The 2 elements of British society which have featured most in the minds of Spaniards over the years have been the decorous royal family and the less-than-decorous ooligans of the football terraces and the Balearic islands. Most recently of Magaluf. And now of Barcelona, where residents have recently protested against the renting of flats to groups of youths bent on binge drinking their way to oblivion, with nude supermarket shopping en route. The authorities are cracking down on the infamous bars of Magaluf and now they say they'll act in Barcelona. Perhaps one day drink-fuelled British youths will desist from el balconing which results in so many of them diving onto unforgiving poolside tiles, rather than into the pool itself.
Talking of young people . . . One plus of having some of them stay with me is the chance to learn new meanings for English words. Such as 'rammed', which now means 'packed'. As in: "This bar is jammed". Come to think of it . . . Didn't we use to say 'jam-packed'? I've also learned that a 'beer overcoat' is the perception/reality that a good dose of beer will keep you warm and allow you to go out into the cold in shirt-sleeves.
Which reminds me . . . Here's the latest offering from one of my guests, Jack the Rotter.
Corruption: The latest grand legume to grace the dock is a former chief of the Andalucian Tax Office. He's been charged with forgery, fraud and misappropriation as part of Operation Oscar. This appears to be a subset of the vast operation in which regional officials drained off more than €2bn (yes, 2 bilion) of EU money meant for education purposes. Little of which, I suspect, will ever be recovered and will provide nice nest eggs for the miscreants when they emerge from clink. Assuming they ever go there in the first place.
Spain: Here's someone's idea of the 10 lessons in how to approach life that Spain gives to the world. Enjoy.
The EU: Our Ambrose tells us that "An array of Nobel economists have launched a blistering attack on the eurozone's economic strategy, warning that contractionary policies risk years of depression and a fresh eruption of the debt crisis." More on this euro-misery here.
Finally: I was amused to read that George Orwell's Animal Farm was rejected by the publishers Knopf, with the comment it was a “stupid and pointless fable in which the animals take over a farm and run it.” They also dismissed it as “boring, obvious and damn dull.” An EMI moment, then. Fifty years on, the book has been translated into 70 different languages and sold millions of copies.
Erratum: It should have been gummy bears yesterday, not yummy bears.
House for Sale in Pontevedra
My neighbours are moving to Madrid and selling their lovely house. Lots of pictures here. Brief description: South west orientation. Completely renovated. In a development with swimming pool, extensive green areas, place for parties, excellent community environment. €395,000.
322 sq m constructed, 283 sq m usable
5 double bedrooms
Plot of 336 sq m
Terrace of 336 sq m plus
5 built-in wardrobes
Covered laundry room