As the Spanish government wraps itself in the green mantle of good environmentalists in respect of Gibraltar harbour, it's salutary to take a look at what's happening under the same government to what's left of Spain's coast. Where principles come up against the potential for cash and profits. And lose out.
In the days which followed the dreadful Santiago train crash, there was a media frenzy around the driver, who was universally portrayed as a 'speed freak' who'd either deliberately or, at least, recklessly taken a curve at 200kph, with conscious disregard for the passengers. Nothing at all was said about the possible negligence of parties responsible for the design of the track and for the safety systems in operation. Or not, as it emerged, in operation. Several weeks on, things have been reversed. A member of Parliament who was injured in the crash has called for the Ministry of Public Works to be held accountable. Warming to her theme, she's said the Minister should have sacked the CEOs of ADIF and RENFE for their borderline criminality. Maybe one day.
Interestingly, the UK (which has little space and even less sun) has announced it's going into solar energy in a big way, just as Spain (which has a lot of space and even more sun) has announced it's reversing direction and will be using solar power creators merely as a cash cow. My apologies, by the way, for repeating a link on the latter development yesterday. Sometimes I write posts in a bit of a hurry. Or maybe I'm beginning to lose it. Beginning to lose it.
The Local does a good line in lists and the latest is the 10 things Spanish expats find odd about the UK. Some of these, e. g. the booze drinking and the lack of clothes on a winter night out, shock most of us Brits as well. See the list here. Someone has rightly pointed out that it omits the absence of mixer taps in the UK. Here in Spain most places have been built in the last, say, 30 years, and all have mixer taps. The other unlisted thing that probably shocks Spaniards is the absence of bidets.
Finally . . . One of the advantages of having a posse of women to stay is that they leave behind such things as a bottle of Champney's Spa Indulgence: Exotic Retreat Bubble Heaven. I took advantage of this to luxuriate in a bath yesterday evening but, sad to say, the smell from the drains won out over the mixture of coconut milk, papaya and ylang ylang. Which reminds me . . . I learnt recently that Spanish builders do without the vent pipe installed in other countries. One of them justified this cost saving on the basis that "We have windows that open and close". Not in my bathroom we don't.