Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter news.

Spanish Amazon: I'm getting the impression this isn't quite as efficient as or Having recently bought a Kindle – after 4 years of consideration – I accepted an offer for a free e-book. And was then invoiced for it. told me would reply to my query within 24 hours. They didn't. Four days later, I wrote again, to get an apology and the same assurance. Which again hasn't been fulfilled. I assume the entire organisation is on holiday for Semana Santa and I might get a reply – almost certainly in Spanish – some time next week. Unless they're even more inefficient than I fear.

Norway: This small country is usually among the top 3 of all those surveys of Lucky-One-Way-Or-Another countries. It certainly seems to have got education right. Largely, it seems, by ignoring all modern, trendy nostrums. See here for more on this. As it happens, Norway has just become the first European country where atheists(39%) outnumber both theists(37%) and don'tknows(23%). Significant? Of course it is. When you're an atheist, you concentrate on improving this life for yourself and for others.

Which reminds me . . .

  • In the 16th century – until the Reformation – Canterbury Cathedral boasted the dust from which Adam was created. (Or am I being gullible to believe anyone with a brain could believe this? Especially as I can't find any reference to this claim on the net.)
  • It's a money maker, of course. Click here to see one of the best of the many, many religious shysters in action.

  • Leather jackets: In contrast to my Inditex/Massimo Dutti jacket, the US bomber jacket I bought more than 20 years ago still has nary a tear.
  • Shakespeare: Dr Johnson: Trying to persuade anyone of Shakespeare’s genius by dangling quotations before them is like a man trying to sell you his house by carrying a brick in his pocket as a specimen.

Galicia/Pontevedra Tidbits:
  • 46,000 'pilgrims' passed through Ponters last year, on the Camino Portugués. They're expecting 80,000 a year by 2021. Bloody 'ell.
  • During Semana Santa, diesel prices in Ourense and Ponters have been the highest in Spain. But this isn't exactly news, of course.
  • Wolves are increasingly attacking livestock in our hills. So they're being increasingly poisoned. Along with itinerant dogs.
  • House evictions by the law-backed ruthless banks are now decreasing but there are still 6 a day here in Galicia.
  • Galicia is consistently bottom of the list when it comes to the marks of Spain's university entry exams (the Selectividad). At the top of the list, the regulars are the Basque Country(very rich), Asturias(not rich), Extremadura(very poor) and, of course, Cataluña(pretty rich). Pick the bones out of that. Education is, of course, a hot political issue in every region here but especially so where there are 2 official languages and, so, nationalist aspirations to have Spanish subordinated to the local language. Whether the lessons necessary to assure this are a good or a bad thing, depends on where you stand on the nationalist spectrum. At one extreme here, people aspire for both Galician and Portugueses to be taught in preference to Castellano. And for Galicia to adopt Portuguese spelling. It takes all sorts.

Finally . . . Being down with the kids, I am naturally on Instagram. Essentially to send fotos of my granddaughter - Graciña - around the world. Strangely, she's very popular with Russian models, who regularly start following me. Who'd have thought it?


Here's the ineffable Don Quijones with his take on the subject of Project Fear and the aspirations of all our lovely banks. And the differences of view between the current and the previous head of the Bank of England.

And now, what else but the latest foto of the wonderful Graciña:

The poor child is felt by most to resemble her doting grandfather. But not because of her lack of hair!


Eamon said...

I have bought many things form Amazon here and the UK. But recently they have been offering goods via China which take time to arrive. If something goes wrong and you need to return an item it is really quite straightforward and free postage. Not so with goods from China as I have found out. They are not interested in returns but keen to offer you a discount for something which is of no use to you so you have to be firm. It will soon be "buyer beware" for Amazon.

Sierra said...

Amazon - it's worth checking all their EU websites - DE, FR, IT, UK, ES - the differences in price can be significant, particularly for higher value goods

Fuel - drove down to the South-East last week, and the differences province to province seem to be getting larger. Avila and Madrid cheapest - Albacete and Murcia 12c/ltr dearer