Monday, March 23, 2015

Teaching here & there; Andaluz elections; UK genes; Os Porcos Bravos; Kiddy complexity; & Lomas v Lo Mas.

The most desirable job for young Spaniards is that of a teacher. As someone who has experience of the quality and security of life of Spanish teachers, I must say I'm not very surprised. And, as the father of someone who quit teaching in the UK after 8 stressful years, I can add that the comparison with Britain is stark. If you're tempted to disagree, this recent (and disturbing) BBC podcast might just change your mind.

Yesterday's elections in Andalucia produced a minority socialist PSOE government which will have to ally with one of the several small parties which made a decent showing. These included Podemos(15% of the vote), Cuidadanos(9%), IU(7%) and UPyD(2%). Spain's ruling PP party saw its share of the vote fall to 27%, against 35% for the 'victorious' PSOE party. So . . . . The end of 'two-party' hegemony and the entry of Podemos into reality politics? Could well be. A harbinger of the PP's fall from national power? Let's hope so.

Those genetics tests of the UK population . . . Here's an interesting perspective on what they do and don't reveal.

Well, the valiant Porcos Bravos went down 1-6 to the Sheffield Stags yesterday, possibly as a result of keeping Spanish hours the night before. This result looked unlikely at the break, when it was only 0-1. But as some sage said, football is a game of 2 halves and in the second of these my gallant Galician friends were rather overwhelmed. Which was a tad surprising as they'd won this Away fixture 8-1 last year. Anyway, we were treated (well, I was; they probably paid) to a post-match roast lunch in a fine Victorian hotel after the match and my drive back to Manchester was via the charming Snake Pass. As ever, it was amusing to see the total disregard for set times of the Spanish contingent. I'm not sure exactly what time the 1 o'clock lunch started but it was well after 2.

Back at my daughter's house, we played a Cluedo-based board game (juego de mesa) centred on characters from the Harry Potter books. I found it far too complicated to understand so was astonished, at the end, to be told it was aimed at 5 to 8 year olds.

Finally . . . My son-in-law's (and my daughter's) surname is Lomas. On a bookshelf in their house is one of those carved wooden name-pieces they go in for in the Far East. I wondered whether it'd actually been done in China or Hong Kong, as it reads Michael Romas. I kid you not. 

Incidentally, I've tried to get my daughter to sign her new surname as Lo Más but she's not having it.

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