Friday, January 30, 2015

Royal bastards; Colour v Coloured v Black; Wine; Research on Spain; Time; & Gib.

Here's a bit of a surprise - Spain's famously philandering ex king has agreed to supply DNA for the paternity suit of a 45-year-old Belgian woman. After years of refusing to do so, one wonders why. Especially as he still refuses to do this for a parallel suit from a young man. Does he want a replacement daughter for the one on trial for corruption and effectively ejected from the royal family?

Reading that the British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, had caused a furore in the USA by using the adjective “coloured” instead of the currently acceptable phrase "person of colour". I was reminded it struck me a couple of days ago that I wouldn't know how to describe, if I needed to, the chap who bought my UK house. As one commentator said - "It seems that, in modern America, you can shoot a black teenager dead with impunity, but God help you if you say “coloured” instead of the approved “people of colour". Possibly in the UK too. Things, to say the least, are easier here in Spain. Where negro and negrito are your basic choices.

Wine: Research into its effects on our health continue to provide fodder for British newspapers. One this weeks says one glass a day helps to prevent heart attacks but another says this contributes to strokes. This is confusing but the conclusion is clear; stop reading articles on wine and Keep On Supping.

Talking of research . . .
  • It's said that a third of young Spaniards believe it's "acceptable or inevitable" they'll control their partners. This includes dictating when they carry out daily activities, preventing them from seeing family and friends and saying what they can and can't do. 33% of young people are also said to think it's fair to dictate whether or not their partner can go out to work or study. Hmm. BTW, this case may be different but young people in Spain are normally defined as 18-35. I think.
  • The best public transport in Spain is in Bilbao, Gijón and Sevilla. The worst is in (nearby) Vigo and Mercia. [But at least Vigo has an airport, even if you can't get to it by public transport from Pontevedra.]
  • Foreigners find Spanish trains inexpensive, clean, comfortable and punctual. But in short supply. [As you'll find if you try to get from some major cities to others.]

Well, I finally got my laptop back, though not - as promised - in the morning; I had to go back yesterday evening. And it worked. Even better - the under-key lighting had been restored. Of course, I didn't moan about the waste of my time and even promised to order a new battery through the shop. Which I just might.

Which reminds me . . . Someone has said - I think it was me about 10 years ago - that one of the defining features of the Spanish is their attitude to time. My 6 visits to the computer shop prompted me to reflect that I don't think I've ever heard anyone here ever apologise for wasting my time because of inefficiency. It just seems to be assumed one's got an inexhaustible supply of it. Or at least 30 hours a day.

Finally . . . Spain's new far-left party,Podemos, (think Greece's Syriza) has said it'll work to improve relations with Gibraltar if it comes to power in this year’s general or regional elections. Because of this, it will certainly get my vote. Or it would if the Spanish government gave me the vote in return for my taxes. Isn't it obliged to under EU law?

P. S. Just seen this ad on the TV. Someone has posted it as "Terrible" and "Simply ridiculous". I beg to differ. Very funny. Assuming you get the reference. As you certainly would if you read Private Eye.

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