Thursday, August 18, 2011

Earlier today, I posted a Special on the EU. Scroll down if this is of any interest. In this blog, I'll just mention that 15 of the 17 counties of the eurozone now appear to me to represent the First Battalion of Innocent Bystanders in the struggle between France and Germany as to how the EU will be run. And they're not very happy - especially here in Spain, perhaps - about the duopoly's threats to withdraw promised development funds unless key EU ratios are met in 2012. On genuine figures, of course.

Back to real life . . . It was a bitch of a morning for me. Being late and hungry, I decided to go to the café at the roundabout. Having got my coffee, I then discovered the wi-fi didn't work. And nothing we could do would coax it on. So, I left and walked into town. Where, en route to the quiet café I favour, I finally managed to pick up a USB cable for my new phone. Having ordered a water at the Quiet Café, I then discovered their wi-fi didn't work either. But, hey - I thought - at least I can now download some podcasts to my phone. But no, nothing would persuade the bloody Mac to deliver anything. So, I moved again and, this time, finally got a connection. Out of sorts with life, I decided to write the EU Special and them make my way to Vegetables Square for peanuts and wine. And wine. Whereupon the day got a lot better and I had fun on Facebook. And probably made a fool of myself.

Last night I took a look at the fairground and stalls on the Alameda. To say the least, there wasn't a crush. But maybe this was because it was 10.30 and so relatively early in Spain. Which reminds me, I went to sleep at 1.15 to the sound of Toni and family raucously playing some game next door and alternatively cheering or groaning at a high decibel level. Life in Spain. Arbitrary and noisy.

Well, although the PP party has rejected the claim that the provincial level of government is redundant, it has volunteered that the Spanish system smacks of the 19th century and needs overhauling. Meaning, I guess, that some of the country's 1,115 municipalities will be fused with others - almost certainly to the detriment of the PSOE party, if things follow their normal course. Galicia, by the way, has a disproportionate 350 or so of these councils, some of them ridiculously small. But all jealously guarded in view of their patronage privileges. It'll be an interesting few years in this sphere.

Meanwhile, more than 20 of Galicia's councils say they can't pay salaries, amongst other things. But it's not always easy to tell as many of them are refusing the regional edict that they get themselves audited. As I've said, one wonders why.

Still in Galicia - Three companies have been accused of fraud in the recycling of the stuff we put in our four separate contenedores. Well, some of us anyway. This prompts a recollection of a complaint from some local village a couple of weeks ago that all four of theirs were being tipped into the same huge truck. Against this backcloth perhaps it's not very useful to quote statistics on the region's recycling performance but here they are anyway:'
Currently: Only 10% of rubbish is recycled (against an EU average of 24%)
Target for 2020: 35%

So, the obvious question is - Will this target be achieved before or after the first high-speed AVE train leaves La Coruña for Madrid.

Someone was arrested up near Ourense yesterday for doing 235kph(147mph) on the A52. This was a truly international event as he was a Frenchman living in Portugal.

Finally . . . With thanks to Prospect magazine, I'm acquainting you with the British filmmaker, Humphrey Jennings, who's regarded as an outstanding director of the 30s and 40s. Certainly, I'll be buying the DVD collection of all his stuff. And I hope one or two of you do so as well. . . . Writing in 1954, the film director Lindsay Anderson, thought Humphrey Jennings "the only real poet the British cinema has yet produced." Jennings specialized in documentaries of British life, beginning his career in the GPO film unit. This wonderful Film First DVD features three of his best films: Listen To Britain (1942), Diary for Timothy (1945) and I Was A Fireman (1943), also know as Fires Were Started. Also featured is a brief, but absorbing, documentary by Kevin MacDonald (director of Touching The Void), and a useful booklet about Jennings and his films.

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