Spain

Bank Holiday Monday Friday

Yes this is a four day weekend. I’ve mentioned before how it matters not what day of the week it is here, any day will do. However this weekend is a stunner, it’s not designed for a specific date, oh no, this is a specific weekend surrounded by two days off…

We´ve never been here for this particular public holiday before, and the way things work (or, well, don´t) are always fascinating.

Thursday afternoon turned into a normal Friday afternoon = people knock off work early.

Bank holiday Monday Friday turned into Saturday family BBQ / party day, (which happens every Saturday anyway). It´s lovely to hear the fun they all have for hours on end without getting drunken LOUD or argumentative. Even though the Sangria is served in bucket loads, nobody gets rat assed, and the kids are entertained.  

Saturday turned into family shopping day, or concerts and festivals day, or all three if you like. [I´ll inform you of our own personal experience tomorrow]

Sunday (today), well, all is sleepy till about 2pm, then dinner begins and ends late at night. That´s a family and friends thing, it´s not unusual to find around 32 people in one garden. Walk past, wave and say “Ola” but be aware that the joint reply “Ola” (en masse, all at once) may well burst your eardrums.

Which reminds me, when they say “Ola” it´s pronounced “Orla.” Being here so long we naturally speak it the same. In fact, to friends I sort of sing it like “Orla-aa.” (Wave in time with it). Not too much emphasis on the “r” though, slight curl of the tongue to the roof of the mouth will do.

Bank Holiday Monday on Monday (tomorrow) will be another family party day that starts a bit earlier and ends a bit earlier which is much like a normal Sunday.

Just to make things more complicated, Bank Holiday Monday on Friday was a BLUE day (which doesn´t mean everyone has to be miserable). Aside from some occasional bars and restaurants who cash in, businesses can decide whether they stay open or not. It´s mostly not… Some shops stay open, but they all implement limited hours, hence about 2 hours is average.

Back, I mean forward to tomorrow again, well Bank Holiday Monday on Monday is a RED day. (Which doesn´t mean everyone has to be angry). Just like traffic lights it means all work has to STOP. The whole of Spain will grind to a halt tomorrow because it´s a nationwide STOP. Reminds me of what happens when it rains somewhere, except that´s a localised STOP…

{BLOG EDIT: I´ve just been informed that the leisure industry is exempt whatever colour of day it is – now there´s a surprise}

So all the busy cranes of reconstruction and regeneration came to a (temporary) standstill on Thursday afternoon, and won´t start up again till late Tuesday morning. Must sound like we´re surrounded by the darn things, well no, it´s only when we go out and about they get noticed doing their balletic manoeuvres in the skies. In the past couple of years dead cranes have gone, and been replaced with new ones breathing life into the economy. Set cynicism aside about creating a housing bubble, these new properties are paid for off plan and up front, mainly by northern Europeans. Demand and confidence is the key, and it´s here…

¡¡¡

Factoid of the day: Spain is now the fastest growing economy in Europe, fourth largest and officially out of recession. Meantime the UK is at number three with an extremely sluggish recovery. I bet David CaMoron won´t allow the Brits to know the difference. (State control / media control, hide jealousy and failure). Especially so when unemployment here is still at 20% and fairing better! AND the workers get more public holidays! Truly astonishing in comparison, and it´s all happened quietly, out of the spotlight.

A couple of months ago prime minister Rajoy went to the White House for a meeting with Obama. He was congratulated, and acknowledged, for the excellent job he´s doing at turning the Spanish economy around. Such stability in difficult times is being rewarded, it´s not just about tourism here, industry is a major factor. In particular car and aircraft manufacturing is also on an upwards curve. {Excuse pun}

Then there´s Wine production, Fruit production, Wine production, Olive Oil production, More Wine production, Vegetable production, More Wine production, Sea food production, More Wine production. Even SALT, and even More Wine production… Solar power comes naturally, all made possible by favourable demographics… 

In summary to that, we all know the housing / banking crash caused global industry to fall like a domino effect. But Spain is a fine example of how RECOVERY has a knock on positive impact. Yes, it will be slow and take many years, but in that respect this country is further up the ladder than the rest of Europe… Behind the scenes the three larger economies of Europe must be wondering how the hell this is happening, they won´t congratulate or acknowledge it because it makes them appear weak… END.

¡¡¡

Anyway, away from the stock exchange:

On Bank Holiday Monday Friday BLUE day, (within the two hour shopping window) we went to Aldi. You know those aisles they have full of odd things that look like they´ve dropped off the back of a lorry? Well I always have a nosey, and if you look round so does everyone else. I´ve also observed that snobby people walk swiftly past without turning their head sideways while their eyes are crossed. They must hope to god that nobody notices those eyeballs eyeballing stuff. “Stock” is different every week and I noticed a fake feather duster.

I´ve meant to get one for ages,, how sad is that? Well there´s rhyme and reason to it. The rhyme mean´s “anytime, whatever, no big deal, so sod it” but the reason, complete with graphics is, well, scroll down.

{Cheap at twice the price, 80 cents…}

2015-10-11 17.04.06

Usage will be for: Outside, “under the arches” both here…

2015-10-11 17.04.22 

And here…

2015-10-11 17.04.35

And the other two corners,, which tend to accumulate dead flies. Granted, not all at the same time, but dying flies seem to consider them to be a nice graveyard. Spiders are rare, (don´t know what they´re missing out on) but the crux of the matter is that them there corners are about 10 foot high… Hence a tickling stick is required to get shut of any insect parts the sun hasn´t fried, for example the odd leg or wing. Well these things have to be tickled tackled, oh it´s all good fun, and thank you sun for getting shut of any mushy bits first…

But as usual there´s more to this story, I´m getting fed up of saying “our Spanish friends” on here, so we´ll call our best one´s C and M. C is she. M is he. They´re the couple we can have half hour conversations with in sign language. Get a Spanish word right and big hugs all round.

So as we set off on our Aldi mission, it´s 10.30am, I´m walking up the road in front of Dave and all of a sudden “GUUD NITE” gets shouted at me from a big plant in their garden. No I wasn´t prepared, and jumped in the air whilst uttering “OH BLIMEY!” Then all of a sudden a head popped up, it was M… Before I had chance to tell him he was a daft bugger, C must´ve heard and gave him an earful. Meanwhile he sat on the floor muttering something like “oh leave me alone” (to her) while looking at me for sympathy???? I said ohhhh no no no no no senior M, es pour su! Then walked away in hysterics laughing.

Dave followed behind and she was still having a go at him. It reminded me of Fawlty Towers when Sybil used to turn round and shout “BASIL!” Then he, for all his judgemental reverse snobbery would jump backwards in total submission… Classic.

But later on I got him back good style, there I was walking down the road waving my new purchase in the air, and there was M stood outside their gate looking the other way,,, revenge… BOO! Says me. Aghh! says he. Then he turned round and discovered a tickling stick was stuck in his face… Meanwhile Dave crumpled on the floor laughing (took other items we´d bought with him) and C was telling M something like served him right…

No need for Bank Holiday Monday / Friday / blue / red whatever colour of the rainbow, such is normal everyday life…

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