Spanish (non)Government: At least someone - my net colleague Lenox - thinks the situation will be different after the repeat elections in June. The rest of us haven't a clue but suspect not.
Spanish Fatties: Over the years I've read more than once that there's a surprising (to me) number of fat – even obese – people here. Even that Spanish kids are, but for the Maltese, the fattest in Europe. Here's an article on this subject, endorsing an earlier comment here that Galicians rank high in the Fatty Stakes. Here, it's claimed, 44% of adults are 'too heavy' and 25% clinically obese. As I've said, these numbers just can't be true for Pontevedra city, where it's a crime to be fat. (Am I allowed to say fatty and fat these days? Will I now be trolled? I hope so.)
Spanish Unemployment: Everyone knows this is 'around 20%', down from an even higher figure a year or two ago. And that youth employment is even higher, at 'around 25%'. But this latter number understates the problem, as thousands of young people have exiled themselves to find work. In the UK mostly. I say everyone knows but, then, no one believes the government numbers on this – or any other – issue. Certainly not the impressive GDP growth.
Spanish Corporate Protection: The EU is trying to ban the use of phthalates, a poisonous carcinogenic substance used in certain cosmetics, clothing, furniture and elsewhere. They have nevertheless come up with the determined opposition of the Spanish Minister for Health, who, as Diagonal unkindly reports ‘has blocked various proposals to limit its use’. Why?? Well . . . The close relations between big business and the Spanish Government have once again been seen in evidence.
Asturian Villages: I noticed these odd name while on the bus from Grandas de Salime to Oviedo:
- La Estrella: The Star
- El Peligro: The Danger
- Piedralarga: Longstone. But also a word for a menhir.
The only Galician contender I can think of offhand is Gatomorto: Dead Cat.
Family Feuds: These are nothing new in Spain but one man has taken things a bit far by publishing sex adverts with the telephone number of his ex-sister-in-law. The 56-year-old was arrested in the town of Mislata, Valencia and charged with harassment. A novel internet matchmaking option.
A Personal Recommendation: Meigas Fora in Ponters is a place I visit regularly. Last week, I asked them if they'd provide a special off-menu lunch for 10 or 11 people. So it was that, on Friday, we enjoyed what we all felt was the best roast lamb we'd ever had. Even superior to that of Segovia. Along, of course, with several bottles of local Mencia red wine. Give it a try, if you're visiting. You might even see me there.
Finally . . . If you're one of the young Spaniards who've left to seek work in London, here's something for you from (I think) the Guirilandia blog: Don’t be homesick in London. Condé Nast Traveler offer a useful guide to Spanish bars, shops and restaurants in London. This might be what's referred to. But I haven't checked the restaurant list. If it isn't, at least you've got a clue as to what the right one is.
A nice philosophy . . .