Podemos ('We can') is the left-of-centre party which barged on to the Spanish political scene just a year ago. It's riding high in the polls for the general election due late this year. Meanwhile, though, there's a regional election in Andalucia, where the socialist party has wielded power since the transition from Francoism in the late 70s and early 80s. This is despite corruption there being the worst in the country. Which is saying something. Anyway, Podemos are forecast to get 15% of the vote there. Not bad going, then, for a new party. More, in English, here.
And there's a bit more on the Andalucian elections here.
Imagine you're approaching a roundabout in the UK with 3 exits to the left of it and 3 to the right. And imagine you're taking the 6th exit, the last on the right. If you put your satnav into Spanish mode, it'll tell you to leave by the 6th exit on the left, even though it's on your right. The British voice will tell simply tell you to take the 6th exit. If you were in Spain, you'd be approaching a roundabout with the instruction to either take the 6th exit (British) or to exit by the 6th exit on the right (Spanish), even though it's on your left. A material cultural difference? Or just bloody confusing?
There's a shop in my mother's town which sells just about everything. Rather like the Chinese bazars of Spain. On the window, there's a large sign saying "SMOKING KILLS", alongside text advertising e-cigarettes. The rest of the window display comprises cigarette papers, roller boxes, lighters, lighter fuel, flints, wicks, filter tips, matches, and pipes. Which struck me as a tad ironic.
Talking of shops . . . I got chatting to the ladies in the stationers about Galicia and one of them asked me if I was English. I thought she was referring to what my daughters call my 'Spanish voice'. But no. "I thought you might be Dutch", she said. I was devastated. Naturally. I'd even have preferred the usual 'German' which Spaniards accuse me of being.
Still on shops . . . When I walked down the main street at 5.15, it was hard to believe they'd all closed down for the day and wouldn't be opening in a quarter of an hour until at least 8.30.
Finally . . . After months of nagging my younger daughter has finally learned how to switch on the answerphone I bought her last year. Now, if I can just get her to listen to the messages, we'll be home and dry.
And . . . . The daffodils that have yet to appear in my garden in Galicia:-