Friday, March 15, 2013

Last night's post lies marooned on a USB pen which won't function because it's "drawing too much power from the USB port". If anyone knows how to solve this problem, please let me know, either as a comment here or by writing to me here.

Update: According to the man in the shop, my USB pen is crocked, or to use the technical term - 'fucked'. This happens when you use a pen as if it were a regular hard drive, instead of only using it fleetingly. If you do the former - as I did yesterday for the first time - it will eventually overheat. Perhaps after ten years or perhaps after only one day. As in my case.

So, I can't retrieve last night's post and will have to rewrite it from memory over the course of today.

More anon.

Update 2

In more than 68 years of marriage, my father never allowed my mother to put anything other than salt in her cooking. So you can imagine how bland our food was as kids, before we could leave home at 18 and throw ourselves into the world's vast array of spices. I thought about this tonight, as I was preparing stew for my bedridden mother, my sister and I. I was tempted to chuck in several cloves of garlic from the hands I'd brought from Spain but decided not to, just in case. But I did go to what would be the spice cupboard, to find only half a jar of dried parsley leaves. In the end I contented myself with adding just a couple of red peppers (pimientos, not chili) to my mother's standard ingredients. One step at a time.

Update 3

I have some familiarity with the way properties are bought and sold in Spain. It takes up a lot of time and involves a great deal of paperwork. This is true whether the title is registered or not and it's always done via a notary. Who is a civil servant and an institution more appropriate to the 18th than the 21st.century. In fact, I've always been surprised that he or she wasn't using a quill pen. Here in the UK, you can't get hold of paper even if you want to. All title documents are held electronically at the Land Registry and getting hold of them is as simple as filling in a form on line and sending it off. If you're lucky they'll be with you (on line) in an hour. If not, within a day. Inconceivable in a Spanish context. In this, as in other aspects of Spanish life, one feels that no one is at all interested in making the process more logical, easier or quicker. Instead, one suspects that the underlying attitude is 'It may not be perfect but it either creates or maintains employment. So we'll stick with it.' Not exactly an approach that chimes with a dynamic society. On the other hand, the tax authorities send you a draft declaration every March and you can do everything on line, quickly and efficiently. This is what I mean when I say that Spain has one foot in the 21st century and one in the 18th.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

From your part of the world should n't that be Pementos, rather than Pimientos?

Anonymous said...

Hello Colin,

I also know a bit about the bureaucracy in Spain and the archaic ways of going about many things. I can also tell you that the USA is resembling Spain more as time goes by. What use to take a few hours or a couple of days is now turning into several days if not weeks. However, as in the Spanish example you mention, the I.R.S. still doesn't miss a beat when it comes time to collect taxes.
Sorry I can't give you any help with your pen drive. I've always tried to maintain as ignorant as possible with anything relating to computers...and very successfully I may add. Maybe that's why my blood pressure is 125/82.

Regards,
Jorge
SF Bay Area
P.S. try using bay leaves and rosemary next time you cook anything. Your family will appreciate it.

James Atkinson said...

All the food my partner and I consume is prepared from fresh ingredients, and scarcely any salt added. I bake our bread, each 55gramme loaf contains just 1 teaspoonful of salt. So I don't have high blood pressure then do I!
I wish. Sometimes you just have something wrong with you, because it's in your DNA. These day's with so many obese people around and lack of exercise, it seems it is increasingly assumed to be ones own fault. Rant over.

James Atkinson said...

That should read 500 gram!

Colin said...

Thanks, Jorge.

That's a very decent BP. Mine hovers around 138/85. I think in the States they'd probably put me on medication but not in Spain, thank God.

I always use bay leaves in stews and rosemary when I cook lamb.

Cheers.

Colin said...

Thanks, James. I am full of admiration!

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