Friday, March 06, 2015

Spain & Portugal v. Greece; My dad, the king?; Andalucia; Changing Spain; Galicia maps; 'Flu back then; Dogs; & Daffs.

To the horror of EU mandarins, the presidents of Spain, Portugal and Greece haven't shown much discipline in their recent spat about whether or not the first two are ganging up on the third. But, then, if the respective governments were capable of demonstrating discipline, they wouldn't have got into their respective messes, would they? It's a southern europe characteristic. Just watch the TV programs.

The Spanish State Prosecutor has told the Supreme Court there isn't enough evidence to justify it proceeding with the paternity suit against the king from a Belgian women with whose mother he allegedly had a one night stand. Given that the king has welched on his agreement to undergo a DNA test, this is understandable. The cards, it seems, were always going to be stacked against the lady. But she must have known this.

Outside Spain, Andalucia is a byword for the whole country. Here in Spain, it's a byword for corruption. Hence the laughter, scorn even, that greeted the Andalucian president's announcement, less than 3 weeks before the regional elections, that she will institute an anti-corruption office. As the previous 2 presidents are under investigation for fraud, the question being asked is which one of these will be in charge of the new office.

Spain is changing. A bar owner up in Asturias advertised for a bartender thus: "Wanted: Young woman for a small bar who has a good appearance and is attention grabbing. Must have big breasts, a desire to work and some experience." Reports say this 'sparked outrage" and the ad was withdrawn. But not before he'd had 13 applications. [I originally wrote here 'But not before he'd had 13 applicants', before realising this wasn't what I meant.]

Galicia: HT to my friend David for this blog post giving 13 maps of Galicia showing different aspects of the region, including one for our various red and white wines. Enjoy.

I'm reading another late 19th century novel by Arnold Bennet. This is fascinating for a number of reasons, for example the words no longer used or which have changed their meaning. But a paragraph which brought home to me just how much things have changed in a little over a hundred years was this one, about a daughter who'd come down with, her mother hoped, just a cold but who now had a very high temperature:- Shall we send for a doctor? I'm not so set up with doctors as a general rule. I brought her through measles and scarlet fever without a doctor - we never used to think about having a doctor in those days for ordinary ailments - but influenza, that's different. Oh, I dread it. You never know how it will end. Who'd have been a parent back then? Almost everyone, I guess.

Is the Hungarian puli the ugliest dog in the world? I'd drown them all but their coats are waterproof. On the other hand . . . 

Finally . . . There are several signs of spring in my garden, including pink flowers on my (?)cherry tree. But, as yet, no daffodils. Whereas in the NW of England, they're in full bloom. How can this be, I ask myself. Do they like freezing temperatures?

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