Thursday, December 11, 2014

Transparency, for some; Infantas in London; Street avoidance; Silly names; & Fotos plus verses

Good news: Spain has finally introduced a transparency law, one of the last countries in Europe to do so. The public now has access to information on things such as salaries and expenses of administrators and politicians. But not the really important ones, it seems. That said, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, someone once opined.

I saw several old fotos of the Elephant & Castle today. I was reminded that this strangely named barrio of London is thought by some to reflect the wedding of Spanish princesses to English notables. "Elephant and Castle" being a corruption of "Infanta de Castilla". But some wiseacre on Wikipedia says this is fanciful and that the origin is a pub's name. Well. maybe.

Readers who live in or visit Spain will know that passing people coming towards you on narrow streets is an art here. Nothing seems to happen until almost the last moment, in contrast to the British custom of each of you starting to manoeuvre 10 metres away. Yesterday, my daughter asked me if I knew what the Spanish rule was. I said I wasn't aware there was a rule; you both just execute a pasa doble the second before you bump into each other. No, she said. The rule is that the person walking fastest (faster) gives way. "So, if you can't be arsed to move out of the way, just slow down as you see someone coming towards you." I'm not convinced but will give it a try.

Talking of said daughter . . . Somewhere in England we passed a coffee place called SIPS. She laughed and said that she and a boyfriend had once joked about a coffee house being called this. A week or so later, things got worse; I passed a place called GOS-SIP.

The EU: The German Bundesbank has criticised Brussels for being too lenient towards France and Italy in respect of their continuing flouting of the rule about 3% being the maximum allowable budget deficit. But I think we can safely assume this will be ignored. One rule for the big and one for the small. And don't the French know this.

BTW - The headline on the front page of the Times paper of 1994 was "Eurosceptics renew threat of defiance". Plus ça change . . .

Finally . . . A foto of the spider I mentioned yesterday.

And a foto of this morning's dawn above Pontevedra. 

Two relevant quotations:-

Omar Khayam (per Fitzgerald)

Awake! For morning in the bowl of night
Has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight
And lo, the hunter of the east
Has caught the sultan's turret in a noose of light.


Look, love, what envious streaks 
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east. 
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops. 
I must be gone and live, or stay and die. 

Romeo. Shame he got his forecast wrong.

And here's the last foto taken by my last camera before it gave up the ghost:-


Perry said...

Per Peter Osborne:

As Karl Marx was one of the earliest to point out, economics (though so much less interesting) is far more important than politics.

Marx considered all political events as epiphenomena. He viewed great men as blind instruments of irresistible forces which they themselves could hardly comprehend.

Here's another example of ideological mismanagement of a national economy.

I knew I was right to save this article below.

Bill said...

It's Peter Oborne, not Osborne. He usually writes well and this is no exception; it helps that I generally share his world-view I suppose ;)

Perry said...

I've been speed readin' agin, putting in leters whayre they ain't & leavin' them out what I shouldn't. No "s" in O borne.

J.Carlos VI said...

Pontevedra is a beautiful city. Colin you can see my photos in google+? Greetings

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