Friday, October 04, 2019

Thoughts from Heald Green, Cheshire, England: 4.10.19

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

Note: Again, a few of the items below have been borrowed from Lenox Napier's Business Over Tapas of yesterday.

Spanish Life 
  • Some provocateur has suggested that strictly speaking, if the British were to return Gibraltar to its previous owner, this would be the Catalans. I've no idea if this is true or not.
  • There's been a huge corruption trial taking place here for as long as I can remember, with the judge being changed from time to time, for one reason or another. It's named after the German for 'belt' - Gürtel. Hence La Maldición de Gürtel - The Gürtel curse. Which is the term applied to those who mysteriously die before they ever get to the court. So far, they number 9 souls.
  • There's been some good news for Spanish hotels in the last year. After trials in the UK, the number of Brits - largely from the Liverpool area, I have to admit - claiming that food poisoning ruined their holidays has reduced to nil. It's said that this scam cost the hotel industry here over €50 million in 2016. 
  • For Spanish readers, here's a nice El País article on a north-south trip through the country,
The UK/The EU/Brexit
  • It was a 'mad, mad, day' yesterday, as Boris Johnson's plan/proposal/sham began to unravel. So so says Richard North here.
  •  A constitutionally correct impeachment enquiry/inquiry is now a palace coup, according to Ffart's defenders. In some countries, such a declaration would never get past the joke stage.
  • In 3 days of driving in the UK, it's been good to witness 'normal' driving on roundabouts. I've seen only one incident of a driver staying in the outside line for the second exit and this was someone in a Spanish-plated car. Me, in fact. Rather ironically. Anyway, it annoyed the driver behind me, who'd naturally assumed I'd be taking the first exit.


Maria said...

During the War of Spanish Succession, the Cataláns went against the rest of Spain and allied themselves with the English and Dutch. They were among the soldiers that took Gibraltar from the Castilian supporters of the Borbones. There's a bay named after them, Catalan Bay. Some of the Catalán soldiers remained after the battle to help in the administration, just before the Treaty of Utrecht gave the Rock to Britain. But the Cataláns were never the real owners of the Rock, they just helped it to become British.

May the memories be brighter than the tears today.

Perry said...

An interesting idea about returning Gibraltar to Catalonia. The Counts of Barcelona were independent, hereditary rulers in constant warfare with the Islamic Caliphate of Córdoba and its successor states.

Castilian troops, led by King Alfonso X, took the Kingdom of Murcia at the end of 1265/66, when large numbers of immigrants from north Catalonia and Provence settled in the town; Catalan names are still not uncommon.

The Crown of Aragon was a personal and dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. The Senyera pattern is currently in the flag of four Spanish autonomous communities (Catalonia, Aragon, the Balearic Isles, the Valencian Country), and is the flag of the historically Catalan-speaking city of Alghero (Catalan: L'Alguer) in Sardinia. It is also used on the coat of arms of Spain, the coat of arms of Pyrénées-Orientales and of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the flag of Roussillon, Capcir, Vallespir and Provence in France, one quarter of the coat of arms of Andorra, and on the local flags of many municipalities belonging to these territories.

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks, María.