Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
I relayed the accusation the other day that Spanish secondary education is 'a disaster'. Here's something on the attitudes of those emerging from it.
Another worrying aspect of modern Spain is that child poverty is reported to be the 3rd highest in Europe. See here and here on this. I have to admit this remains hidden from my (limited) sight. Even in this 'poor' region of Galicia.
Corruption: Here's an interesting video, addressed to the Presidenta of Andalucia - and contender for the head of the PSOE party. It's curtly entitled: Susana. Where is the fucking money? A good question. While we await a (non)answer, here's a report of one of the latest episodes in this never-ending saga of looting.
Here's a feature on some of Spain's most ancient - but unimpressive - relics.
We Brits resident in Spain have never been accurately counted. The official figure of between 200,000 and 250,000 is universally felt to be too low, reflecting the fact that not all of us have registered with the town hall and pay our taxes. But one thing everyone agrees on is that the number is reducing. Needless to say, Brexit bears the brunt of the blame for this but I can't help wondering how much the (illegal) law of 2012 - on Modelo 720 - impacts on intentions and decisions. One thing's for sure - British interest in buying property here is on the downslope.
- San Antonio's mayor is refusing to apologise for asserting that "Not being in a relationship with God" is a root cause of generational poverty.
Finally . . . Last night I watched the last episode of a British TV series – Spectacular Spain. It was set in Galicia and did a decent job. You can get it on my5.com if you live in the UK or have a VPN. I have to admit I was surprised that the woman harvesting the dreadful percebes in Corme spoke Castellano and not Gallego. The presenter, on the other hand, couldn't decide which she was pronouncing – as in costa del morte. But at least she shared my view that the percebe tastes of nothing but salt water. Though she underestimated the cost of them at Xmas; it's €300 a kilo, not merely 200. And, unless things have recently changed, she was wrong to swallow the local line that Galicia is officially one of the 7 Celtic nations. It isn't, as it lacks a Celtic language. As it says here, there are only 6 Celtic nations. Finally, God knows why she wasted 10 minutes on long-sword fighting. And I guess it was too much to expect her - especially as a Catholic - to admit that Santiago de Compostela thrives on the basis of a ridiculous myth about St James 'coming back' to Spain in a crew-less stone boat, guided - some say - by angels. But each to his own. Or her own, in this case. Anyway, I guess we can expect another sharp increase in 'pilgrims' now. There must be a way for me to make money from it all . . .
A Spanish company???