24 July 2022: Corporate corruption; Poor autonomos; Cheap train rides; More trans madness; & Other stuff.

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

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

Life in Spain  

My insurance company was very good last week, responding quickly to requests for a plumber, an electrician, a brickie and a painter. Sadly, registering as a client on their web page proved beyond me and I’m now going round in circles with this – from web page to email to phone, to web page, to email . . . I will soon give up on this, as the agent is my ex-neighbour and this is the (personal contact) route I take if I want rapid service. Or to complain.

Cosas de España/Galiza 

No huge surprise to learn that the 6 largest construction companies here have  been meeting routinely to fix prices on massive public projects. For which they’ve now been fined. Quite possibly just a fleabite.

I noted 20 years ago that Spain didn’t treat its budding entrepreneurs kindly, taxing them more than €3,000 a year, even if they weren’t making a peseta/centimo of profit. Things haven’t change much since then, with these unfortunate folk being the favourite targets of tax authorities all over the world – low hanging fruit. As someone has written recently, this is little short of insane.

Lenox Napier has told me that: If – as indeed is the case – O Sole Mio is one of the 3 songs of the bloody Pv city accordionist, this same chap used to irritate the people of Mojácar years ago. Lenox recalls they all subscribed to a collection to send him somewhere far away. Something to ponder. Right now, I merely pay him to move away from my table. And to stop him hailing me as Chavales!(sic). Meaning I’m the low hanging fruit in this scenario. 

We have international triathlon races in Pv city today. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like the temperature is going to reach yesterday’s 34. Too cloudy.

Portugal

This is someone’s idea of the 12 best places to live in this fine country, which offers significant tax breaks to retirees. Though not as good as 4 or 5 years ago. Not included is the one I was looking at moving to back then – Viseu. Which is a tad surprising, as it’s regularly described as an excellent place to retire to. If you don’t want to live among Brits in the Algarve.

The UK  

The Tory party leadership election: These contests are all about throwing out policy, being bombastic and being optimistic. . .  The art of political mendacity is to concentrate on what cannot immediately be tested – to lie about the future. The lies that led to Johnson’s downfall might have been relatively small but they were about the present and instantly falsifiable. . . . 

One columnist suggests that, at the imminent celebration of their marriage, Johnson’s wife throws a bouquet and whoever catches it gets to be the next prime minister. As he adds: It’s scarcely a worse system than we’ve got now.  

Meanwhile an ex Tory MP accuses of contender Liz Truss of being A seriously crazy careerist. And  both crackers and reckless, with ambition that’s boundless and thinking which is only inches deep. 

A fellow columnist on the Times retorts this morning that: Some insults are only ever hurled at women, so it’s no surprise to hear Truss is ‘bonkers’

Germany

After Spain showed the way with huge reductions in train ticket prices, there’s been a ‘bold and decisive’ development in Germany. Details here

The Way of the World/Quote of the Day

Rod Liddle, The Times: At long last, action is being taken to redress that most heinous of crimes — archaeologists misgendering the dead. Progressive campaign groups such as Trans Doe Task Force, plus academics from within the discipline, insist that excavated bodies should not be labelled “male” or “female”, because that denies the very real possibility that their gender did not align with their sex. So, if we were to discover the earthly remains of Attila the Hun, say, we should not automatically assume he was a bloke, because he might have been undergoing transitioning surgery in preparation for taking part in women’s cycle races.

More seriously, another excellent article from Katherine Stock:The trans world is turning. Which contains some scarcely believable claims.

English

New to me . . . ‘Outro’: A short, distinct closing section at the end of something (such as a piece of music, a performance, or a news report). As in “David Warburton MP has developed a new outro to any email he receives from an aggrieved constituent”. Not recognised by my spellcheck.

‘on brand’: The description of the moment, at least in the UK – replacing ‘in character’,  but with 2 fewer syllables. Or maybe ‘to type’.

Why do news outlets use the phrase ‘claim responsibility’ for some outrage, when the right word is surely ‘admit’? Used to happen all the time with the IRA.

Finally  . . .

Some good advice: Get a family safeword to make sure you don’t fall for the Mum & Dad scam. Families are using safewords, passcodes and security questions to protect themselves from this WhatsApp scam. These usually begin with “I’ve lost my phone. This is my new number”. Followed up by “Please send money urgently!

For new readers: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.

One comment

  1. My family & I live in High Wycome, so named for its steep hills, so bicycles to & from the supermarket (300 feet lower than our house) at the bottom of our hill are illadvised. Buses to & from the railway station have circuitous routes & are infrequent, whereas it’s 5 minutes by car. The central bus station is a mile from the railway station. The Guardian article once again confirms me in my belief that its “what if?” writers live in cloud cuckoo land.

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