Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It seems that John Carlin got it wrong when he said there were only two teams who could win the Spanish Primera league. After last night’s 5-0 demolition of Real Madrid by Barcelona, it  already looks like an even-less-exciting one horse race. I would, incidentally have enjoyed watching the match if my friend Jon, whose place I went to to see it, had actually had the relevant TV channel.

Meanwhile, they’re not yet cracking more granite on the construction site behind my house, just moving huge boulders of the stuff. And parking their cars in front of our garages.



Given how many readers have written to mention it, I guess I’d better cite the woman from Pontevedra province (down on the Portuguese border, in fact) who's registered her ownership of the sun with an obliging local notary.

Regional elections just about anywhere in Spain are far too complex for me to understand. So what chance do I have with Cataluña? Click here for some analysis of what looks on the surface like a set-back for both the socialists and the nationalists. Exactly as happened two years ago here in Galicia. Given the macro European situation, I was amused to read that the CiU victory “reflected voter dissatisfaction over having to subsidise poorer regions of Spain”. As I regularly say, ‘solidarity’ is a one-way street here in Spain.

These two fotos show the elements of the phrase which Pontevedra city council likes to use about its charge – Boa Vila. Or Good/Pretty/Fine town. In Gallego, of course. They’re actually being used as barriers to stop cars going into certain parts of the old quarter. It’s a good idea but I can’t help feeling it’d be more effective if the words weren’t 200 metres apart. And round the corner from each other. Rendering them meaningless to visitors.

Finally . . .  Here’s a foto of some of the lovely lady teachers with whom I have an hour of English conversation every Monday evening. If they don’t look entirely happy, it’s because I didn’t given them any notice of this shot. So, I’ve had to promise to take and post another one in two weeks’ time, after they’ve done whatever it is women feel they need to do before being snapped. Then we can all play Spot the Difference


Tailnote: The Second Death of Juan la Roca. My daughter has now posted Chapter 12. Click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Big news today with the announcement that Christopher Columbus was born not in Poio but in Madeira. And was, in fact, the son of an exiled Polish king. Well, as he had a Portuguese wife, this might explain the “notes in Galician” on his maps. Which is all that can be said for this ridiculous theory which denies the great man was born here in Poio and so was a Gallego through and through.

The other big news is that Spain won’t reach the 6% deficit target next year. Which is a nice lead into both this article and this one as to where we are in the euro drama.

Today I had confirmation of something I’ve suspected for a while. It relates to my border collie, Ryan, who’ll be 100 in human terms in the middle of January. Since he’s now pretty slow, I’ve taken to going on shorter walks than we used to do, because these take as much time as I’m prepared to allocate for this. For some time, I’ve felt that Ryan was displaying his disgust at this by, literally, dragging his feet. But today I had no patience with this and, from the outset, prompted him delicately with a stick where his delicate parts would be if they hadn’t been delicately removed many years ago. Only to find that he could virtually run the whole distance when he really wanted to. So that will be a fix from now on. And perhaps we’ll return to the full circuit. The other advantage of this is that, if I’m pushing him from behind, there’s no chance I’ll look up from my book or magazine to find that my virtually deaf and blind canine friend has wandered off because he can’t see or hear me in front of him. And doesn’t respond to my whistle to bring him back, as he can’t hear it. What serendipity!

Finally . . . the picture for today is of one of the several pigeons which were determined to get some of my Sunday lunch. What I’d really like to show you is a foto of the imbeciles who throw food down for these flying rats but I didn’t have my machine gun with me so couldn’t take the picture I really wanted to take.



Finally, finally . . . . my nice desktop picture.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One of the waitresses in this café is sporting a T-shirt on which is written “Find me a man for my life”. I just asked her if she knows what it says and she admitted she had no idea as she couldn’t speak English. I guess it could have been worse.

Anyway, President Zapatero met with 37 businessmen in the end. Or I should say 36 businessmen and one businesswoman. These were, of course, the heads of Spain’s leading companies. As one paper pointed out, apart from being 99% male, every one of them is Spanish. Which the writer doubted would be the case in other major economies. The meeting went brilliantly, of course, but no one seems to be terribly confident it will result in the rapid, decisive action on the part of Sr. Z that’s allegedly vital to save the euro.

It was nice to see Bernard Henri Lévi writing a eulogy to rugby in El País today. Elsewhere in the same paper, the ever-excellent John Carlin was giving the lie to the widespread belief here that the Spanish Primera is the best football (soccer) league in the world. Actually, he went so far as to say that – because only two teams have any chance of winning it – not only is it not the best but it competes with its Scottish equivalent to rank as the worst. He’ll be popular.

More importantly, the Poio museum dedicated to our most illustrious son, Christopher Columbus, was inaugurated last week, thanks to a major subvention from the government’s Plan E fund. Not to be missed.

Finally . . . I’m guessing the plumbing is now all in place in the new houses behind mine, now well into their fifth year of construction. They’ve taken away the temporary toilet anyway. So, I guess they’ll soon be building the community swimming pool which figured in the plans I saw six years ago in the spot where the Portaloo used to be. If so, it won’t be taking up much more of a footprint. Unless they cut down some trees and do some more granite pounding. Oh, joy. Meanwhile, The Great Wall of Poio has yet to be finished.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It’s Saturday, so here’s a brief account of an illustrious (if that’s the word) predecessor in Pontevedra, kindly cited by reader Victor.

And here’s an Economist article on the Spanish economy, the essence of which that the future of the euro depends entirely on President Zapatero acting quickly and decisively. So, that’s it; no bloody chance. Señor Zap’s idea of urgency and decisiveness is to call in the leading 35-39 businessmen in the country for a lecture. And to promise ‘more’ transparency. If observers of the official property market statistics are to be believed, ‘some’ would be a much more appropriate word.

To be (a bit more) positive, here’s Desmond Cleary refuting some criticisms of the Spanish economy but highlighting where he thinks a real problem lies.

As ever, I recommend a reading of all the comments which follow these articles.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Spanish conversation, mainly for The Baldie. It took place in a florist shop near the town hall:-
Good morning. Do you mind if I ask you a question?
No, not at all.
Well, there’s the word ‘Circunvalación’ engraved in the pavement outside and I wondered if you knew what it meant.
I think it means that you have to go that way to get to the ring road.
But there’s no way through.
No.
So, doesn’t that strike you as a bit strange?
Hombre, after many years in this town, nothing strikes me as strange!

And talking of Spanish experiences . . . My pupil was 15 minutes late today. Her comment – “It’s turned very cold, hasn’t it?”. In truth, she was two hours early. Or would have been if – Ha! – she’d turned up on time. This was because her mother had ‘something in town’ (again) and wanted me to change the day. We compromised on the hour. In Spain, we all live in the here and now. It doesn’t do to agree that someone can come tomorrow. Especially when money hinges on it. For tomorrow I may be myself with yesterday's seven thousand years.

Since this is supposed to be Pix from Galicia, here’s one of my friend Jason pollarding one of my oak trees up in the hills. And giving me a view of a distant industrial park that I didn’t really want. Especially as my ex in-laws live next to it . . . 


And here's a quiz foto. A big prize for the first person to (genuinely) guess the origin of the name (Jaqueyvi) of this fashionable tapas bar down in Ponters' old quarter:-



Finally . . .  Another paragraph (this time from Paul Krugman) in which you can insert ‘Spanish’ in place of ‘Irish’ and still leave it making complete sense:- The Irish story began with a genuine economic miracle. But eventually this gave way to a speculative frenzy driven by runaway banks and real estate developers, all in a cozy relationship with leading politicians. I would blame it on the boogey but prefer to blame it on the Brussels. Who've now added insult to injury my making Ireland their second satrapy. Portugal next. And then . . . . ? The deluge? Get your Ark ready. Or at least your Chaucerian bath.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

God knows how they do these surveys but we’re being told that Galicians will spend an average of 640 euros each this coming Xmas. This is well down the (inevitable) regional list, coming above only the Canary Islands. But, within the total, we in Galicia will be spending the most on food, at 211 each. Possibly because of all that ‘local’ seafood that’ll be consumed, especially the (dreadful) percebes. Or goose barnacles in English. Astonishingly, everyone in the country will be spending more than 100 euros on the two big lotteries of the season. In which they have less chance of winning than of being hit by lightning twice. On the same day.

I went to the gym near my house today, to enquire about prices. We went through the various options and I was disappointed to be told that I and my dog didn’t qualify for the Two Person special deal. Most interestingly, when I asked what the 30 euro Matricula fee was, the young lady dismissed it as ‘Nothing’. Which must mean either that they’re going to waive the sign-on fee or she wanted to give me the impression I didn’t have to pay it. I wonder which.

A minor apology . . .  I said yesterday that the building with Moorish aspects was built in the 11th century. Reader Victor tells me it’s a 15th century edifice. Actually, it’s 14th century according to the charming man on the reception desk there, in what is now an administrative unit of the University of Vigo. Incidentally, this experience was one which I rather doubt I’d get in the UK. The chap on the desk was charm itself and went to great lengths to try to get data out of his laptop. Which is not uncommon in Spain. That said, it might be that, where there’s a good deal of ‘underemployment’, people are a tad bored. And only too pleased to have something to do.

On the issue of the day, week and year . . . There seems now to be a consensus that the Eurozone is close to the edge of a precipice and that it will be pushed even nearer to it when Portugal inevitably seeks an IMF/ECB handout ‘ere too long. Writing in the left-of-centre Guardian, the ubiquitous Timothy Gorton Ash says everything now depends on whether a Europeanised Germany can manage to quickly forge some sort of Germanised Europe. Personally, I’ve no doubt - given enough time - the politicians and bureaucrats could manage this but I’m less sure the peoples of Europe (especially the Germans) would grant their permission for a true currency and debt union . Assuming they’re ever asked. As Gorton Ash says in his final paragraph, “The challenge for German statecraft is to find this difficult but sustainable compromise, in the most intensive negotiations with all its European partners – and then to sell the result to its own reluctant people.”

So the game has a while to run. Meanwhile, here’s one response to Ambrose Pritchard Evans’ request for solutions. Though, as it’s a leader from the right-of-centre Daily Telegraph, it may well have been written by Ambrose himself – “Federalist voices in the EU are arguing that this crisis makes the case for the closer political union that may make a currency union viable. Yet they are hopelessly at odds with public opinion across Europe, where there is no popular appetite for such a step. Europe’s leaders must, therefore, focus on creating instruments that prevent the capital markets holding the whole of the EU to ransom when one of its weaker members becomes distressed, and allow instead a managed exit from the eurozone. Given the woeful political leadership shown by the EU so far in this crisis, such a rational outcome is far from guaranteed.”

Personally, I’m most worried about Mrs Merkel’s reported Canute-like comment that politicians must act together to demonstrate that they can’t be beaten by the markets.

Finally . . . Remember the confidence-generating bank stress tests of last summer. Well, it turns out the Irish numbers were a sham, hiding the precariousness of their banks. One naturally wonders about those from other countries.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All of the BBC’s TV output can be received in Ireland, I believe. Well, if I can get all the programs from here, then they must be able to get them in the Emerald Isle. I mention this because next week the BBC starts what looks like an enticing “German” season. This will demonstrate how the last hundred years have caused us to forget the previous five hundred years of huge cultural achievement across all the Arts. As I say, it sounds fascinating but I can’t see it being among the most popular items on Irish TV this winter.

Talking of high finance, my latest electricity bill has arrived and I’m forced to the conclusion that the (Catalan) company actually has an Anti-Marketing or Stuff-the-Customer department. Firstly, it’s an (excessive) estimate, when I’m sure they were ordered to stop doing this a year or so ago; secondly, the unit cost of gas has gone up by almost 7% and there’s no mention of this, let alone any sort of explanation; thirdly, the item marked Electricity Tax has been increased by 29%, again without explanation; fourthly the value added tax has been increased by two percentage points or 12.5%; and, finally, the little bar chart showing what I’ve (notionally) used in the last month relative to the previous six periods suggest this is less than one fifth of what they’ve charged me for. Presumably an administrative error and not something deliberately done to make me say “Oh, goody! My electricity use is well down this month. I won’t worry about all the increases” What a way to provide a service! Possibly not even 20th century, never mind 21st. They must have friends in high places.

Galicians like to claim that the invading Moors never made it this far north and/or were beaten back by courageous Gallegos. Not to mention the mountains and the rain. But, looking at this 11th century building in Pontevedra’s old quarter, one can be forgiven for being dubious about the claims. 



Then there was the carrying off of the bells of Santiago cathedral down to Cordoba. Where they hung in the grand mosque for five hundred years. 

Finally . . . It’s reported that “speculation is growing that the eurozone will break into a core and a periphery, or that the weaker countries will unilaterally peel off. Such thoughts were considered high treason as recently as the beginning of this year. But analysts see the economic troubles in the weaker countries and speculate that the pain will become intolerable, and that these countries will head for the exit. The odds that Greece, Ireland, Portugal and, perhaps, Spain will leave the eurozone within the next three years, or maybe sooner, are shortening by the day.” (Ruth Lea, The Times). If Germany doesn't beat them to it, of course.

And in the
Spanish financial daily Expansión, journalist Tom Burns Marañón argues: “The next foreseeable step is that the other peripheral European countries . . . . will question the legitimacy of a supranational body which holds very little democratic counterweight to impose blood and tears. Likewise of the leadership of those who launched and maintained the Monetary Union, the euro and the Central European Bank without first having established a transparent fiscal and debt system common to all."

All rather predictable. And predicted.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Galicia’s two savings banks – Caixa Galicia and Caixanova – are being fused, albeit as the same pace at which The Great Wall of Poio is being completed. Here are their respective HQs in Pontevedra, conveniently only metres apart.
Each of these has a theatre or performance area and dedicated exhibition rooms, which host the cultural events these entities fund instead of dishing out dividends. So the question is - Which one will survive the fusion, and emerge victor after the internecine inter-urban struggle between respective Boards in La Coruña and Vigo?
 
My guess is the newer – and far superior – facilities of Caixanova. But this is to use logic and I should know by now not to do this, especially when local politicians are involved. The other question is whether we will see a ‘cost-saving’ reduction in cultural events.

But back to trivia – Here’s a foto of the most expensive shopping street in Pontevedra, down in the old quarter, Most of the shops here are reputed to belong to the same canny woman – probably a Catalan  - who’s enriched herself selling Chinoiserie to the city’s nouveaux riches. 

And here’s the shop of hers which offered at a mere 850 euros a wood-and-leather chair identical to one I paid a pittance for in Iran years ago. When, stupefied, I asked if this really was the price, she replied I could have it as a discounted 670. I made my excuses and left, as the intrepid News of the World reporters used to say, after reporting on some sexual shenanigans. And may still do so.

Well, I asked whether anybody had an alternative for Ireland . . . . and here’s one. My suspicion is that this will appeal to Graeme but not Moscow. Which is ironic as it’s from the same left-of-centre paper he cited a couple of days ago in support of his argument that the UK is also going down the tubes with Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Behind my house, the Great Wall of Poio continues on its caracolean way towards infinity. Or at least completion.



By my assessment, topping it off with a concrete parapet and railings will have taken around two months. Assuming it’s finished this week.

But, anyway, here’s the wall next to a lamppost, giving you some idea of its (allegedly illegal) height.

 

And now a lesson in Gallego . . .  This sign says No Parking: Except Buses. So I guess the cars under it are visitors from Madrid. Like the guy of a month or so who got fined 300 euros for not understanding the local language. But what can you expect if you don’t take the trouble to learn the basics of the language of the country you’re visiting. Even if it is part of your own.


Here’s another shop – one of Pontevedra’s multitudinous pastry places.


Everything looks fantastic but my French ex-partner and my ex-Paris-resident daughter agree that they flatter to deceive. Especially when it comes to anything containing what appears to be cream. I have to say, though, that the Jesuista I bought today was a delightful blend of almonds and lemons. Anyone got any idea as to why it’s called what it is?

Talking of my daughter, she’s just posted the 11th chapter of her latest novel here and it’s her birthday tomorrow. What better reason could you have for taking a look at it? Go on, cheer her up.

Finally . . .  If you’re Iberian, you may not want to read this rather pessimistic article from our resident Jeremiah, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “The eurozone” he claims “will face its moment of existential danger the day that Portugal is forced to tap the EU bail-out fund.” 

At the end of the article, Ambrose posits a couple of options for saving the EU and asks “Any better ideas out there?”. Well . . . . ?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well, here’s El Pais endorsing my regular comment that Spain is a great place to live/retire in but not so hot when it comes to working.


Mind you, it gets a better overall rating than the UK, which must surely be a reflection of the fact that the latter is not such a great place to live in or retire to. Or not as far as foreigners think anyway.

And here’s a good example of why Spain rates so well against the quality of life criterion:-


This is my 4 euros lunch of fried baby squid (chipirones) and my 2 euros glass of Albariño. Or a total of 4 quid in old money. I have to say that the quantities of both the food and the drink are quite possibly more than are usually served, as I’m a regular at the place in Vegetables Square. And after six or seven years of this status, things start looking up in Galicia.

Just round the corner from said bar is a statue of one of Galicia’s poets, Valle Inclán. It’s made of bronze but this week someone decided to disguise this . . . 



You might suspect responsibility for this would lie with an aggressive gay group of some sort but these are not thick on the ground in Spain so I rule this out. In fact, rumour has it it was the work of students from the Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) college in town. Which would be a tad ironic, if true.

Finally . . .  A quotation on the economic situation:- “The shape of its crisis is now well known, including the insane property-building boom – greased by bribes from developers to government officials – that has left empty homes scattered all over the country.”  Though not Spain, but Ireland. As I said yesterday, the parallels are several.

It might be possible to say much the same about Portugal. Though Greece, I suspect, was/is sui generis.” All ably assisted in their madness by Euroland policies designed for Germany and, possibly, France. But it has to be said that Spanish banks have not fared as badly as those in Ireland. Though there are some who claim some at least of the regional savings banks are zombies being propped up by central infusions and local politicians. Time will tell. Especially as some of them are said to be on the point of dropping prices on all their repossessed properties and taking a book loss on sale.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times, demonstrating the residual nationalism that threatens the future of the EU project, has poignantly asked whether “this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bail-out from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side”. Now, who’s ungrateful? Everyone, it seems. Tough times. Sauve qui peut.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Down in Pontevedra’s new Plaza de España, there are several words engraved in gold letters in three stretches of polished granite. One tells you you’re looking at the ruins of the church of San Domingo; another advises that you’re standing in front of the town hall of the Concello de Pontevedra.


And the third simply says Circunvalación.


This means ‘by-pass’ or ‘ring road’. Which is tad odd as the square is supposed to be traffic-free. Indeed, there are stainless steel barriers on one side of it to make sure it is.

Which reminds me, we were told no short-term parking would be allowed on the square; so I suppose the driver of this one hasn’t just popped into the shops and is there for an hour or two.


Finally . . . Today I got graphic evidence of the validity of my suspicion that the yet-to-be-snapped wandering dog from the gypsy encampment really is responsible for the dirt on the bridge into town. However, I didn’t think you’d want to see a foto of this incident. So here, as a metaphor, is a picture of someone else that has been covered in a lot of shit recently.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Down in Pontevedra, right next door to the boarded-up Better shop I showed last week, is this newly-opened pastry shop.


This is a sister to at least another Capri shop in town. They’re considered the best of the several hundred we have here in Pontevedra. And they must be, as their Santiago cake is frightfully expensive.

Readers may recall the new coffee-and-chocolate place near the town hall I snapped a few weeks ago. Clearly there are plenty of folk here still rich enough to patronise these places. And, if things continue as they are, a visitor from Mars in, say, twenty years time will find little but pastry shops and tapas bars in Pontevedra city. So, they may mistake it for Vienna. A city which inspired this eulogy from the wonderful A A Gill:- Cafes have spread to every corner of the world: from the high Himalayas to the oases of the Sahara you can sit in a cafe. They are Vienna's gift to all of us. Properly egalitarian, they belong to everyone - you can read a paper, talk bollocks, write a book about alienation or discover an Oedipus complex. Cafes aren't just the transcendent examples of civilisation, they are the crucibles of culture: more great thoughts have been had in cafes than in all the world's universities, and Vienna has the finest and the best.

Reader Mike the Traditionalist has asked for more fotos of the other chicas in my regular bar-café. So, here they are. It's my hat, of course:-

















And here’s another sneaked foto of Maria, who’s still refusing to cooperate with the camera.



Finally – and more seriously – here’s an article on Ireland’s economic history of the last ten years. It has loud echoes of Spain – the same combination of powerful elements:- real growth in the 90’s; a falsely high currency from 2000; a falsely low interest rate; over-easy credit; lax regulations; and governments which stood by while a predictable phoney boom and a ‘genuine’ property bubble developed. Reader Moscow would have me think things were exactly the same in the UK and that Britain will soon pay the same price as Greece and Ireland. But I hae me doots. Looking both backwards and forwards, in fact.

Incidentally, a recent Guardian article claimed that the Irish situation was proving quite useful to Germany, in its challenge of taking over from France the task of forging the EU in its own image and likeness. Which I suspect is true.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some readers may recall the fotos of our new zebra crossing and associated signs of a month or three back. Well, as you can see, the signs come second only to pedestrians in the consideration they get from drivers . . .


Not having a picture of an irate editor of a right-wing newspaper, I drew this myself. It’s rather pathetic but well within the Spanish tradition of cartoon capitalists.


The stimulus was an editorial in El Mundo today complaining about Spain having to contribute to the EU handout to Ireland arising from her government’s “mismanagement”.  As I predicted a while ago – because it was so easy to predict – the tune in Spain is very different now the boot is on the other foot. And it seems that, while 25 years of management, mismanagement and downright corruption in the application of humongous amounts of EU dosh was never worth commenting on, Irish ‘mismanagement’ is in a very different category . And well worth moaning about. Even if the Irish were among the largest per capita contributors to the largesse received by Spain. What ingratitude. Even if there’s no surprise about it.

And here’s another cartoon, this time a real one, taken from an article in Prospect magazine and showing the Bank of England being ravished by the British Prime Minister of 1797.


The article asks where all the 200 billion pounds has gone that the Bank of England has fire-hosed into the British economy. It seems that no one knows but that the probability is that – if it’s not lying useless in bank coffers – it’s circulating around the financial system, earning more of those contentious bonuses for bankers, venture capitalists and bond traders. Some of it might just have gone in credit to large companies but hardly any to small companies, who happen to do most of the borrowing. Usually. But why should we be surprised at capitalists doing what’s best for themselves? Left alone, that’s always what they’ll do. It’s (nearly) enough to make one a socialist.

Finally, my student was neither early nor late today. You can guess the rest. Still, her mother had a plausible excuse and two out of four isn’t bad in a Spanish context. Is it any wonder we all get a tad sceptical about Spain’s ability, against tough competition, to export her way out of her crisis? Anyway, the good news is that the mother told me she has a friend who owns a restaurant in town, makes great cakes and would like to meet me. Sounds like a set-up to me but, hey, I might get to enjoy a good tart or two.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here’s a couple of views of another tuning from my neck of the woods. I’d forgotten there were three. I’m still looking for the orange one . . .





And here’s a snap of the sort of shop I hate, even though it does prove that money (and possibly even intelligence) is no barrier to bad taste. Some Spanish families – especially of nouveaux riches pijos – love to dress their many kids in matching outfits bought from places like this. From the teenager down to the baby. They should all be shot.


And, finally, here’s a birthday card from my younger daughter. It came with the inscription – “This is inspired by your choice of women . . .”. Nice, eh? I guess she was excluding her mother. But who really knows?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vistas of Pontevedra’s re-modelled Plaza de España, in front of our town hall. This, it’s said, will not be a place for short-term parking but will be kept free for pedestrians. But we will see.


















There are a couple of design features which seem a tad dubious to me. The sandy areas around the statue of heroes of the 1809 Battle of Pontesampaio slope down towards the paving stones. When it rains heavily – as it occasionally does here – the sand runs onto the stones.

And this is a close up of what I think is an air vent, faithful to the current vogue for rusty metal. It’s so ugly it must be the work of Galicia’s leading architect, Cesar Portela.



On a happier note, and at the other end of the design scale, here’s one of the young ladies who chat to me during my daily lunch of tapas and a copita of Rioja.



And, finally, here’s what I’ve just noticed outside my window as I type this at 8.15am. The river Lerez, it seems, is running with blood.





Monday, November 15, 2010

This is un tuning.


Specifically, un tuning gitano. Or gypsymobile. I haven’t shown any for a while. It lives in the encampment near me and has a garish orange companion I’ve yet to snap.

And here’s another resident of the encampment. 



He crosses the bridge and comes into town on his own every day and then wanders around in quite a friendly manner. He, too, has a companion I’ve yet to snap. And I guess they’re responsible for the dog dirt that litters the pavement on the bridge.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Firstly . . . An un-ruley Spanish driver who thinks the chevrons don't say "Don't cross these" but, instead, "Please park here". My guess is he's in the shopping centre to the right and couldn't be arsed to use its ample car park. BTW - I assure you there's no one in the van; it's not just positioned oddly, awaiting a chance to move off. It's parked with total regard for the driver's own convenience, matched by a total disregard for the safety of others.


Secondly  . . . Another inconsiderate/stupid bastard down in said car park. Who deserves to have his car hit. Or at least scratched by a vigilante. If such people exist . . .


And, no . .  he's not moving out or backing in. Here's just not there.

Thirdly . . . Obviously not.



Finally . . . If this is not the shop's closed face but merely grafitti, it surely deserves to be.

Friday, November 12, 2010

For Spanish readers . . . .


For a particular Dutch and American pair of readers . . .

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