Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gib (of course); Brand Spain; Amazon Spain; Airports; Borja Art; and Spanish customs.

The Gibraltar saga has now degenerated into comic opera. A Spanish ex-general (retired from some planning position under the last PP government) has accused the current PP government of offering its bare bum to Britain for not taking measures - like what, I wonder - to stop its 'air and naval group' entering Gibraltar harbour. Shame he's not an ex-admiral, allowing us to invoke Gilbert & Sullivan. Anyway, I suspect he's wrong and that only one of the ships will enter the harbour. But what are facts when you want to provoke the only fight you've been involved in all your working life, and beyond?

As with the all the financial losses fraudulently inflicted on property-buying foreigners down in Andalucia, the Spanish government appears to care not a jot for its reputation abroad. Despite all the empty talk about Brand Spain. Worse, it seems not to care about what's being done to its own 10,000 citizens being forced to wait at the border for up to 7 hours in the sun as they try to get to work in Gibraltar. Needless to say, Catalan politicians are making hay while this sun shines, regretting the "improper bullying and harassment" by the Spanish government. If you're pushing for Catalan independence, it pays to be able to depict the Spanish government as a nationalist bully.

But anyway . . . I've tried Amazon Spain for the first time - for the TV I finally decided on. They don't really seem to have got the hang of things yet:
9 Aug: I got a message saying the product had left the store and would be with me some time on 13 Aug. i. e. yesterday
13 Aug: As I sat in waiting for this delivery, I got another message at 12.15 saying it had just left someone else's warehouse and would be with me 'within the next 48 hours'.
Which is quite a large margin. As my elder daughter said to me last night: "Dad, you still haven't learnt to moderate your expectations". The first rule of a happy life in Spain.
The good news is that it arrived late yesterday afternoon. So, all's well.

Here in Galicia our 3 small international airports continue to compete the life out of each other via ever-larger subsidies to airlines such as Ryanair. The upshot for the poor customers is that flights can suddenly move from one (convenient) airport to a different (inconvenient) airport. Meanwhile, Oporto's facility continues to grow at the the expense of the Galician trio, not least of all because it has a superior attitude to customer service. Most recently, they've improved the bus service which will take you from several Galician towns direct to the Portuguese airport. The problem is that, while the case for rationalisation of the 3 Galician airports is incontrovertible, no one's going to have the political will to take the decision to implement it.

Talking of incompetence . . . You'll all remember the Spanish artist who turned the fresco of Jesus in her local church into something resembling an orang-utang. Well, she's now had an exhibition of her works and, in truth, one or two of them don't look half-bad. Click here for more on this.

Finally . . . I occasionally take my daily tiffin in a café on the edge of Pontevedra's main square. One of the pleasures of doing so - outside - is watching the ebb and flow of people. If you're familiar with Spain, you'll know that the square throngs with folk until around 2, when suddenly it's deserted, as everyone goes home for the main meal of the day. Here's a foto showing this. When I took it, there were more beggars working the café than there were people in the square.


Anonymous said...

New TV eh Colin? But what would you use it for?

X-Box games or DVDs from that friendly Pontevedra rental shop? But do they have anything in UK speak?

Maybe you are illegally connected to the Murdock empire with a Sky Box? Which although registered to a UK address must on no accounts be used outside the UK.

Then maybe you are watching via Eutelsat 28A? - If so, you have my sincere sympathy - No Sky News or BBC channels there any more - Do you remember those halcyon days before beam focusing? Just Euronews & France 24 & CNN & Russia Today to inform you of world events? Oh no, you are too deep a thinker to submit yourself to that.

Ahh, this must be it, I'd put my money on this one - You have one of those extra large dishes, capable of pulling in Astra 1N, especially made for British folk who pay for their license, but are not so British any more, but like to think they can illegally swing both ways?

Did you read about Astra 2E, which by now should have been in the vastness of space, but instead is hiding in a shed in Kazakhstan until they get the telemetry from the Proton-M rocket analysed? That's the rocket that went BANG one day, just before our precious Astra 2E was to be strapped onto the next one in line. Would you trust Putin?

Astra 2E was to take over ALL the UK service, but I read it's now on hold until European confidence returns for the Proton-M. How long do you think that will be, 2014 perhaps? And when it's up there, in geostationary orbit, do you think you will be able to get Sky News, like you used to for all those decades? In your dreams.

But then again, perhaps you are a techno-boffin and have paid for an unlimited data download via your friendly broadband/cable supplier? That would get you into Netflix and just about everything you could wish for, apart from Auntie BBC, who these days is so PC as to be beyond the pale.

When did you last buy a license? I thought not.

So, come clean Colin, what's this new TV for? The world is bursting for an answer, but I bet it won't get one.


Colin said...

Since you seem to be keen to know, I still receive all the channels I always have.

Why you want to know this is quite beyond me.

As and when things change in the sky, there will be a solution. There aways is.

Sierra said...

BBC & ITV are available streaming via Spain-based ISPs as long as they don't charge for it, allegedly. Just watched the England v Scotland game on ITV.

Colin said...

Thanks, Sierra. I may yet need that. Good job my new telly connects with the internet.

Anonymous said...

No problem Colin, I can remember the days when the best part of BBC Radio & some TV (remember BBC Prime) was available by satellite.

In time, this has dwindled away, to just about nothing now, apart from the World Service and Short Wave.

So as a Brit living in Galicia for so many years, I felt certain your answer to my question would be interesting to me and many others reading your blog. No so.

I'm new to blogs and you normally sound so friendly, but some things are private, so I will need to understand better what's permitted and what's not. As you know, I like asking questions, so I shall have to be more careful.

Many thanks Sierra for your most interesting reply. I had not heard of this service before. Most useful.


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