Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Random thoughts

The sunshine has forced me into desperate measures for my being able to read what is on the computer monitor. A combination of reflections and finger mark smudges (there are disadvantages to having a touch sensitive screen) mean that ordinary twelve point print is unreadable and I have had to boost the size to a level which is near to those wonderful large print books that there used to be in public libraries and which I loved to read because of the speed with which you could turn the pages! I also liked to think of myself in the position of a medieval monk turning over the pages of a vellum codex as each massive page gave way to the next. That probably says more about me than I should reveal!
Anyway, the end result is that, even with obtrusive reflections, I can actually read what I am typing. There was another obvious way of dealing with the difficulty by turning my chair – but that seemed far too much like hard work when the difference could be made by finger tapping rather than major physical activity.
Another reason for my lethargy is that I have those sneaking signs of an incipient cold: the vague rumours of harshness in the throat; the slight abrasion at the back of the nose, and a cough with repercussions. As a precautionary measure I have decided against my daily swim and have cancelled my poetry meeting this evening. This will not, of course, stop us from going out to lunch – I look on that experience as positively medicinal.
Talking of food, my meal yesterday was almost completely 'foreign' in the right sense of the word. My main course was chopped cuttlefish and peas, while my starter was a couple of eggs and vegetables in a sort of sauce cooked in a mini paella metal dish. These two plates were made even more delicious by the addition of 'My Sauce' which is a unique feature of one particular restaurant and has a savage power. I love it. My sweet was a piece of eggy bread with syrup. And of course a bottle of red wine with the sugarless fizzy water that makes it drinkable – and all for less than ten Euros! Ah, the joy of living in Catalonia!

The political situation in Spain and Catalonia continues to be compulsive viewing as the various political parties and politicians jockey for position and power. The look of Congress is certainly different with the old guard of ties and suits look out of step with the more casual new members who have just entered parliament for the first time – they truly bring some oxygen of reality to the previous bunch of Mafiosi who dominated past gatherings.
Bromo, our present president en funciones (in other words the president until someone other than that walking joke is elected) and leader of the largest group in Parliament, but unable to form a majority government, must be feeling increasingly desperate as time goes on and there is no intention of anyone with a shred of social credibility (I exclude the C's party from that) of joining with his bunch of corrupt goons to form a new government. The Left is fragmenting in the way that it always does and the possibility of a new election is gaining support. In an opinion poll today 71% said that they would prefer a new election to any pact! God alone knows what might happen in new elections.
As far as I can see, PP (the totally systemically corrupt conservative party here in Spain) has a core vote of something like 29% and it doesn't appear to matter how many corruption scandals there are directly involving PP (and they are legion!), these 'faithful' will vote for them. The new C's party, which is right wing, has a young and photogenic leader who seems solely concerned with his personal acquisition of power and will obviously support PP while paying lip service to anti-corruption. At the moment these two parties have insufficient seats to form a government. Already PP have started accusing the left wing parties of being soft on terrorism and refugees in anticipation of reaping a right wing surge of support against the left which will give them a majority. They have already milked the 'breaking up of Spain' and blaming Catalonia promoting themselves are the only true defenders of a united Spain. Scaremongering always works for the right and, with the overwhelmingly right wing press and television services it could work for them again and give PP a shock overall majority in a re-fought election. I hope to god not, but it is a real possibility.
And that is pause for thought!