Friday, April 27, 2012


I noticed twenty minutes ago that someone was drilling a wall in a room off this café. But since then the noise hasn't registered. Does this mean that, like all Spaniards, I've developed filters? Or could it be it's because the two women on the table to my left are shouting at each other, in apparent belief this is essential to mutual understanding?

Which reminds me . . . Nice-but-Noisy Toni hasn't been around for several days. Can he really have gone back to sea? If so, his two sons - aged 14 and 8 - are more than making up for him. Which is a clincher for the Nature case, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, talking yesterday to my neighbour Manolo, who shares a wall with Toni on the other side from mine, I referred to Toni as La Voz de Galicia, which went down well with Manolo. It's surprising I hadn't thought of this before.

So, the recession and Pontevedra. Are there more well-dressed beggars sitting on the steps of some vacant shop or other? Well, what do you think? But the recession isn't bad news for everyone, of course. It seems every street in town now has a shop in which you can trade in gold. And the wretched creatures who panhandle on the basis of an incompetent performance on a basic musical instrument can still be seen coming and going from the gypsy quarter on my side of the river. Where their daily needs are happily met.

I take it back - I can now hear the bloody drill. But, then, the women to my left have gone.

MoviStar: The Final Chapter?
My mobile rings:
Hello. This is Ana. I'm ringing about your request for an internet package.
Yes?
Well, the number you provided yesterday [the 4th.] isn't the one MoviStar have got. But they are prepared to go ahead anyway.
Oh, good.
But I understand you're going away at the weekend and that it has to be delivered before Friday.
Yes.
Well, I can't guarantee this will happen.
How about on Saturday?
No, I can't guarantee that either. When will you be back?
June.
Well, we have to leave it until then.
Yes. Indeed we do.

Am I being too cynical or merely pessimistic to expect bills from MoviStar will now be delivered to my mailbox, matched by direct debit payments going out of my bank account? Another case for El Consumo building up? Vamos a ver.

I wrote a few weeks ago that it was hard to see any other team than Barcelona or Real Madrid winning the Champions Cup. Well it's a lot easier now, as both have suffered astonishing semi-final defeats at the hands of Chelsea and Bayern Munich. So, here's another prediction - Chelsea won't win it. Given my track record, though, I've just put 50 quid on them to lift the trophy. In the hands of that idiot, John Terry.

All that said, at least my all-Spanish final forecast would have been accurate as regards the Europa Cup. For Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao will face each other in this. Anyone who doesn't know why one team is Athletic and the other Atletico should search this blog for the answer, given earlier this year.

Finally . . . Carrefour. Spit. Spit. My disdain for this (French) company is well established but it's now been augmented by a big sign near their trolleys saying only 50 cent coins will unchain one for you. In Marcadona, they take not only 50c coins but also one and two-euro coins. Nothing could give you a better appreciation of their respective attitudes to their customers. You know, the ones who pay their salaries and give them their profits. But, to be honest, I'm pretty sure the French management would be shocked as well.


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