Waving a pink umbrella around in the middle of the street is pretty silly, even when you're drunk. When you do it in front of a furious bull just released from a pen, it's downright foolhardy. As a fifty-year old guy discovered this week, just before he was mercilessly gored to death. A similar fate befell a seventy-four year old who also decided to try his luck in a spot of bull-baiting in another town. I'm guessing that, wherever they both are now, the fact that the Spanish government this week declared bullfighting to be of great cultural importance ranked as cold comfort to them. More on this can be found here and here.
As I think it was last year, the summer fashion here in Pontevedra – among the younger women anyway - is to wear denim shorts as brief as you think you can get away with. This often means that the pockets are hanging below the shorts themselves. But the strangest effect arises when the nights are cool and the young ladies sport jackets that come down below their shorts. Leaving me to wonder if they realise what they look like from behind. Or care.
On a more mundane matter, click here for the latest views of various experts on how Spanish property prices will move in the next year. Downwards appears to be the consensus, even though there's no agreement on the percentage. In an agent's window here in Pontevedra today, nearly all the fotos were showing reductions of between 10 and 26%.
Following on from last night's lists, here are one or two more things I do and don't (yet) do:-
Things I do
- I do sometimes say “Como!?” ('What!?') in a disdainful voice if I don't understand someone
Things I don't (yet) do
- I don't park across two bays.
- I don't leave 1-2 metres between me and the next car when I park
- I don't talk at the same time as someone else. Or not much, anyway.
I gave a brief tour of Pontevedra's glorious old quarter to three visitors today. Not in any way to my surprise, they marvelled at the beauty of the granite buildings, some of them dating from the 14th century. In truth, there's so much granite (granito) in this region perhaps it should be called not Galicia but Granitia. Or Granita, if you're a Galician Nationalist. There are, of course, many examples in Galicia of beautiful houses built with stone so mellow yellow you could be in a Cotswold village. Sadly, though, Galicia is also known for its 'feismo', or 'ugliness'. At its least offensive, this is houses of which the weather has turned the stone black. At its most offensive, this might be a house in which at least the ground floor – or possibly the entire building – is made of unrendered brick, unameliorated by a granite facade. As it happens, I took fotos of both of these examples on the way back from visiting my friend Dwight yesterday. And here are two of these:-
Just to redress this balance, here's a foto of a gorgeous house I found today behind the new block of flats I showed a week or two ago. It's an ex water mill and a great example of how good granite looks when it's cleaned up.
There's another ad on TV which is really annoying me. This is the one in which the great comedienne, Victoria Wood, sings the praises of Sky HD, ending with some sentiment along the lines of ..."because we care”. We?? Are we really expected to believe Victoria Wood is on the staff of BSkyB? And does she really want to be associated with Murdoch's payroll? But perhaps I'm being irrational on this.
So, Wesley Schneider(?) is unhappy that his pay at Manchester United might fall below the 190,000 pounds PER WEEK he's used to. Is it too much to expect professional football to put its putrid house in order? I guess so.
Finally . . . Here's something about the darker side of spanish society.