Yesterday I went to the hairdressers. Usually as I sit there waiting for the latest batch of colour to take effect I leaf my way through a pile of gossip magazines: celebrity romances, weddings, infidelities, divorces and, of course, pregnancies at various stages of that cycle. On this occasion, however, I read a local newspaper instead. Most unusual! I wonder who left it there.
Here are some of the fruits of my reading.
I read about the heatwave which has been making its way up from southern Spain and which is expected to continue until the weekend at least. (Today, just to be difficult and different, the sky is covered in cloud and it has been raining. Not that this has affected temperatures much.) Vigo and Pontevedra are expected to get as hot as Orense, which is one of those inland places that has extremes of heat in summer and cold in winter.
Curiously the newspaper referred to the weekend just gone as the "penultimate weekend of summer". Well, it might be the next to last weekend before the summer solstice but I alway understood the solstice to mark midsummer not the end of summer. Even Shakespeare would back me up on that.
All the advertising for the Islas Cíes must have been working as they have been having large numbers of visitors. Low tides have been causing disembarkation problems though. The water was so low one day this last weekend that the 200 or so passengers on one boat reportedly had to walk up a very sloping and precarious gangplank. It is to be hoped none of them was in a wheelchair then! Because of the low water conditions the boat was bounced around quite a lot against the wharf, causing quite a lot of seasickness and general vomiting. The boat companies take all this in their stride and say that the vomiting is quite normal and happens quite a lot. Not the nicest way to begin your day out on the islands however!
Record numbers of visitors are expected in the hotels and restaurants of this fair city, bringing with them the problem of those who depart without paying. There is a Spanish term for this. A "sinpa" is someone who leaves "sin pagar", without paying. In some cases large sums of money are involved. One hotel last season had someone depart leaving behind an unpaid bill of €1,800! Reluctantly, Vigo hoteliers are apparently beginning to think they must adopt the habit of hoteliers in other parts of Europe and ask for details of credit cards when a guest signs in. Are local hoteliers so polite and gentlemanly that they have avoided doing so until now? Somehow I doubt it.
I also read a bit of political stuff. As Mariano Rajoy faces a motion of censure in his government, today I think, the newspaper reminded us that forty years ago, on June 15th, Spain had its first free elections since the time of the Republic. During four decades of Franco's dictatorship elections that took place were hardly free and fair. And then, forty years ago now, Adolfo Suárez insisted on free and fair elections to reestablish democracy in the country. The article I read suggested that Rajoy should use the motion of censure debate to create an opportunity to re-examine the state of the nation and once more re-establish true democracy.
Well! Why not? We have Macron stirring things up in France, Corbyn surprising lots of people in the UK and some Americans calling for their president to be removed.
Things could get even more interesting.