Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 4.4.17

If you're wondering why the EU has allowed Spain to throw a Gibraltar-shaped spanner into the works, here's one plausible theory from a UK columnist: The decision reflects EU fears that Spain will hold the EU-UK deal to ransom over Gibraltar. Why? Well, because Spain is already doing exactly that by holding up a series of EU-wide aviation agreements on passenger compensation and the Open Skies Agreement. EU officials fear that Spain could play the same trick over the entire EU-UK Free Trade Agreement which is likely to need to be ratified in more than 30 parliaments. By making an agreement over Gibraltar the subject of a bilateral EU-UK negotiation, the EU has - from its perspective - effectively removed one obvious area where unity was going to collapse.

So, Germany has again rejected the proposal of an EU 'bad bank' that would house/hide the billions of euros of toxic debt on the books of EU banks and mean 'mutualisation' of debt and German liability for the (corrupt?) idiocies of, say, Greek, Italian and Spanish banks. So, more proof that the EU is essentially designed for the benefit of Germany. And, to a lesser - and more temporary - extent, for the benefit of France.

Was there anyone who didn't expect Russian involvement in Syria to result in more terrorist atrocities in Moscow?

Another development not to be surprised about - Our local electricity companies say that, if the municipal authorities charge taxes on their pylons on public land, the burden will end up on the consumers. Somehow, I doubt this'll make any difference. Which reminds me . . . We have 4 electricity suppliers operating here in Galicia. The percentage of users which they've managed to convince/trick into moving to the 'free market' - where they can raise prices – varies from 34% to over 90%. I was pleased to read my operator was at the low end.

Our local police have announced they're going to make their radar traps more mobile so that drivers can't warn each other. The only surprising thing about this is that they took so long to arrive at this rather obvious stratagem. As regards speeding, the police have said that last year they arrested 100 drivers doing more than 180kph, 12 drivers doing more than 200 and one guy doing 280. This can't help our insurance premiums.

We have a poetry festival here in Pontevedra this coming weekend. I might go along. And it's not because this attractive lady is performing there, if that's what you're thinking. It will be to improve my command of Gallego and/or one of the other 7 languages promised.

Still on the local scene . . . Longtime readers might recall my astonishment at the proliferation of bank branches here during the years of the phony boom. Especially as each of them provided the expensive face-to-face service much favoured by the Spanish. Anyway, it's yet another non-surprise to read that 20 of these have closed in the last year or so, thanks to fusions and retrenchment.

Fado is Portugal's favourite form of music, I believe. I've tried it several times but still find it -  like Leonard Cohen – too dirge-ful for me. Nonetheless, I did try the current star of the genre – Amália Rodrigues. Though it did no good. You can sample her here and make up your own mind.

Finally . . . When they come to make a bronze of my head, I do hope they use someone other than the genius who got Ronaldo so wrong.


Today's cartoon:-

Of course it's effective. That's why it's illegal.

17 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


You are sometimes amusing… Your 'current star of fado' died no fewer than 18 years ago at the healthy age of 79. One can hardly call that 'current'. At best she is the current Icon and Mother of all Fado Singers. But that is another thing.

Could you give us a few more of the genius musicians whom you dislike or loath?? I always have to giggle at your total lack of good taste….

MusicAl

Colin Davies said...

Do you really understand English, Alfie? 'current' doesn't mean 'alive'. John Donne might well be the current bete noire of Eng Lit.

Alfred B. Mittington said...



'Current' comes from the Latin for 'Running'

Dear old Amalia of the golden voice is no longer running…

Learn to formulate in a more elegant, easily comprehensible manner

PoeticAl

PS Who in the world is John Donne? His name rings no bell….

Colin Davies said...

So, it still means 'running' does it????

It means 'right now' FFS.

As in 'Elvis Presley is currently top of the US charts despite being dead for a hundred years'.

Get yourself a good teacher. I'd give you free lessons if you lived in Galicia . . .

Eamon said...

Colin I think you are a fan of Amália Rodrigues. You only say that you are not impressed and give us a link knowing full well we will all rush over there to hear her sing and end up being captivated by her voice. You are sneaky that is for sure.

Colin Davies said...

Well,Eamon. I have to amit that after 3 plays it began to grow on me. Until i realised i was becoming suicidal.

The Singing Organ-Grinder said...

Yolanda has something of the donkey about her head, unlike most Galicians: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Yolanda_Casta%C3%B1o_2010.jpg

Colin Davies said...

Well, she speaks well of you . . .

Eamon said...

Colin listen to her singing it once more but peel an onion while listening and that way you can have a real good cry.

Colin Davies said...

Eamon: i have 2 daughters. Don't you thinl i have enough reasons to cry?

Eamon said...

Colin I have one daughter so I can only cry out of one eye which puts me off balance. In your case you are lucky you can cry from both and not spill your glass of wine.

Colin Davies said...

Very true, Eamon. Very true.

Lenox said...

Hi Colin. I have an excellent CD by Marisa.

Lenox said...

Got interrupted. Marisa - a quarter Angolan, white hair, beautiful and, admittedly with practice, fantastic to listen to.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, am currently enjoying some of her stuff. Interestingly, when you know a bit of Gallego, her intros are easy to understand. and title such as Chova. One of at least 3 gallego words for rain! Ta.

Maria said...

Umm, there's more than three words in galego for rain. There's choiva, the generic, then, according to how hard it's raining, there's anything from babuña, babuxa, borralla, chuvisca, poalla, to arroiada, bategada, chaparrado, chuvasco, chuvieira, to treboado and trebón. And quite a few more. Check out gciencia.com/tolociencia/61-palabras-en-galego-para-designar-a-choiva/

Colin Davies said...

Sorry, Maria. I actually meant 3 different ways of spelling lluvia in galego . . .

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