Monday, January 09, 2017

Pontevedra Pensées: 9.1.17

Hat tip to my friend David for this article from The Spain Report on how Spanish governments of all stripes deal with national tragedies. Taster: Spain has a problem with telling the truth about major accidents in the country, to the detriment of those Spanish citizens who are suddenly killed, maimed and left without their loved ones when they happen. Instead of properly recognising victims' needs and the opportunity to learn from tragedy to improve the Spanish system, the state prefers to sweep these things under the carpet and pretend they are not relevant or important. Such an attitude is both shameful and stupid. Indeed but, as with corruption, they seem to get away with it. At least for now. I'm compelled to ask: Would a Podemos government be any different?

Good and bad news on unemployment . . . It's down again, but 92% of new jobs are temporary or 'precarious'. 

Galicia is said to be famous for its myths and its witches. The latter come in 2 categories, good and bad. Meiga and bruxa, if I've got it right. Here's some info on one said to be the most famous - María Soliña. Needless to say, the article is OTT in its description of life in modern Galicia. At least in my barrio.

If you want to get some idea of why there is so much confusion about what a Brexit might mean in actuality - and why Mrs May won't/can't come out of the long grass - click on this comment today from Richard North of As you can see from this comment, the very knowledgable Dr North has a low opinion of almost all commentators - on both sides of the Brexit fence: These people really are dross, right down to the BBC's resident idiot, Nick Robinson

Talking of Brexit  . . . There's naturally been a slew of books on the subject since the middle of last year. Here's the one recommended in the review I read yesterday. Which I've duly ordered and will read when in the UK next week.

And talking of stupid people . . . If there's one thing above all else that the internet had achieved, it's to prove that the world is full of them. Here's one good example. It reminds me of what I told each of my daughters when they started driving: Always bear in mind that the most stupid kid in your primary school is now behind a wheel.

I count 5 alcoholics – current or reforming – among my close friends. Possibly more, as they can be very skilful at hiding their addiction. Anyway, it occurred to me during a shower today that they're all a hell of a lot more interesting than the common or garden 'heavy drinkers' I've known. In the British culture, of course, one meets a lot of the latter, as both relatives and friends. Or at least acquaintances. They don't so much appreciate alcohol as regard it as obligatory to over-consume it. From about age 14. Sadly, these days this view seems to obtain among females as well as males. That's one view of equality, I guess.

I was reading a comment about the state of public education in Britain when I came across this judgment: In footballing terms, we’re Everton. Good, but room for improvement. Needless, to say, I was a tad taken aback by this. But I could see the point. Especially as Everton have just been knocked out of the FA Cup - as it used to be known - despite playing at home.

Finally . . . In the trip I'll be making to the UK shortly, I'll be seeing about 40 people. Only 2 of these - or 5% - share the same name. And this is Woolf/Wolfe. And I'll be visiting about 18 places, 3 of which – or 17% - end in chester, from the Latin for fortress, castro. And that excludes Chester itself. Odd or what?

Today's cartoon . . . 

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