Saturday, December 22, 2012

El Gordo is Spain's annual Xmas lottery, offering total prize money in the billions of euros. As the government strives to raise tax revenue from every conceivable source, this year will be the last when winners get their cash tax-free. As of January, there'll be a 20% deduction and this will quickly hit the next big draw, El Niño, on January 6th.

Another unusual source of government revenue will be payment for 'non urgent' ambulance journeys. As with (the new) prescription charges, what you pay will be linked to your income and one wonders how it will all be calculated. And when. Will the paramedics have a credit card machine at the door? If so, it will surely call for ID and the signing of a chit. Even if you have a broken hand.

This time of year sees an influx of cars to our street, as my neighbours' relatives arrive for the five huge meals of the next week or two. Or at least for those on the 24th and the 25th. Which means I can't find any space to park, even though my frontage – as it were – is larger than most. Especially when inconsiderate bastards leave 2 to 3 metres between themselves and the cars in front and behind them,

My friend Jon has told me of a beggar with an interesting USP – “I am Spanish and still on the street.” Jon was sufficiently impressed to cough up.

I've ben re-visiting the Frasier comedy series. I'd (almost) forgotten how beautifully they were constructed and how witty and funny they were. Perhaps only Lee Mac'ks Not Going Out in the UK matches them for the laugh quotient. But other nominations would be well received. 

Talking of TV, tonight saw the final of the BBC's hugely – and justifiably – popular Strictly Come Dancing. As I write, I don't know the winners but I do know it's been the best series I've seen. And I know – but can't quite believe - I've just applauded a dance in my own salón. On my own . . . 

Finally . . . This site will take you on a tour of Spanish cities with Jewish connections, including Ribadavia here in Galicia and possibly Tui here in the province of Pontevedra. This has been done in association with Google and there's some info on what that means here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Don C,
For the language handicapped, the link to the Routes of the Sefarads in English is
Captain Rick