Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I posted something late last night. If you haven't seen it so far today, you might like to scroll down.

First things first . . . I inexplicably failed to include two paragraphs in Saturday's post. So here they are now:-

Being - except when depressed - an arrogant elitist, I detest the modern TV practice of reading out the emailed or texted opinions of viewers or listeners. I've decided to give this vox populi babble a name but have rejected vopopabble as being too long, in favour of merely pabble. I wonder if it will catch on.

Talking to my neighbour Manolo about internet providers, he said he was a client of MoviStar and that the maximum he ever achieved was 1 mega, compared with the '6 to 10' offered in their ads and 'Up to 6' which I was offered by the folk I dealt with. Talking to my neighbour on the other side, Jacobo (husband of the divine Ester), he said he was a client of R and that 1 mega was all they could ever receive. I told him of my problems with MoviStar and he immediately offered his wi-fi key so that I could access their internet. Over the years, I've written of the (perceived) quirks of the Spanish but I've always balanced this with the point that the Spanish - once you are a personal friend - can be the most 'noble' in the world. And this is not a bad example of that.

But anyway . . .

The fearsome Herr Schäuble came to Spain this week. Click here for the FT's take on his trip to Santiago. Correctly enough, the FT thought this city was "an appropriate place to deliver a message of extraordinary faith, even if some might still think it an unlikely story."

Strange to relate, not long before I read of the visit and the all-party commitment to austerity measures, I read this comment in A J P Taylor's great book, "The Origins of the Second World War":- The [1929] Depression was started by collapse of a speculative boom in the United States; and the unemployment which followed was swelled by the failure of purchasing power to keep pace with the increased sources of production. Everyone understands this now; just as they know that the way of out of a depression is to increase government spending. In 1929, hardly anyone knew it; and the few who did had no influence on policy. It was generally believed that deflation was the only cure. There must be sound money, balanced budgets, cuts in government expenditure and reductions in wages. Then, presumably, prices would somehow become low enough for people to start buying again. This policy caused hardship and discontent in every country where it was applied. . . Everyone applauded the measures when applied to others but resented them when applied to himself. Sound at all familiar? Are your reminded of the dictum - "Those that do not study history are condemned to relive it?

Interestingly, the strongest proponents of this strategy today - the Germans - went in the opposite direction (alone) back then and ended up with their infamous inflation. Perhaps that's why they now militantly support and proselytise the strategy they eschewed back in 1929.

The drive up north from Portsmouth to Liverpool was smooth enough yesterday afternoon, in some lovely early summer sun. At least until we got south of Birmingham. As we approached the outskirts of Liverpool, I was amused by the sign to "Football Stadia". Meaning those of the Everton and Liverpool clubs. I quickly calculated the number of supporters of both clubs likely to know the Latin plural of "Stadium" and got seven. Nine at a push.

As we got to her home, my sister sounded a tad sad when she remarked "You know, I couldn't find anything on that boat to complain about. And the pastries were to die for. Especially at only 2.5 euros each." I fear she'll be back!

Finally . . . A couple of fotos:-

This is almost certainly the ugliest new-but-unfinished house I've seen in Galicia. Made even worse by the fact that it faces, not down the hill to a decent view, but sideways to an ugly building next door. I read a week or two ago that a wave of squatting had hit Spain but I rather doubt even squatters would descend to living in this monstrosity. The architect and builders should be hung by piano wire from the nearest yardarm.


Lenox said...

Spain's last architect was run over by a tram in Barcelona in 1926.

Anonymous said...

Well that house is just terrible. Even I could have done a better job Colin. Perhaps I should look into Architecture.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Hmmmm... Some people here would say he was very Catalan rather...

Perry said...


Pablum would be the apt term for the Twiterers . It means material whose intellectual content is thin, trite, bland, or generally unsatisfying.

Colin said...

Excellent. Thanks, Perry. I see it is also 'A trademark used for a bland soft cereal for infants.'

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