Buying Property in Spain: Here's some guidance on getting a mortgage here. You'll see that the last recommendation is to get a good lawyer. Astonishingly, most Brits ignore this and rely on the assurance of the estate agent that the notary will protect their interests. Even after decades of duplicity and fraud.
Education: As I've said, I have no idea what's going on at the moment. All I really know is that, every time the government changes, a major reform is initiated and given an acronym. The latest is the LOMCE, which apparently replaces the LOE. Or is intended to, at least. Before the LOE, going back to 1980, there were the LOCE, the LOGSE, the LODE and the LOECE. Anyway, Macmillan have kindly supplied this intro to the LOMCE. Good luck. Given the poor international performance of Spanish students, one is compelled to ask what the point of all this is. Outside the realm of political ideology, that is.
Energy Prices: Spain's are already among the highest in Europe. And now I've read that we're about to be hit with a major price hike. Is this why my gas company recently sent me details of 2 lower tariffs? In other words a PR gesture. With the emphasis on 'gesture'.
Poverty: Living on the wealthy coast of Galicia, you'd be forgiven for thinking there's none of this in modern Spain. This article lays that misapprehension. As I've said, Spanish energy companies - like the banks - are not slow to cut you off at the knees, should you fall behind with payments. Redder in tooth and claw than elsewhere. With powerful friends in government. It'll be a while before the poor are protected.
The LOMCE: As a minority government, Sr Rajoy's right-wing PP administration is having some difficulty implementing its plans. At the moment, 2 months into the year, secondary school teachers are working to a curriculum that might not be the one the kids are examined on next summer.
THE SPANISH ECONOMY
GDP: All you need to know about this is that, in the 3rd quarter, it grew less than Galicia's - 0.7%, against our 0.9%.
Cuba: Until the everlasting victory. This was the sign-off to the official announcement of Castro's death. I seem to think there was a similar vainglorious exhortation when that other old dictator, Franco, kicked it in 1975.
Airports: As I regularly say, we have 3 'international airports' here, each of them small and not terribly international. The closest to me is that of Peinador in Vigo, which had a mere 19 flights in summer but only 4 now that winter has arrived - to Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Lisbon. In other words, just one international flight, to next door Portugal. With TAP. There've been numerous (amusing) attempts to 'coordinate' these facilities over the years but none of them has succeeded. The barrier is the infamous Spanish localism. This week, the President of the Galician regional government retorted that he's not going to accede to requests to rationalise the situation until the mayors of Santiago, La Coruña and Vigo come clean on the secret deals they have with airlines. Deals which seem to change each year as the companies naturally play them off against each other. The victim of all this is, of course, the consumer. Who has to go to one end of the region one year and then to the other end the following year. Or, in most cases, down to the rapidly expanding airport in Oporto in North Portugal. Which tellingly advertises itself as The Airport for all Galicians. It's farcical but there's no prospect of change in the foreseeable future. Incidentally, you can't get from Pontevedra to Vigo airport - 20km away - by public transport. Or at least not directly.
The Pontevedra Retail Scene: It's hard to keep up with this, given the frequency of closures and openings. Right now, the little street I walk up to my regular bar seems to have been taken over by women's clothes shops. One of which is offering every garment at only €10. Presumably second hand, as we used to say. I'm not optimistic about any of them still being open a year from now. Money laundering?
For the musicians among you . . .
Postscript: As I finished the last paragraph, I heard the cat-flap go. Sure enough, the cat has finally found how to get down. Let the party begin . .
By the way . . . The cat is called Mol. This is short for Molestia. Or 'Nuisance'.
To end on a positive note . . . I much enjoy this Facebook page.