompted a memory that has been lying dormant in my memory bank for more than 50 years – the human brain and memory storage and recall facility is truly amazing – I only wish that it was this good when I was a student sitting exams.

Colin said...

Yes, memory is a strange thing. I have what I decided to call years ago an "associative" memory. With this, I can reel off joke by joke, always using one as a link to the other. But, the day after I've finished it, I can't recall the character in a book, or even its title. For example, last week someone called me for the name of the book I'd read on the train coming to Pontevedra from Madrid. And the author. I couldn't recall either and could only say that he was Australian and that he'd won some literary prizes. And the plot is a big blank to me. But one day something will trigger total recall of the book, by association.

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