Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spain's unemployed; Iberia's troubles; Gib again; English teaching; British attitudes; Parking; and a Funny Dog

Heres' one politician's answer to the question we all have - Just how many of Spain's 4.9m unemployed are really not unemployed. VP Soraya Sáenz de Santamar suggests it's 500,000. Though I suspect this number been plucked out of the air and will not find universal acceptance.

Iberia is a troubled airline. So it's refurbishing its logo and livery. The airline, of course, merged with British Airways a while ago and now forms part of IAG, with BA and the successful low-cost airline, Vueling. Here in Spain, the merger is largely seen as a takeover by BA, who are asset-stripping with the aim of destroying the national flag-carrier. Others, though, see it as an essential eradication of 'Spanish practices', such as paying pilots several times more than the international average. Of course, Iberia hasn't been helped by the significant fall in passenger numbers on its traditional routes in recent years.

The dying embers of the Gibraltar silly summer spat have been stoked up again. Gib's First Minister made accusations against Spain at the UN and this was received here with anger and governmental accusations of lying. Something about which Spanish politicians know a good deal, of course. Happily, though, the Spanish government isn't going to take the Gib leader to court (where?) so things should die down again quite quickly.

I wrote the other day about beggars working the table in Pontevedra's old quarter. It struck me yesterday it could be worse; we could have hookers importuning us. Rather as the disgraced Jimmy Savile used to do in the Flying Pizza restaurant in Leeds every night.

I saw a large ad for the Vaughan Method of Teaching English yesterday. There were 2 ironic aspects to it. 1. Although the ad was festooned with Union Jacks, Vaughan himself is American. 2. No one Spanish can pronounce his name, at least not until Lesson 3, I suspect. As for the UK flag, I believe Vaughan is perfectly aware that by and large (and like other Europeans), Spaniards want to learn British, rather than American, English. Of course, what this means in practice is that many Spaniards end up with Scottish, Welsh and even Irish accents.

Talking (almost) of Brits . . . Here's a list of things we're said to hate.

And here's another list - of the ten worst mistakes tourists and expats (most of them British) make in Spain.

One of my neighbours is famous (in my house at least) for her idiosyncratic parking. Of which this is the latest example.

This example, however, is not idiosyncratic, just inconsiderate. BTW - It's not my neighbour.

It's also illegal, of course. Though the police will drive by and do nothing, as they do with all illegal parking. I assume they feel it's below them and leave it to the towing company (La Grua). Interestingly, the reaction of my lovely neighbour, Ester, was "At least she could have left 2 wheels on the road."

Finally . . . I mentioned dogs yesterday. Later, forcing myself to look at fotos of poodles, I came across this abomination, which I take to be a cross between a poodle and a border collie.

I can't think of a better reason for bringing back the death penalty. For humans, I mean.

Finally, finally . . . Can anyone help with a theory as to why my page-views yesterday soared from a daily average of 450-500 to more than 1,400? Seriously, I'd love to know. Maybe I can make money somehow.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Unemployment? Why, the PP seems to be doing fine, if there are only 2.9 million unemployed in Spain, instead of last week's 4.9 million!

Drinking again, my friend??


kraal said...

It seems to have become popular with the younger ones to have a poodle mix. I'm ashamed to say my niece has a cavapoo, which is a king charles cavalier/poodle cross, which I call a mongrel. Why pay a load of money for a mongrel, my rescue dog was free. The death penalty sounds about right.

Perry said...


My sons decided to adopt one of the offspring of an unsanctioned mating between an English Mastiff & a Rottweiler bitch. Pablo is eleven months now & quite pleasant.

However,unbeknownst to us, such mongrels are pedigree; witness the Broholmer or Danish Mastiff.

The Broholmer breed was generated from a cross between English Mastiffs and local dogs in Germany, and was named after Sehested of Broholm, a game-keeper who lived in the 18th century.

Very good looking animals IMO & easy to train. With four men in the house, Pablo is bottom of the pack, which is important when caring for strong dogs. I call him mutt mutt or rusty on account of his colour & his yawn, which sounds similar to a squeaking gate.

I discovered the article, because I was reading about gold hoards from the Migration Age, one of which was found on the Broholm estate. This photo is a dead ringer for Pablo.

This is a steadfast, peace-loving, well-balanced, good-natured breed. The Broholmer is well known for his even temper and courage. Did I mention his bark? Pablo is a guardian dog, lick, lick, lick, lick, lick!