Sunday, August 21, 2011

I wrote another Midday EU Special today. Scroll down, if interested.

Sometimes coincidences are just too much. No sooner do I mention the Seychelles than I see Harry Belafonte on TV singing Jamaica Farewell, the first song I learned to play on the cheap guitar I bought in my first week there. Provoking quite a serious bout of nostalgia.

Any yet another coincidence . . . I mention Orwell here a couple of times and then I see the weekend Literature supplement from El País majors on a new translation of three of his works. Just as their Travel section featured Samarkand right after I'd mentioned it a couple of weeks ago.

And speaking of Orwell, here's another couple of strange words from Keep the Aspidistra Flying:-
To keek: To look/peep.
To Nancy: The only meaning I can find on the net relates to the word 'nancied'. But I doubt this is what Orwell had in mind. More likely he meant something like 'To act camply' and I doubt he'd get away with it now. (Yes, Orwell does use a capital N for this word, and various variations on it, such as Nancified.)

But is this a more sinister coincidence? I went to an long-forgotten Gmail address and answered a chap who'd written to me in 2008. A minute later - literally - Facebook suggested I befriend someone with the same name. Now, Facebook and Google are said to be inveterate enemies so it's unlikely they're collaborating. So, is Facebook able to take advantage of what I'm using my computer for? Spooky, as the good Dame would say. No wonder some people stop using it.

According to Spain's Federation for Municipalities and Provinces, 40% of the country's local governments are now in serious financial difficulties. Click here for one example.

Here in Galicia, our capital of Santiago is now trying to make money from the huge white elephant built over the last decade or so on its eastern perimeter. This article suggests it was always seen as something which would benefit the city via the 'Bilbao effect' but I have my doubts. It's far more likely it was built - super-expensively and painfully slowly - as a vanity project to honour the region's long-standing President, Manual Fraga. And to provide some useful kickbacks. But maybe that's just me being cynical.

In Pontevedra, it's a tale of two cities. Dozens, if not hundreds, of shops have closed but there are still places opening up. In fact, this morning I even came across what I suspect is a new estate agent(realtor). Of course, as the provincial capital, the place will be badly hit if the next government really does eliminate the provincial level of government. But, as I've said, I very much doubt this will happen. Though there may be a reduction in the numbers of parasites who work in it. Tokenism, in other words.

Sometimes it's the little things that give you a clue as to how a society operates. Whenever I approach the entrance to the underground carpark at the mall down at the roundabout, I always signal that I'm going to turn in. But the cars waiting to come out never take the risk I'm not and am going to carry straight on. Even if I start signalling when I'm only 15-20 metres away from the entrance. Clearly - and perhaps understandably - no one here believes any signal.

Sometimes you just wish you had your rifle with you. Or even a machine gun. There was some idiot in Vegetables Square today - doubtless a bloody tourist - feeding the flying rats with peanuts from his hand. I gave him a withering - but useless - keek.

Anyway, here's a foto of one of the branches of my pexeigo tree. The weight of the fruit is so great it's broken this branch. 

And, finally, here are a couple of fotos of a Pontevedra phenomenon I've mentioned over the years.

Firstly . . . An 18/40. A woman who looks 18 from the back but 40 from the front.

And now, an 18/60. Which you can figure out for yourself.

And, yes, I can assure you that this couple are of a similar age. It's not a fine example of a spring-winter romance.


Ferrolano said...

The Administration may have been misguided (along with numerous others around Spain) when they embarked on the “City of Culture” project. That having been said, both the architecture of design and the engineering of construction are truly two superb examples of their trade. I have never been there, only glimpsing the complex from the highway as I zoom south, but I have watched a terrific TV program (Discovery Channel??) about the construction. Hopefully as time goes on the “White Elephant” may turn grey.

As for the ethics of the “Social Sites” I would not be at all surprised by their antics at spying on the client base of each other.

And if Tokenism does reduce the public debt, then move on. It would be a good start.

Was that you interviewing the 18/40 candidate? - It did look somewhat similar from the back!!

Colin said...

I guess you mean the 18/60. But no, it wasn't me. It is her partner. Who does look and act his age.

Sorry not to have seen the Discovery program o Gaia.

Victor B. said...

The place is well worth the visit if your only intention is to see the building. There's nothing inside.

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