Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 8.11.17

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.

  • Sr P thinks the shooting-match will be settled by international courts. Still delusional, then. 
  • And he continues to seek to internationalise the situation and to shame the EU into doing somethingto help Cataluña. Fat chance. 
  • Meanwhile . . . The Catalan crisis is being called a "nightmare" and a "time bomb" for Belgium's government. The flight of the region's ousted president to Brussels is sowing divisions within the Belgian government and looks set to damage ties between the two European Union partners. Even as Carles Puigdemont and his lawyer were questioned by an investigating judge on Sunday about his extradition, members of Belgium's government, Belgian politicians and Spanish officials were trading barbs in the mainstream and social media. More here.
Life in Spain
  • Spanish law officers are notoriously sensitive and can fight back against criticism and satire via the county's famous 'gag law'. More evidence of this here.
  • Everything gets politicised in Spain, it's said. More evidence of this here.
  • Some good news. The Spanish hero mentioned yesterday is to posthumously receive the UK police's highest honour.
  • One of the joys of driving in the UK – apart from meandering through Shropshire and Cheshire – is the BBC's Radio 4 channel. Or even Radio 2. Sad to say, this isn't true of Spain. The Cantabrian A8 autovia is truly beautiful – spectacular, even - but the radio choices as I drove from Santander to Pontevedra were parlous. Even when I finally found a discussion program, this was further evidence of why discusión has to be translated as 'argument' or 'dispute' in English. Two or three people simultaneously shouting at or interrupting each other. On the subject of Cataluña, need I say. But this didn't matter really, as all Spanish 'discussions' tend to be like this. That said, I know that Spain's Radio 3 does some excellent documentaries. But not on a Monday afternoon, it seems. I should add that there is a classic music channel as a last resort.
  • I don't recall ever knowing that there were Spanish troops on British soil as late as 1719. Albeit only briefly.
The USA:
So, Donald Fart thinks that it would have been a good thing if everyone in the Texas church had been armed and able to shoot back at the mass murderer. On this logic, the USA would be a much safer place if every, say, 14 year old was obliged to have a pistol on his or her hip. Or perhaps a semi-automatic rifle strapped to his or her back. For life. And who's to say this won't be the case in a few decades time, the way things are going there.

  • I like to surprise – nay, shock - visitors to Pontevedra by acquainting them with the primary source of wealth along this rather wealthy coast. Yesterday, I decided to see if there was any internet coverage of this. And immediately found this BBC News item of a few years ago. I rather doubt anything has changed since then. En passant, I asked a local friend last night if he thought it was true that both President Rajoy of Spain and President Feijoo of Galicia had had financially beneficial friendships with Galician drug barons. He nodded.
  • Yet another report of how expensive petrol and diesel are along this coast, in a poor region of Spain. Could this be connected with the previous paragraph?
Finally . . .
One of my UK friends asked my last week why I didn't have an iPhone. I replied that I didn't need one and certainly wasn't prepared to pay a thousand quid for one. Last night I read of a bug in the X phone which causes the letter 'i' to be replaced by a capital "A" and a question mark symbol. Or with "! ⍰". Which raised a smile.

Today's Cartoon:-

For Brits of a certain age . . . 

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