Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Repression; More repression; Manchester v Madrid; Lamb tagine; A phrase; Driving in the UK.

I've mentioned a time or two the draconian 'Citizen Security' law ("The Gag Law") of the current right-of-centre PP administration in Spain, some of whom must read Orwell. I've also mentioned the ultra-harsh laws on mortgage repayment, which favour the banks at the lifetime expense of the borrowers. Well, here's an article which brings both of these together. It also talks of the Second Chance Law", which, in an election year, seeks to buff up the image of the PP and is described by opponents as 'a smokescreen' and 'extremely opaque'. Worst of all, it's not retrospective. Not for the first time, I have the impression the PP party doesn't really care about private citizens. Or regards them as less important that the PP's party ideologies and their friends in banking and commerce. Of which there are very many, these being the rest homes of retiring senior politicians. In summary, from Don Quijones, It is an affront to the basic tenets of democracy, the last refuge of a government that clothes itself in the vestments of democracy while doing everything it can to resurrect the ghosts of Spain’s Francoist past. As long as Rajoy’s regime remains in power, even the simple expression of solidarity with a fellow citizen will be a crime.

And now for something completely different . . . The singer of Spain's entry for this year's Eurovision 'song' contest is married to Manchester United's goalkeeper. During an interview last week, she was invited to agree with the sentiment that the UK's 2nd city was "uglier than the back of a fridge". She admitted that perhaps it wasn't the prettiest city in the world and, for this, she has naturally been torn to shreds on the internet. But Manchester has struck back, with this opinion on Madrid. Personally, I think there's truth in both appraisals but I know in which of the two I'd prefer to live. And not just because my elder daughter lives there.

Something definitely in Madrid's favour is the safety of its streets at night for women. A survey has this city as the best in Europe for this. My daughter puts it down to the light - even in the side streets - of bars that don't close until 5am or later. Earlier? This survey also found that Madrid's women wish they had an extra 3 hours and 14 minutes in the day to get everything done. One wonders what the 14 minutes would be for. For men, it would be 2, I guess.

I am now in the Midlands, en route to Merseyside today. Driving up from Portsmouth yesterday was a drizzle-full experience, one of those journeys in which you're constantly starting, stopping or varying the windscreen wipers. But, anyway, I had an amusing experience on the boat after I'd chosen lamb tagine for my lunch. When I got to the check-out, the young lady asked me what the dish was, to which I replied: "I don't know. I was hoping you'd be able to tell me." She laughed and, to my surprise, blushed. So I was emboldened enough to add: "It reminds me of the French lady in London who was presented with a similar dish and asked: 'Eez this to be eaten or 'as eet already been?'. She blushed even more. Funny, the French.

Words and Phrases: I came across this Spanish phrase last week: Hechos son amores y no buenas razones. Which I think means 'Actions speak louder than words' but a correction would be welcome. Perhaps "Words are cheap".

Finally . . . Being half Spanish, I managed to get 2 drivers to blow their horns at me while driving up from Portsmouth. Being half British, I apologised to both of them, even though I didn't know what I'd done. The best of both worlds, really.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Might it be that you'd been correcting the spelling of their number plates?

Colin Davies said...

It just might.

Colin Davies said...

Some of 'em just ask for it . . . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Drivers, you mean. Not fellow bloggers or former friends?

Colin Davies said...

Any. All. I'm not fussy.

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