Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 11.8.16

Spain and Waste: Spain is not really up-to-speed when it comes to ecological issues but is getting there. For a country which can be so hot and dry, you'd think the people would be careful with water. But they're not. They are heavy consumers. And when it comes to plastic, you can't escape the stuff. It's one of my daily challenges to stop shops giving me plastic bags I don't need. For example for tiny items already wrapped in paper. Or come in their own packaging.

Spain and Safety: I've said before that things have gone too far elsewhere and that matters are treated more sensibly and pragmatically here. To the shock of those coming from more 'advanced' cultures. But there's a price for this. For the very low probabilities sometimes convert to reality. And so a 5 year old was killed by a firework exploding in his face this week. And sometime soon a cyclist will be killed in Pontevedra when riding a bike at midnight without lights or a helmet. Perhaps the very one I see regularly careering down our hill.

The EU: Here's an eminent economist on the source of its dreadful woes. Samplers: While there are many factors contributing to Europe’s travails, there is one underlying mistake: the creation of the single currency, the euro. Or, more precisely, the creation of a single currency without establishing a set of institutions that enabled a region of Europe’s diversity to function effectively. . . The euro has failed to achieve either of its two principal goals of prosperity and political integration: these goals are now more distant than they were before the creation of the eurozone. . . While in most of the world market fundamentalism[neoliberalism] has been discredited these beliefs survive and flourish within the eurozone’s dominant power, Germany. Tombstone text??

The Brexit: If you've read that article, you'll know that the author is of the view that: The economic and political consequences of Brexit will, of course, depend a great deal on Europe’s response. Most assume [like me] that Europe will not cut off its nose to spite its face. It seems in the interests of everyone to work out the best economic relationship consistent with the democratic wishes and concerns of those on both sides of the Channel. . . Anything the EU does to the UK to try to punish it would have an equal and opposite effect, hurting itself at least as much in the process. BUT: The President of the EU is the cretin Juncker and he has an even dafter anglophobe French side-kick who stands in for him during his many absences from Brussels. So, who knows what will happen? Being optimistic, Stiglitz insists that: There is still hope – hope that the EU can and will be reformed. Let's bloodywell hope so. First step, dump Juncker and his side-kick. Simples. Surely the two Mrs Ms can manage that between them.

Summer Fires: It's been like 2006 here in Pontevedra, with fires all around the city and water-planes constantly passing back and forth between the hills and the sea. But no one has been killed or made homeless yet. Unlike the situation on La Palma, in Las Canarias. Where a German guy burning his used toilet paper caused an inflagration which has had disastrous consequences. See here on this.

Pontevedra Traffic: This was chaotic yesterday. Made worse, of course, by the traffic policemen on duty. The cause was the closure of the normal route out to the beaches because it's the location of the funfair associated with our big August Fiesta - La Semana Grande. I was interested to see that the traffic was being directed to the new bridge I mentioned last week and the question arose - Will at least some these drivers now realise there's a better route to the coast? I suspect not, as they were all turning left over the bridge to go to the bottleneck roundabout at the bottom or our hill, rather than right to go over the hills to join the road way out of town. Sheep or what?

Finally . . . Anyone know anything about worm-farming. To feed my slow worm - really a legless lizard, of course - I need a supply of, well, worms. And my internet-informed attempts to farm them have resulted in only 1 worm in 7 days. Should I be doing something special? Or are worms slow learners and so I should be more patient?


These are the rear views of 4 buildings I really like, along the side of Plaza de Santa María. Next to the basilica of the same name.

This - my favourite - one was originally built by a Portuguese family and has had several owners since. It's now the HQ of the Rías Baixas tourist office, shortly to be fused with the 3 other tourist offices operating here. And stupidly competing with each other:-

The building - Pazo Mendoza - stands where there was once a defensive tower along the medieval walls. Destroyed by - who else? - the British. In the course of one of their several attacks on Vigo and/or Pontevedra. During and after the era of el pirato, Francisco Drako.

These next 2 are convalescent homes:

This one is of granite, not of the breezeblocks it looks to be made of. Better in real life.

 A handsome rear:

These next 2 are of the home of the priest(s) of the basilica. It always reminds me of the old Spanish saying:-
If you want to be happy for a week, get married.
If you want to be happy for a month, get a pig and eat it.
If you want to be happy for ever, become a priest.

The Chinese, by the way, have get a garden as the last injunction.

At least 2 of these building incorporate bits of the old medieval walls of the city. Lovely, all of them.


Anthea said...

Plastic bags: supermarkets charge for them! other shops have not yet caught on. I always refuse unnecessary bags when possible.

Alma Patist said...

The creature is still alive! But do you really want it to reproduce??

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