Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Prestige verdict; Brown Nose Award; Indians; Gib again; and Bloody pigeons.

Exactly 11 years ago the leaky Prestige oil tanker - after meandering around the Atlantic ocean for several days - broke up and sank, causing immense ecological damage to our coast. After a long trial - are there any others in Spain? - a judge has decided that the only person responsible is . . . God. And the trouble is - as with the Philippines, etc., etc. the old man has universal and eternal immunity. The judge didn't say this exactly but he did opine that no one on earth was responsible for anything at all. Least of all the national and regional politicians. So what are we expected to conclude? Such a verdict shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone in Spain but it seems to have done. People are said to be astounded and angry. I would've thought they're more likely to be even more resigned to and disgusted with their politicians and their judicial system than ever before. Which is really saying something. More, in English, here.

Talking of politicians . . . TfG's Brown Nose Award of the Year goes to the General Secretary of the PP party, María Dolores Cospedal. "President Aznar", she says "was a great president. But Mariano Rajoy is an even better one". One wonders just how few people share that belief. Not counting Sr Aznar.

There was a human-chain protest on our bridge into town last Saturday, against the closure of the traffic lane from Pontevedra to Poio, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Those attending - and annoying drivers - were shop owners from the Pontevedra side and residents from the Poio side. The former are upset about the loss of business and the latter are annoyed that the local council has opened up an unplanned rat-run, subjecting them to an endless stream of traffic which can't use the main road. The Poio council (run by the Galician Nationalist party) has dismissed the protest as a political stunt got up by the right-of-centre PP party but even a fool could see that the protesters have a good case. The availability of the rat-run means that the partial closure of the bridge makes no sense at all. However, the organisers have appealed to the politicians for 'common sense', so we can surely expect the closure to stay in place.

The Gibraltar imbroglio took a step towards possible resolution recently, when the Spanish and British governments agreed to take into account the 'legitimate concerns of the Gibraltar people'. Trouble is, of course, the Spanish government doesn't regard 'self-determination' as a legitimate matter, any more than it does for Kosovo, Scotland and - closer to home - Cataluña, Ceuta, Melilla and all the little islands it owns off the Moroccan coast. And if, for example on Perejil Island, the goats get a little uppity, it's prepared to send in the military to demonstrate this. Even if it does mean making fool of itself.

The Spanish expression for 'Indian summer' is verano de San Martín. Don't know why. But I do know that 'Indian' doesn't refer to the populace of India but to what used to be called 'Red Indians'. Who move up and down mountains to extend the warmer seasons. Next week - Lukewarm.

Finally . . . We had a bizarre scene outside my regular bar yesterday, with me trying to decapitate pigeons with the edge of a laminated menu and a grandmother, mother and daughter at the next table all feeding their bloody colleagues. I continue my search for something smaller than an electric cattle prod. Surely someone has invented a pigeon/seagull prod. One that doesn't kill them - unless you get lucky - but which keeps them away for a while. I live in hope.

Finally, finally . . . Has anyone cracked what the Hell Google+ is?


Diego said...

this could help you with your pigeon problem:

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks, Diego. Looks very interesting.

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks, Diego. Looks very interesting.

Perry said...

I purchased one of these in California in 1982. It was brilliant fun. The swatter is on a string for easy retrival.

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