Thursday, September 06, 2012


Walking through the shopping section of town yesterday, I noticed a group of gypsies gathered at one particular junction, with more approaching from several directions. I wondered why but a friend has pointed out there's a hospital nearby and it's customary for gypsies to gather outside – or even inside – when one of theirs is being treated. The internal gathering is not good news and usually reflects unhappiness with the patient's progress. Who'd be a doctor?

Talking of pressure on doctors . . . I get the impression the Spanish State is beginning to apply the sort of pressure – e. g. on the prescribing of generics against branded drugs – that has been commonplace in the UK for years. Likewise, the job of teaching is changing as the government reduces teacher numbers and increases class sizes. Relative to the UK, though, it still resents a rather cushy number.

Off to the ORAL office today, to try to find out why I'm still receiving tax bills for the house I sold last November. Their advice was that I get documents from the notary who presided over the sale and then find out whether these had been sent to the Catastro. The notary is up in Pontecaldelas, the place of the reconstructed battle I attended a week or two back. So, yet more offices to visit tomorrow. And another drive up into the hills. Hey, ho.

We are the centre of the world tonight. Tomorrow we have the all-conquering Spanish football team playing Saudi Arabia in Pontevedra – not sure why – and on Sunday we have the Spanish National Triathlon here. All the marquees on the Alameda which I saw being set up a few days ago are dedicated to the football team. Or, rather, to the selling of merchandise by their sponsors.

Interesting to see a mole-hill in Nice-but-Noisy Ton's lawn today. Usually they confine themselves to mine. Witness the 26 mounds I had back in the spring.

Changing Spain: The council in Vilagarcia, along the coast, has said it'll be amending the Law on Circulation and Road Safety to stop people blocking the pavement by gathering and chatting without a thought to anyone else. And forcing them into the road. How will they police it, I wonder. My guess is it'll never happen. And what about all the cars taking up at least half of the pavement?

Taking a drink in the Savoy café-bar this evening, I noticed that the awning contained the line Desde 1936 (Since 1936). This sent a ripple of emotion through me. Did it open, I wondered, before or after the start of the Civil War?

Talking of signs . . . This is what was written above a shop in the centre of town – Todo a 2 euros. Y mas. 'Everything for 2 euros. Or more.' Of course, the first part was much larger than the second.

Finally . . . At last the identity of Jack the Ripper has been definitively defined. Until next month, I fear.

Tomorrow - The results of my 16/30 - 16/50 research.

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