12 September 2021 

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain

Cosas de España/Galiza

Every now and again, I claim that living here is like being in 2 centuries at once – the 19th and the 21st. I was reminded of this by this article on the very low level of services in large swathes of the country. I wonder . . . Has this 2-track speed of development born of very rapid economic growth occurred in other EU states? Poland, for example? Or next-door Portugal?

The BBC looks here at the problem of squatting in Spain. On reflection, maybe ‘squatters’ would have been a better word there. 

Every now and again – maybe once every 2 years – Google tells me just how much money I make from this blog, when they tell me the clicks on their ads have earned me €70. Which is their minimum payout point.

That reminds me  . . . In his article I cited yesterday, Lenox spoke of angry letters from nationalists, should you write about their language. This reminded me that, years ago, when I used to muse on the differences between Spanish and Galician – and, to be honest, to mildly mock Galician claims to be uniquely Celtic – I used to get such angry comments. The one that made me laugh most was the advice from one Galician nationalist to his colleagues: “He’s only doing this to provoke readership and profitable ad clicks. Don’t respond.” Or words to that effect. I should’ve beens so lucky. Actually, I was; I used to earn €140 a year back then!

I watched a film last night called Fury. In Spanish it’s become Corazones de Acierro. Why?? Does Spanish really lack an equivalent word?

The UK

Listening to an account here of England v Spain in the 1580s, it struck me as amusing to realise that, if Felipe II hadn’t been so insanely religious, I’d now have Spanish as my maternal language. He was so convinced that his (Catholic) god was on Spain’s side that he ignored the (rather valid) advice that it was madness to send the Armada into the English Channel in winter. In the end, it was largely not just one but two storms which did for the Spanish fleet. Allowing the English to – equally insanely – claim that god was a Protestant.

By the way, if Elizabeth 1 had been a bit more ambitious, the Dutch would now have English as their maternal language. Since she willing to support the Dutch in their revolt against their Spanish overlords, in 1584 they offered her the Dutch crown. She politely declined and, instead, sent cash and troops. Interestingly, William of Orange went the other way when he was offered the English crown in 1688, bringing with him ‘irritatingly arrogant’ courtiers, tulips and gin. So, it wasn’t all bad.

The Way of the World 

So the lovely Emma Raducanu, at 18, is the USA Open tennis champion. And an overnight millionaire. She seems very sensible and stable. But I still feel sorry for her. Which, doubtless some will see as patronising. As if I care. More than anything else, I’m the father of 2 daughters.

Spanish

Pitufos: Smurfs

Finally  . . .

There’s a current fashion – in British TV ads anyway – for fatuous 3 word slogans. Here’s a few of them:-

Have it all

Give it some

I like it

Together we can

Search. Drive. Smile.

Join the goodness

Let’s keep going 

It’s on us

Rule your head

And here’s a Spanish one:-

Come, Ríe, Bebe

The agency which specialises in this – and which might well be responsible for initiating it – is Mullenllowe. No surprise to learn they are behind the UK Government’s Hands. Face. Space. slogan. Or whatever it is these days.

Note: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here

One comment

  1. Add banking to the loss of services in rural areas, now that the emphasis is turning to online banking as a way for the banks to get more profit by shutting offices. Many dwellers of rural areas are older folk with little to no knowledge of computers, and with no internet connection even if they have knowledge.

    I live on the populated coast. I have a grocery at about two kilometres, two largish supermarkets at six, as well as a bank and a health clinic. The hospital is at over thirty kilometres. The problem is I need to walk for an hour to get into town, or take one of only two buses in the morning, or drive. In the afternoon, I have only one bus at a decent hour, so I either walk or drive. Many older folk depend on family members to take them into town for doctor’s appointments or shopping.

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