Monday, August 12, 2013

Gib; And A few other things.

Gibraltar: Just when you thought things couldn't possibly get any dafter, they have. 

Providing some evidence of that most un-Spanish of things - a master-plan - the Foreign Minister has just announced his latest weekly ratchet - He's thinking of going arm in arm with Argentina to the United Nations to seek global sympathy for their respective claims on Gibraltar and The Falklands. 

The man is either brilliant or - more likely - has taken leave of his senses. Putting aside the fact that the world has a few more important things to bother itself with right now, there's the inevitable uncomfortable perception that these are 2 corrupt governments, each desperate to distract its electorate from domestic disasters. Whither 'Brand Spain'? 

Worse, the Argentinean government was the Devil incarnate to Spain when it nationalised (without compensation) the local arm of Spain's oil giant Repsol not so long ago. True, desperate situations make for strange bedfellows but can you imagine a funnier combo? The mandarins in London's Foreign Office must be laughing their socks offs. 

And then there's Ceuta and Melilla (not to mention the 6 or 7 islands) which will be gleefully tabled by Morocco if this idiotic scheme goes forward. My God, even El Pais noted yesterday that this would be the inevitable consequence of Spain's planned tango with Argentina. And it warned the Spanish Foreign Minister to think about the consequences of his actions. I, for one, though seriously hope he continues to fail to do so. 

Still, if it all succeeds in distracting those Spaniards who think about anything during August, it'll all be worth it, I guess. And, better, it will've given the rest of us a few belly laughs along the way.

But to be serious for a second . . . The worst aspect of all this is that the reality is the British government dearly wants to get shut of Gibraltar, now that it has no strategic importance. But every time the bellicose Spanish minister opens his over-large mouth and irritates the Gibraltarians, he makes this less and less likely. It's as if the megalomaniac lunatic, Franco, were pulling his strings from the grave. So perhaps they're not laughing in London but pulling their hair out. Knowing that all the progress made with the Zapatero government is being wilfully reversed, thanks to extremists in Rajoy's right-of-centre (and very troubled) government.

It's reported that Real Madrid are thinking of paying c. €120m for a British footballer, Gareth Bale. If it goes through - and some suspect it's just dog-day journalism typical of August - it could well be true that it'll be "The craziest deal in the history of football". And "will mark a nadir in the sport’s descent into madness". Blame for this attaches, most feel, to Real Madrid, who obviously have their reasons for making the insane world of planet football even madder. Even if most of us can't understand them.

If you've ever wondered what the easiest language for a native English speaker to learn might be, then this may surprise you.

I used the free wi-fi in Veggie Square for the first time in quite a while yesterday. I'd almost forgotten just how stupid the log-in process is and how irritating it is to have the service cut itself off every 20 minutes, obliging me to use a different phone number and code each time. One wonders whether the designer has ever used the internet. Indeed, one wonders whether the designer isn't a donkey.

The capacity to irritate me isn't confined to Spain, of course. I've subscribed to both The Times and The Telegraph for some time now but each of them obliges me to re-log in periodically. The latter adds insult to injury by telling me: "You have reached your limit of 10 free articles a month.
 Subscribe today for unlimited access to our award-winning journalism." Perhaps the donkey's business is international.

Finally . . . Here's something on a Pontevedra legend from my friend and fellow-blogger, Anthea. I have to admit I hadn't heard it before.


Sierra said...

Only in Spain, pt.2639:

After 6 or 7 years work on eliminating a sharp bend on the Lugo to Sarria railway line, they are now bricking-up the tunnel entrances, and apparently abandoning work:

Perry said...


Jag kan förstå Svenska, men jag kan inte tala det. I can understand Swedish, but I can not speak it.

I lived & worked for Bofors AB in Karlskoga in central Sweden, for 13 months during 1965/67. I was helped in learning the language by a Norwegian co-worker who spoke very good English. His Swedish had a slight lilt to it, typical of Norwegian speakers & I picked it up.

Swedish friends from Stockholm would find this amusing, but it was a better sound than the guttural speech of friends from Gothenberg.



Perry said...


I found the tunnel mouth to which you referred. The C-546 crosses on a viaduct over the excavations for the railway track. In tracing the route from Sarria towards Lugo, Street View shows only a single track in 2009. Were there plans for a dual track AVE service, if so from whence to hence? Looking at the excavations, Pobra de San Xian will lose the use of its station situated in Rúa de Orense.

I traced the line south from Sarria to Monforte de Lemos & discovered a railway museum at the magnificent half round house & turntable just to the north of the station.



Anonymous said...

Perry, Can't find a plan for AVG Sarria to Lugo here

So I'd say a jolly good thing they're bricking the bloody tunnel up.

Damned shame they are not bricking everything up until they've paid down their debts. Including Rajoy's mouth.

Colin, your Norwegian link doesn't work, try


Perry said...

Here is a map dated 2012.

If there had been plans to construct a double track high speed line from León to A Coruña via Monforte de Lemos, Sarria, Lugo & Betanzos, then I suspect it would have wired at 3000 volts, continuing the wires from Ourense & León. I understand that there is an ALVIA (mixed high speed-conventional) Barcelona–Vigo, via Saragossa, Pamplona, Vitoria, Burgos, Palencia and Leon. With connection services to Gijón in Leon and to A Coruña in Monforte de Lemos.

However, there is also a fairly decent Estrada between Monforte de Lemos & Lugo. Where did the money come from?

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