Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Economist has again briefly reviewed the performance of the famous son of Pontevedra and Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy. He has broken all his key pledges, the magazine says. But, then, who but the naïve really believed them? The magazine adds that, despite the new taxes and the widespread cuts, the national performance deteriorated in 2012 and will be even worse next year. Read the full review here.

Just before Xmas I sent out a (non-religious) eCard to my close friends. I always feel there's something ironic about this as I define 'close friends' as those I'm in touch with regularly. Who really should be the last people I need to write to at Xmas. But, anyway, the recipients had the chance to click a button and send me a card back. This had a message on it, reading “I am blessed to have someone like you in my life, to fill it with moments of beauty, thought and reflection.” To be honest, I can't believe any of them can have read this before sending the card. No one, that is, except my brother-in-law, who said he was “more bollocksed than blessed”. But he's a fellow Evertonian and so can be forgiven anything. We Toffees need to stick together. Plus he's from Liverpool, where insults are compliments.

When I got in my car today, there was a snail on my dashboard. I thought this was distinctly odd. But then I read this evening that the south of England is now infested with Spanish 'super slugs'. These are said to be 4 inches(10cm) long and to have mated with puny British slugs to create a mutant which is devouring the countryside. So was my snail a coincidence? I think not.

In my travels over the decades, I've collected several mementos. These include 6 silver napkin rings and six silver goblets from Iran, and 12 carved Mandarin coat buttons in the shape of the creatures of the Chinese zodiac. Or, rather, that's what I should have but, in fact, I have 5 rings, 5 goblets and 11 buttons. I detect a pattern here but am completely lost as to what's going on.

If you watch the credits of an American TV program, it's quite normal to see names from all over the world and it's safe to assume they're third or fourth generation immigrants, and so thoroughly American. Carrying out the same exercise with a British program would yield fewer non-Anglo names. But not so with the BBC's hugely successful Strictly Come Dancing, where most of the professional dancers aren't British. All of this is a prelude to a thought that they must have been employed because they were the very best. Which is as it should be. Meritocratic. Someone who's watched it over the years can tell me if the same is true of the Spanish version of the show – Mira Quién Baila. I have to admit the only thing I know about this show is that it was won one year by the 'celebrity' Belén Esteban. To say the least, she was not one of the best contenders. If you want, you can see her here arguing, at some length, with the judges. Unimaginable in the UK. I'm tempted to say it's evidence of the fact that the only thing the Spanish like more than talking is arguing. But that would possibly be unfair. Especially as you could probably say the same about me.

Finally . . . A couple of people have asked whether I really spent some time with Rajoy the other day. Well, I've been instructed to say that I didn't. Hope that clears things up.


James Atkinson said...

Aha that Must mean you did then.

James Atkinson said...

I am now quite convinced that you did indeed meet him. I see he hails Santiago, not far from your neck of the woods.