One of the background reasons for the general strikes which hit several European countries yesterday is that booms and busts don't display anything like a nice symmetry. Those who gain most while things are rising are never those who lose most when they're plummeting. Especially when the winners include the heavily populated ranks of crooks we hear so much about in Spain. And who enjoy whatever it is that Andorra has to offer the discerning visitor.
Thinking about it, most people in yesterday's strike demonstration in Pontevedra were talking rather than chanting. Which is rather appropriate, given they were mostly members of the chattering classes. So no violence here. Contrast Madrid – where I've just read that a woman has lost the sight of one eye, having been hit on by, presumably, a police baton. Is it any wonder that the Spanish government wants to make it a criminal offence to photograph the police? They surely can't get this through, can they? Perhaps the EU should take a stance on this and warn them off. As if.
The oasis of quiet I visit in Pontevedra used to be called Café Moderno. This was back when it belonged to one of the components – Caixa Galicia - of our new bank, Novagalicia. The odd feature about the place was that it kept banking hours, closing at 2pm. Its name has now been changed to Café Tortini but the horario remains the same. It's hard not to believe this is for the benefit of the staff rather than the customers who get (gently) turfed out at 2.
Talking of good cafés, there's a famous one in Belém in Portugal, west of Lisbon. This specialises in a cream and apple pastry (pastel) that has them queuing down the street for front-of-shop sales, while an endless series of small, linked cafés behind serve thousands of Pastéis de Belém a day for consumption with your tea or coffee. A very pleasant experience. Especially in the company of the lovely Lucy of Lisbon. Seen here towering above me at Sunday's cocktail party at the British Embasssy in Lisbon. Because I didn't have my lifts in. Or heels on.
We have a new tapas bar in town – or, rather, a gastrotapas bar, as it labels itself. I was drinking with friends there last week when a waiter brought a plate of something that looked like battered squid rings. But it wasn't; it was something I've spent 12 years studiously avoiding – pig's ear. Which, believe me, has an unwelcome, spit-outable texture. I was telling the lovely Ester about this yesterday and she confessed to loving the stuff. So I'm off her. She's not even Galician, for God's sake!
Spanglish: 'Pudding' has been taken into Spanish - to mean, well, pudding. But in the form of pudín. Or, in the new bar I've just mentioned puding. Though I suppose this could have been a typo.
A quick test – Who are the fathers of these kids? Isiditro, Jacobito and Ramonito?
Finally, and inevitably, here's the YouTube video of a wonder goal that you may never see another example in your life, no matter how young you are.