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Friday, 24 September 2010


The other day we received a leaflet that told us we could get a free energy saving light bulb by just pogoing along to the Post office to pick one up. Stuff like this usually goes in the bin but in the present climate I am puzzled as to why the government would be promoting this. There is a law in Europe that says that you can't manufacture the old style light bulb so unless I want to sit in the dark I find myself buying the one that saves energy. The leaflet carries the Plan E logo, and those of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the Institute for Diversification and Energy Saving. I wondered if maybe a light bulb company was behind it and had given the PSOE a donation on condition they bought a shit load of said light bulbs for every household in Spain and then we give our money to the government and they make us think we are getting something for free, like a jacket potato and hot chocolate at the local hop. At the top of the leaflet it says 'cada pequeno gesto cuenta' which I realise is the same catchphrase Tesco uses in its 'every little helps' adverts. Excusing the pun, but can anyone shed any light?

On the subject of leafelts ( ha!) I was handed one yesterday about the impending strike. I've been asking everyone if they are going and the general response is one of apathy which surprises me as this town is made up of civil servants who stand to lose the most if the labour reforms go through. I'll only go if there is a guarantee of a riot which usually happens whenever I find myself marching with others.

A friend back in London was asked last night at an art gallery opening 'what do you do?' to which he replied he cleaned the windows at the Victoria and Albert Museum. If I ever respond to this question from someone who works in the arts I think I will say something like 'and you? photographer? Isn't that something you do when you retire?' I realise I never get asked this question in Spain although a lot of people ask me what the hell I am doing here as they can't believe of all the dumps in the world I should walk into this one. I'm tempted to say I am only here for the beer but the main reason is to get out of the hole of a town and head for the hills. So I tell them I view the town as base camp. Strategically we are in the centre of the universe too.

Lastly, I seem to be neglecting my nemesis, the old mayor, and the new one needs investigating too. It was International day of the bike or something like that the other day and out of all the organisations involved about twenty bods turned up. Overnight, green strips have appeared claiming to be the new cycle lanes. It's on a par with the light bulb mystery as very few people cycle and those that do often have a pious edge like the little girl who told me to get out of the way as I walked along one the other day as the alternative was to walk on a strip of pebbles.There is the other extreme of course which is Amsterdam where you get screamed at by cyclists every time you step out of a building.

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