A character in the UK comedy series Benidorm this week uttered the line: It's not my fault if the Spanish have a fiesta every time the mayor farts. I was reminded of this yesterday when I walked past a large beer tent in Plaza de España erected in honour of St. bloody Patrick. Patricio in Spanish, by the way. I would have said 'marquee' for tent but this would have confused US readers, for whom this means an advertising hoarding, not a tent.
British readers will know that my city of Liverpool is the butt of many jokes, even from Scouse comedians. I mention this because some poor chap has just been sentenced to jail in Barcelona for committing – wait for it – Catalanophobia. Click here for details of this insane example of where nationalism and an obsession with racism can take you. We are now, it seems, expected to see Catalans as a different race from the rest of us. And a very sensitive one, obviously. I suspect it won't be long before the Scottish Nationalists strike a similar attitude. Well, the nuttier ones anyway.
Not a lot of readers will know that Christopher Columbus was not only Spanish but was actually born right here in Poio, a stone's throw from my house. Where there's now a museum in what is said to be his birthplace. Well, in the modern extension of it. One supporter of this theory will be giving a paper at an upcoming congress The International History of Paper In the Iberian Peninsula[!] to be held in Santa Maria de Feira in Portugal. So confident are the upholders of the theory that they're insisting 2017 will be 'the year of the Spanish Columbus'. Vamos a ver.
It's good to know that – by hook and by crook – all our local authorities are now taking more in taxes than they did before the crisis of 2008. A good example of a spur to creativity, assisted by a total lack of principles.
Returning to the theme of electricity prices . . . I've now applied for a discount of 25% on my electricity bills and wait to see which of the several documents I've had to supply is inadequate. I suspect the copy of my empadronamiento certificate, dated 2010. Meanwhile, I can advise that a recent circular from Gas Natural Fenosa offered me 2 options which they said would benefit me, while somehow failing to mention the one I'm now applying for. To be fair, I see it is cited in small print on the last page of their (totally incomprehensible) bills.
Finally . . . My Dutch friend – yes, I stoop that low – agrees with that old buffoon, Alfie Mittington, that's it's all my fault that people bump into me and that it's never happened to him. Maybe this is because, whereas I walk 40-50 minutes every day on the streets of both new and old Pontevedra, he - shall we just say - doesn't. Anyway, yesterday I noted these stats when walking across the bridge into and out of Pontevedra:-
This were the actions of the 8 people coming the other way:-
Started to take evasive action 3 or more metres before meeting – 3
Started to take evasive action 1 metre from me – 1
Took no evasive action at all – 4 (50%)
To be fair, one of the last 4 - like me - did do the traditional shoulder dip and pas-de-deux as we met and brushed against each other. But the other 3 – for whatever reason – would had walked straight into me, if I hadn't moved abruptly sidewards.
Only 2 meetings.-
Started to take evasive action 3 or more metres before meeting – 1
Took no evasive action at all – 1 (50%)
Seems pretty conclusive to me. But I'm sure both my Dutch friend and Alfie Mittington will find fault with the research – which I will repeat today – and continue to insist they're right. I'm beginning to suspect Alfie Mittington has some Dutch blood. They are a stubborn people, in my – admittedly limited – experience of them. Final note on this . . . My impression is that women are more likely to take evasive action than men. Perhaps not surprisingly.
I'm thinking of putting my theory to the ultimate test next week – by walking the bridge with a white stick.
|I'VE ALWAYS HATED CHRISTMAS|