Monday, April 16, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 16.4.18

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.

Spain v Cataluña
  • Hundreds of thousand of Catalans have been demonstrating in the streets against the latest arrests. To me, it rather points up the political nature of the challenge faced by Madrid. Though I very much doubt most Spaniards will see it this way.
  • Certainly not the Vice President, Sra Sáenz de Santamaría, who recently boasted of how the government had restored normality to Cataluña. To quote her: Our democracy is very strong. That's why we're going to win. Which might well be the view within Spain, if not outside it.
  • The leader of Ciudadanos in the region could well be even more hard line. Which has gone down well in the rest of Spain, of course, in the battle for the soul of Spain's right wing. Which is a tad righter here than elsewhere.
Life in Spain
  • I did some research on cheaper electricity prices at night. The first thing that came up was: This rate is being phased out by some companies. Then I read that it's really only suitable for folk who use 30-40% of their electricity at night, for example if you have storage heaters. If not, you'll end up paying more because of the daytime premium rate. Not quite how it used to be in the UK when we had cheap nocturnal rates. Dunno about now.
  • Waiting for a doctor appointment one evening last week, it struck me that they must make the appointments during the 3 hours available on the basis that each chat will take 15 minutes. Or 12 appointments. Should you be the last of these and should the average time be 10 minutes longer, you then face an (almost) 2 hour wait. Which is exactly what happened to me once. Or would have, if I hadn't left at 10.30(pm), after a 90 minute wait. When there were still 2 people in front of me. This was with a private doctor, by the way. This didn't do much to undermine my belief that the Spanish have little problem with being made to hang around, even if they're paying for a service.
The UK
  • Researchers from a small group of universities (including Sevilla's) examined whether the use of consultants had improved efficiency in 120 British hospitals. And found it had actually reduced it, while having no discernible effect on the quality of services.
  • Tainted Russian money has become a malign and corrupting influence on the UK economy. Regardless of the poisonings and Russia’s shameful support for the brutality of Assad’s regime, it’s high time that this cancer was cut from the system. Amen to that.
  • Good question: Will the latest government plan to reduce obesity by counting calories be successful – or will it go the way of abstinence-based sex education and make the problem worse?
Social Media
  • Do you know what Facebook's Shadow Profiles are? If not, tune in tomorrow.
  • The bad springtime weather has not only hit the commercial growers of vines and vegetables; it's affected the very first thing I've ever tried to grow – the ironically named spring onions. And this after me having to take up all the heavy stones I laid years ago at the bottom of my garden.

  • A headline I'm waiting to see: Normandy asked by the UK government to apologise for the 1066 invasion. It has to come.

© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 16.4.18


Alfred B. Mittington said...

I'm sorry, but when is the UK government going to apologise for the - biggest ever amphibious - invasion of Normandy in June 1944 ??
The battle of Hastings was child's play compared with the utter destruction that British troops visited upon the innocent French towns and villages!


Colin Davies said...

First things first.

And if WtC had had the money, the men and the technology . . .

Eamon said...

HistoricAl apparently the French are still in discussion with Canada about French Canadian troops being allowed to land on Juno beach on sectors Mike and Nan in 44.