Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Aysha v. Scotland; Life in Spain; Life in Galicia; Life in Pontevedra; & Yew trees.

Well, the Aysha story fell to no. 4 in Sky News' priorities this evening, pushed down by the revelation that a British woman is having a second baby. But it still ranked above the item on the imminent break-up of the UK.

On this issue, what - I wonder - will the new entity of England, Wales and Northern Ireland be called? Possibly the Smaller United Kingdom. Or SUK.

Life in Spain
  • It's been said that the criteria for selection of university professors here 'collides with the criteria used in outstanding foreign universities'. I don't know exactly what that means but am reminded of a comment made when I first came here, viz. that Spanish universities are rife with endogamy. Every Spaniard knows what this word means but I had to ask. "It means," I was told "that the appointments are always made from within the department. Usually the professor's favourite student."
  • The OECD has pronounced that Spain must strengthen competitiveness in its businesses to bring down its towering jobless rate and "cement its recovery from recession". Does this mean anything other than further reductions in wages? At least for those lower down the chain.
  • Which Spanish city would you bet on being the best to live in? Make a guess before clicking here.
  • A couple of cartoonists in the Canaries have been fined for poking fun at a politician linked to corruption. I'm not sure whether this was a as a result of a defamation suit or simply a reflection of the inordinate protection given to politicians in Spain. On the basis, perhaps, that they're whiter than white and need to be safeguarded from scurrilous accusations in the media.

Life in Galicia
  • Spain has hundreds, if not thousands of virgins. Though rather more of stone than flesh and blood. Each of the former has an annual ceremony attached to it, attended by a dwindling number of the aged faithful. Our most recent one has been that of the Virgin of the Miracles, at which pagan Christians attach notes of various denominations to her statue as she passes. No doubt it all goes to good causes. Another virgin story tomorrow.
  • A recent cartoon in Gallego(Galician) featured the names Os Llason Five and Maikel LLason. Have fun. Google works for the latter.

Life in Pontevedra
  • Our local police chief, commenting on roadside breath testing, has said they won't stop until there's 'zero alcohol' on the roads. Which is quite a change from 10 years ago, when his oppo in my barrio used to make a habit of crashing into the back of other cars any time after lunch. But perhaps he's been retired since.
  • At the table next to mine today there were 6 young ladies and one young man, all in their early 20s. The man wasn't smoking but 5 of the 6 women were. I wonder how long it'll be before they wise up. If they want to stay as thin as most of the 40 year old women in Pontevedra, I guess never.
  • We seem to be having a plague of rat dogs, creatures smaller than your average cat. God forbid that Spain - or Pontevedra at least - is turning into a county of micro-animal lovers, even worse than Britain. Here's one such ministrosity - a toy doberman.

Finally . . . There's a yew tree in Wales which is 5,000 years old. In the UK, these trees are associated with church yards and, thus, with Christianity. But the link is specious. Yews are dangerous to cattle and sheep and, before the Enclosures, the only places with walls were church yards. So it was illegal to grow yews anywhere else. Or that's what I heard at least.

P. S. Am I the only person to note that the announcement of the 2nd child of William and Kate is perfectly timed to affect the vote on Scottish independence?


Sierra said...

On your doorstep:


kraal said...

Perhaps Fewer United Kingdom or FUK.

Perry said...

Wales, Yew tree, longbow>


n the British Isles the weapon was first recorded as being used by the Welsh in AD 633, when Offrid, the son of Edwin, king of Northumbria, was killed by an arrow shot from a Welsh longbow during a battle between the Welsh and the Mercians—more than five centuries before any record of its military use in England. Despite this, the weapon is more commonly known as the "English longbow" than the "Welsh longbow".


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