Thursday, March 03, 2016

One thing and another.

Spanish (non)Government: The proposed PSOE-Ciudadanos coalition was voted on in parliament yesterday evening - by each of the 350 MPs shouting out Yes or NO, in turn. Naturally, I fell asleep during this (medieval?) process but wasn't surprised to hear later that the NOs had won the day. This is largely because the far left Podemos party is happier to let a right-wing party get back in power than to dilute some of its (extreme?) demands. So, there'll now be another vote on Friday, when things will almost certainly go the same way. Roll on a continuing hiatus and a new go at electing a functioning government in June/July. Well, maybe September, if the holidays intervene.

A Prediction: In these increasingly gender-conscious times, the neutral Ze will increasingly replace He and She among right-on writers and commentators.

Talking of English . . .

A Big Cheese: I knew, of course, that the Persian for thing is cheez. But I didn't know 2 things about this word:- 1. It comes, as many Persian words do, from Urdu, and 2. It's the origin of the English phrase 'A big cheese'. So, nowt to do with the foodstuff. Which, incidentally - like the Chinese - I eschew. Largely.

Local Corruption: Here in Pontevedra, the investigating judge in the Patos case has decided that, contrary to public certainty, there's not enough evidence that anyone in our town hall indulged in taking commissions on purchases and contracts handed out. All the stories must be apocryphal, then. We're yet to hear the result of the investigation into the far greater (alleged) corruption in the provincial government. Which may well be one of those abolished by any combination involving the PSOE and Ciudadanos parties. As and when Spain finally has a new government.

Finally . . . Self-help Books: The daughter of 2 psychiatrists says these are counter-productive. Life, she says, sucks and you should face up to the fact. Borrowing her parents' favourite quote, she's written a book entitled Fuck Feelings. Or maybe Fu*k Feelings. I'm not sure. Co-written with her Dad, this claims that wallowing in your feelings and trying to fix the unfixable isn’t going to get you anywhere. Life, the pair insist, is a Shit Sandwich. Or maybe a S*** sandwich. More here, if this approach attracts you.

FOREIGN RESIDENTS SUPPLEMENT

HT again to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for this article on the travails of importing stuff from outside the EU. It might not be worth the candle, thanks to one thing and another. Having recently brought in a gift of some (old) books from Canada, I can endorse the concern. Paper, hassle and cash are the by-words.

Thinking of living here? Already embarked on the challenge? Then read this amusing list of the relevant Ten Commandments.

BREXIT SUPPLEMENT

If you're worried about a Brexit denuding you of all your rights in Spain, then this is an article for you. A HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for citing this, even though he personally opposes a UK departure from the EU. 

Apart from that, can't be bothered posting articles today. Some days are diamonds; some days are stones. And this goes out to Lorraine in Buenos Aires, who's had a trying few days moving from one flat to another. Or apartment, as she'd actually say it.



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