Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wearily, Gib again; The Tour de España; Odd communications; An odd cyclist; Fireworks; and more Spanglish.

Well, I was wrong to suggest the news on Gib was finally thinning out. By rejecting the proffered olive branch and by authorising the divers' underwater flag-flying stunt, Spain has finally produced a reaction from the hitherto silent Governor of Gibraltar - "The act of diving itself constituted a serious violation of British sovereignty but this apparent interference with the reef is a new and worrying aspect." In Spain itself, people are being encouraged to boycott British products. So, one step forward and at least two back. To be positive, at the same time as engaging in a raft of actions which appeal to much of the populace, the Spanish government is still pushing for a quadripartite forum to replace the tripartite forum it abolished immediately after coming to power. Back then, it refused to sit at the same table as a 'colony'. This time round, it's willing to do this, so long as face is saved by adding a member of the Andalucian provincial government. One wonders how they're finding time to consider the pros and cons of supporting French demands for EU involvement in Syria.

To continue being positive . . . We have the second stage of the Tour of Spain starting in Pontevedra today and the third stage passing through the city tomorrow. So, with the sun shining away, there's plenty of scope for the sort of stunning aerial photography of the Galician coastline. Which has a lower concrete quotient - except perhaps in Sanxenxo - than in other parts of Spain. There is one negative aspect to the Tour; the team support vehicles - some of which are huge - take up an awful lot of space outside the hotels in which they're staying. Maybe they'll be caught by the city's new Multamóvil, which has been bought at a cost of €45,000 to catch drivers committing parking offences. It should achieve payback within a couple of weeks.

Still on a positive note . . . I got a formal email response from Correos to my complaint about my Economist magazines being delayed and bundled. Inevitably, to get to the reply I had to enter not just the reference number but also my ID number. Why?? Interestingly, there was no mention of a substitute mail-person, just the fact there was no number in the address. And no explanation of why they couldn't have got the number from other letters in my name. I would've liked to point this out to them but there was no way of responding to their response.

Talking of odd communications . . . I received a text message apparently from my bank yesterday. It was timed at 4.30am and advised me that 0.00 euros had been charged to my credit card. And it invited me to call a 902 number for more details. I thought this might be a scam involving a call costing several hundred euros but there's no evidence of this on the net. So I'll go to the bank tomorrow and take it up with the lovely Susana.

The French Way of the Camino of Santiago begins at Roncesvalles in the Alps and involves a good month's walking. But not everyone strides it. Or even ambles it. A German cyclist has just completed the 780km in just over 25 hours. He couldn't explain why, saying only it'd been an awful experience. I suspect he was an even greater irritation to walkers than the normal bloody cyclists can be.

Last Sunday night, my elder daughter left for Madrid on a bus departing a little after midnight. As we drove to the bus station, the end-of fiesta-week fireworks were brightening up the night sky. And as we approached the point on the AP9 flyover which afforded the best view of the display, we saw the traffic police were talking to the occupants of a parked car. Our first thought was that the latter had stopped there to watch the fireworks but we then wondered whether the police hadn't decided to pull someone over right there so they could have the best view of the proceedings. We will never know.

Finally . . . The latest bit of Spanglish: El paddleboarding. I'm guessing this is pronounced pad-lay-bo-ar-ding but could be wrong.

Finally, finally . . . A plea to Mac and Shuffle users. Mine are not communicating with each other, meaning I can't download podcasts or delete the ones I've listened to. Though charging does seem to be taking place. No obvious solutions on the net. So, should I just scrap the Shuffle and buy another one or is there a solution?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Colin,
I read today that ADIF has produced a list of persons responsible for line safety. Design, construction, operation and commissioning.

Also RENFE's insurer, QBE Insurance Europe, has coughed up half what is due to those affected by the derailment.

Read all about it and watch a video at

http://www.lne.es/espana/2013/08/24/lista-adif-juez-incluira-responsables/1459741.html

Now this is starting to look more transparent than I had been expecting. Maybe we can hope . . . No, forget I said that.

Individual passengers have begun personal injury claims. For example, the Government of the Dominican Republic hired the infamous former Spanish National Court Judge Baltasar Garzón Real to investigate criminal and civil liability for the death of their senior official Rosalina Ynoa. See

http://www.tvi24.iol.pt/503/internacional/santiago-comboio-acidente-republica-dominicana-baltasar-garzon-tvi24/1475483-4073.html

The vultures are gathering

Q1-10

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