Friday, July 08, 2011

On Sky TV early this morning, the News reporter invited us to return, after the ad break, to Scumrise, quickly correcting this to Sunrise. Right first time, mate.

On the theme of the moment, the rather nasal Ed Miliband spoke of young people 'going into the journalism community'. Or 'becoming a journalist' as we used to say.

Interestingly, there already seems to be a Sunday Sun. At least on line. But it's clearly a paper local to the north east of the UK and owned by the Trinity Mirror Group. Hard to see, then, that Murdoch's group can bring out a paper of the same name.

Final comment on this subject:- One thought keeps recurring . . . If Rebekah Wade really did know what was going on, then the chances of a disgruntled ex-employee blowing the gaffe must be huge. As she must realise this, one's left with the unlikely conclusion that she wasn't aware of widespread criminality on her watch. And so was just managerially negligent, albeit on a vast scale. But, as both knowledge and ignorance are sacking offences, she surely can't have long.

To be brutal, sometimes it's hard to believe that Spain can export itself out its mess simply because of the level of inefficiency one comes up against. Here's a conversation I had this morning at the Land Registry Office:-
I've come to check whether the registration of my house's title has been done. I deposited the papers a month ago and haven't heard anything.
Has anyone called you?
No. That's why I'm here.
Let's see. What's your name?
Well, we might have problems here as I only have one surname but two first names.
OK, what's your first surname?
I just told you. I only have one.
OK, what it is it?
[Checking the computer]
Well, yes, the registration has been completed but the Registrar hasn't signed it. She's not in today and Monday is a holiday. So why don't you come back Tuesday or Wednesday and she can sign it then?
[Wearily] OK.

Of course, the reason why the Registrar wasn't in today – and why I have to make yet another trip - was exactly because Monday is a holiday and she'd decided to give herself a long holiday, from Thursday to Tuesday. Which reminds me, civil servants here have a right, called una excedencia, to take a FIVE year sabbatical whenever they feel like it, with a guarantee of their job back when they eventually deign to return to the grindstone. They don't get paid, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if the five years still counted towards their pension. But no doubt someone will tell me, if they don't.

And here's another short conversation I had a couple of hours later, in one of the bars I'm testing to find a new regular lunchtime place:-
Do you serve a Rioja Reserva here, by the glass I mean.
I'll just go and check . . .
[Returning with bottle and showing it to me] Yes, here it is.
But that's not a Reserva.
Sorry? [More accurately 'What?']
It's a Crianza. Look it's written on the label.
But it's a Rioja.
[Wearily]. OK. Give me a glass . . . .

All of which reminds me that our community gardener was engaged on two tasks yesterday. Two or three years after they were put down (and after I fell through some of the old ones), he was replacing five or six of the (untreated) walkway boards which had rotted. Additionally, he was belatedly spraying the rest of them with preservative.

We have two shops dedicated to bridal gowns in Pontevedra. One of them's not just out of the centre of town but is actually located only a few metres from where George Borrow landed at a riverside quay in the 1830s, before tramping what he called 'a long way through the mud' into the city. Anyway, both shop-owners must be worried to know that the bottom has fallen out of the market for expensive weddings. Even in snobby Pontevedra, I fear. As a recent article put it:- “The family tradition of spending a king’s ransom on a daughter’s wedding is dying a slow and painful death as a result of economic hardship. Wedding ceremonies have been reduced by more than half and along with the demise of the white wedding, dozens of associated industries that rely on the wedding trade have suffered a downturn.” So, I'll have to keep my eye on the two shops in town to see whether either of them goes under. If not both.

Finally, sadly and very wearily – I'm disappointed to report that lax security in the cathedral of Santiago has led to the theft of a priceless 12th century gem. This is a beautiful manuscript of sermons and liturgical texts which served as a guide for Camino de Santiago pilgrims and is considered to be a document of global importance. Pictures here. Apparently, there were five cameras in the strong-room but none was focused on the book. And the thieves got in using a set of keys which they left in the door. Said the Xunta's Councillor for Culture, “Santiago has to recover it because it is the jewel of the cathedral and of the city.” Amen to that. Even from an atheist. Said one of the cathedral’s priests - “I have my suspicions as to which of the key-holders might be implicated. But it's a sin to be reckless”. What about criminally negligent, then?

Which is were we came in, of course.


Mike the Traditionalist said...

"Apparently, there were five cameras in the strong-room but none was focused on the camera." Not quite sure what that means but are you trying to say that there were five cameras monitoring the room but none were actually monitoring where the book was kept? Sounds like an inside job because the person(s) who stole the book would have to know exactly where it was kept and how to get to it without being seen.

Colin said...

Yes, exactly, Mike.

Ferrolano said...

My understanding from another report, was that the book was kept in a safe to which only three people had the keys. And, that none of the five surveillance cameras were focused on the safe.

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