The Formation of the Next Spanish Government: They say an important step was taken yesterday but I don't know what it was. Only that it will be at least another month before it leads to anything else. When we'll be 30 days closer to new elections in May. No one wants these except the outgoing administration, which insists – remarkably – that they'll go into these with the discredited Sr Rajoy still in charge of the ship.
Faith: The Archbishop of Barcelona has asked the faithful to pray for rain, putting me in mind of a Red Indian/Native American witch doctor doing a primitive dance. Surely the Almighty knows what's going to happen. Or is His/Her perspective on the future conditional? He knows it will rain in that area only if the people get down on their knees and ask him to make it happen? If so, though, he already knows whether they'll do this or not. So, if they don't, it's really their own fault and he's withholding rain until they ask him to do a favour. Is the weather in Barcelona really dependent on the people asking God to intervene and change it? Oh, I don't know; it's all too confusing. Make up your own mind. It's much easier being an atheist.
Excellent News: It's reported you'll be a happier person if you wend every day to the same cafe, bar or restaurant where they know your name. This, though, is not news to me, as my 2-3 hour midday tiffin in my favourite tapas bar is a crucial part of my day. Suffice to say I was greeted like the prodigal son on my return from the UK yesterday.
- Monday saw the inauguration of more and faster trains between our cities and Madrid. Twenty five minutes has been lopped off the journey and we're promised that another 35 will go 'later this year'. Taken together, these will finally make it quicker to go to the capital by train than by car. The earliest train is now 5.30am from Santiago. Though only 18 folk got up early enough on Monday to take the first opportunity to do this.
- Readers living in Spain will know we've recently had the hard-to-understand case of a Santiago couple (eventually) convicted of murdering their adopted daughter. It was, if nothing else, a good example of how free the Spanish media is to say what the hell it likes before and during a trail. Anyway, here's the estimable Giles Tremlett of The Guardian giving a useful overview on the case in English. It's certainly answered one or two of my own questions.
Finally . . . Here are fotos of both sides of the fire in Pontevedra on Monday night. Remarkably, the flames didn't reach the wooden facades of the houses on either side in the old quarter. And, in the shoe shop outside the latter, they didn't reach the boxes of shoes stored above it. More importantly, no one was injured.
- A statement contrary to what you know, think or feel.
- Something which isn't true.
- The act of lying
- Erratum/a in a manuscript or document.
- An interjection which vehemently rejects another's statement.
My claim that mentira means 'a mistake' is in respect of the 2nd (and perhaps the 5th) of these. The word is bandied about so much in Spain that, to me at least, it's clear it doesn't always suggest the person is lying. It sometimes means simply that what they're saying isn't true. Or that it's wrong. In other words, that the person is (unwittingly) mistaken. I rest my case.