Monday, July 02, 2012



My visitor, Mike, was rather shocked (and insulted) today when, at the Carrefour checkout, he was asked to show what was in his shoulder bag. I'd neglected to tell him he had to put this in a locker by the entrance, as every customer is assumed to be a thief. Well, not quite everyone; ladies with handbags and I with my rucksack are not subjected to any search procedure. This doesn't seem logical to me but there you are.

A conversation in the Pontevedra Turismo on Sunday:-
Do you have the Events Guide for July?
No, it usually comes out on the 5th or 6th of the month and we might have copies by then.

'Twas ever thus and I'd be rather upset if I'd organised something for the first week of the month. Even more so if I'd paid for this to be advertised in the Guide.

This is a nice article from Guy Hedgecoe of IberoSphere, on the decline of Spanish institutions. Rather than cite specific quotes, I urge you to read the article in its entirety. I believe it endorses several observations I've made over the years. I'll just add that, if the Catholic Church is your only institution to emerge untarnished from the boom and bust, then you must be in very serious trouble.

Surveying the wasteland that is Spain's property market, Mark Stucklin makes the following points:- Private vendors might feel they're already digging deep but they might end up the biggest losers from the European bailout for Spain’s banks. The bailout means that banks can afford to drop their prices (and will also be forced to) while offering better mortgage conditions to people who buy one of their repossessed properties. As banks control the property market, private vendors in Spain will have no choice but to follow suit, and swallow the resulting losses. Spanish bank losses, on the other hand, will be paid for by German taxpayers.

And now for the good news . . . The Spanish eleven wowed an awestruck world on Sunday night, to win the Euro Cup. This is surely the best team any of us has ever seen and, quite possibly, it will only ever be bested by itself. I was going to say that the Spaniards have revolutionised football but, in truth, they've merely shown how devastating you can be if play all the basic elements extremely well. To say the least, the overpaid and under-performing English team are at least one light-year behind. The only thing I can recall them doing well, was punting the ball blindly upfield. Which, of course, usually resulted in the loss of possession. How farcical it is that they'll now move up the international rankings because they didn't lose a game, other than via penalties against Italy.
Finally . . . You know your'e getting old when the last-time-I-looked 6 year old daughter of a neighbour is to be seen parking a BMW in front of your house.

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