Monday, October 15, 2012


I went to see Pontevedra FC again this evening. It was another disappointing result – a 1-1 draw(tie), despite Pontevedra being the better team. But I was impressed to see that the ground is child-friendly. Baby-friendly, in fact. The young woman to my left had a pram in the aisle. Astonishingly, its occupant slept throughout the match, despite being subjected to all the traditional sounds of a football match, including the chants of burro(donkey) at every visiting player who came near us. I put the child's equanimity down to the NAP(Noise Assimilation Program) which every Spanish child is exposed to from birth. Especially if they live next door to me.

El País has a cartoonist – El Roto - whom I've never understood. Perhaps 'cartoon' is the wrong word as his offerings seem to be political commentaries in graphic form, and designed to make us think rather than laugh. The latest, for example, has a guy holding a wordless placard, with the following above his head:- “No to the principle of authority without principles”. Thinking about it, I probably can understand this one.

Talking of El País, the newspaper – like all others – is going through tough times and is laying off a third of its staff. Where, one wonders, will these unfortunate folk be able to get a job. Will they all end up writing unpaid articles for the Spanish version of The Huffington Post? Is there one?

My friendly robin hasn't been around for a while. Has it been the victim, I wonder, of the bloody cat I've seen prowling my garden? If so, can I prosecute it for murder? Or just shoot it?

The Carrefour hypermarket on the other side of town now has, I'm told, an English section. If so, this would be the first innovation in more than a decade. Progress!

There seems to be something of an obsession here in Spain with adorning things with the British flag – the union jack. After jackets, T-shirts and bags, today saw its appearance on a couple of umbrellas being sported at the Sunday flea-market in Veggie Square. Why, for God's sake? The bigger question is – Since I aspire to being seen as an English eccentric, should I join in?

Am I alone in thinking this headline is decidedly ambiguous? - Spain is reclaiming 136 children taken out of the country by one of their parents. If so, how should we re-phrase it?

Another question I have is – If I were young and fell in love with a Spanish girl with a voice like a buzz saw – or like Janice in Friends - how would I go about solving the problem? Of course, this rather begs the question of whether I could fall in love with a woman whose voice - like smoking - was a real turn-off. But anyway.

The city of Jaen has a wonderful (and expensive) new tram system. But only one tram has travelled across its lines – the test vehicle which provided free services for a short while, during local elections. In other words, it's another of those vanity projects, or white elephants, which populate Spain. And which doubtless generated massive 'commissions' during the good times of the phoney boom. Other examples are those splendid stations for the AVE high-speed train which are lucky to get three passengers a day/week/month.

Finally . . . Here's Our Ambrose with a scathing commentary on the EU's debt strategy.

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