Thursday, 11 November 2021

Weather. Who decides who is the sexiest man. MP’s salaries and child care costs. Brexit problems.

When first we came to Galicia, some fifteen years ago at least, we were impressed by the sunny weather we experienced, especially as Galicia is famous for being wet. Okay, Santiago de Compostela was a bit damp, but you expect that of the umbrella capital of Spain. I had learnt a song way back in school, probably at the age of 12 of 13:

A Santiago voy, caminando,

Y con mi paragüitas

Por si la lluvia está cayendo.

(I’m off to Santiago on foot,

And I’ve go my little umbrella

Just in case it rains.)

Our Spanish teacher was a great believer in the power of song as an aid to learning languages. It works. One reason why so many foreigners speak decent English is because they listen to so much English language pop music.  

And now, as we pack up our stuff, Galicia is having a bit of an Indian summer, a “verano de San Martín”. More blue sky and sunshine today, for which we are very grateful!

That’s not the case in Manchester, I hear. We’ll go back to some grey days, I expect, but we’ll have had our dose of sunshine. 

Back in Manchester, The mayor Andy Burnham is about to open a new bicycle rental scheme in the city centre this month. This is Manchester’s second go at bike rental and the mayor has appealed to residents please not to throw them in the canal, as happened apparently to quite a few of the previous version. “I would just say to people: these are your bikes, we own them. So, please look after them,” he said. “Damaging your own stuff doesn’t make sense.” These are supposed to be better bikes and a better system. He’s also asking people not to call them “Burnham Bikes”, possibly a bit too reminiscent of London’s “Boris Bikes”! They are to be called “Bee Bikes”, the bee being Manchester’s symbol, seen everywhere much more frequently since the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert. 

Scanning newspapers online in As Cobas cafe yesterday evening I discovered that someone I have never heard of has been voted the sexiest man alive:

“The actor, screenwriter and producer Paul Rudd has just been named as the sexiest man alive.”

Previous incarnations have been Michael B. Jordan, last year, John Legend, 2019, Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Cooper, Jude Law, Nick Nolte or John F Kennedy Jr, who were named as the sexiest men alive in 2014, 2011, 2004, 1992 and 1988 respectively. Some of those I’ve not heard either but then, nobody asked me to vote on it. After all, it’s surely a matter of taste! Johnny Depp was apparently named twice and I’ve never fancied him in the least. It’s all done by People Magazine, who’ve been doing it since 1985. There you go. 

I really appreciated the description of Nigel Farage in the news item, which informed me that : 

“Rudd has always managed to be handsome in a manner that borders on the miraculous. Not only is there his seemingly supernatural inability to age – he is only five years younger than Nigel Farage, for instance, who has spent the last decade looking like the botched results of a scientific quest to fuse Crazy Frog with the concept of gout – but he also radiates dangerous levels of easygoing charm. There is no mysterious darkness to Paul Rudd. There is no hint that he would ever attempt to steal your wife even though everyone knows your wife would leave you for him in a second.”

The question of politicians having a second job is still around in the news:

“A backbench politician has lamented the paltry salary for MPs – saying there’s no way they could afford childcare without “outside interests.”

MPs are paid a salary of £81,932 a year, but second jobs have been in the spotlight since the resignation of former North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson in a lobbying scandal.”

Of course, the headline to that news item says ‘we can’t afford a nanny” which exaggerates it all somewhat. But really, you don’t hear of MPs who find it’s better not to work because the child care fees take up so much of their salary! Which is the case for some women. 

And here, from a social media forum, is an example of the kind of nonense Brexit has caused:

“Hi everyone! I wonder if someone can help my family. I am an EU citizen with settled status. My husband is a Cameroonian citizen with settled status. Before Brexit he had a Resident Card that we used with his passport to travel. His resident card has expired in February and we were told that they don't exist anymore (it still says the same thing on the Government website). We travelled to Italy for a one week holiday to visit my family and he was refused boarding from British Airways on the account that he can't re-enter UK only with his passport. We have been in contact with Immigration, the Embassy but noone can give us an answer on what does he need to re-enter. I was also told that if I leave him here, he would be illegally in Italy and he could potentially be arrested. Our two young children are also with us. Does anyone have any information that could help us please? We are desperate!!”

Life used to he so much easier but ….

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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