Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 13.7.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.

Usual Thursday morning HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for his comprehensive weekly bulletin, from which I've poached some items below . . .

Life in Spain:-
  • Here's El País, in English, on the state of Spain's important tourism sector. Not all rosy.
  • Here's news of some fraudulent Brits who got their comeuppance. And here's news(in Spanish) of 7 fraudulent Spaniards in my barrio getting theirs - after claiming that all 5 people in a car suffered whiplash after their car left the road and 'smashed into' a tree. Btw . . . I can't understand why the state of the tree isn't mentioned in the latter report.
  • One needs to be careful in Spain about what one says or writes about anyone in authority here. See this report on Spain's 'gag law'. Not without its benefits, it's claimed.
  • And if you're going to be on one of Spain's beaches this summer, here's The Local's list of what you'll be fined for doing, up to €3,000. But a lot more if you're one of Galicia's numerous narcotraficos and you're collared after beaching your speedboat. Though, for some reason, you're unlikely to end up in jail.
  • Well, UK MPs didn't walk out during king Felipe's mention of Gibraltar during his address to the British Parliament yesterday. Probably too dazzled by the sight of his lovely wife, Letizia.
  • Going away from your home in Spain during August? Be warned that this is peak burglary time here. Easy pickings when apartment blocks can be virtually empty.
  • Here's a graphic showing the density of civil servants (funcionariosin each Spanish region. It's interesting to note that the lowest percentage of the total population is in Cataluña, indisputably the country's most commercial region. At 20%, Galicia is above the national average of 17%, though the latter is dragged up a bit by the remarkably high percentages of Spain's two (low population) non-colonies in North Africa. I suspect the percentages of both Pontevedra province and (particularly) Pontevedra city would be rather higher that Galicia's figure of 20%.

The Spanish Language: I came across the adjective bronco and discovered that it had the following meanings:- rough, coarse (surface); brittle (metal);  gruff, hoarse, rasping, harsh (voice); gruff, rude (attitude); and unbroken (horse). Good to know. A useful word.

The temperature here in Galicia has been 2 degrees up on the historical average this year. And I've been told that our coastal waters, at 20 degrees, are now 'warm'. Needless to say, water is in increasingly in short supply. But I don't suppose this is impacting on Spanish profligate use of it.

The dry weather has naturally encouraged folk to get round on bikes. Especially on the pavements meant for pedestrians, but I digress. And the sun has also brought out the bike-thieves, who've been having a field day. So far this year in Pontevedra, a total of 40 have been pinched, with 12 of these having been in 'summer'. Whether this is from, say, 1st of June or the official start of summer on 21st June, I can't tell you.

Finally . . . I live in a wealthy barrio on the hilly outskirts of Pontevedra and my neighbours are professional types - doctors, lawyers and dentists. You know they're doing well when you clock the car of one of their chicas, the women who come in every day to look after the house and the kids, etc. A servant or 'domestic', in other words. An institution which, in contrast, has virtually disappeared from Britain's middle class.

 By the way,  I only have a cleaner who comes very occasionally. But who is always clumsy.

Today's cartoon:-

Those strange Brits . . .

"Just coming aboard, Lord Gerald and Lady Strangling Gore".

'You'd think they'd dispense with all those ridiculous formalities at a time like this.'

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