Thursday, November 30, 2006

Feliz cumpleaños

Eight today, I can hardly believe it. She's now had more birthdays in Spain than the UK! Hopefully many more to come.
One of the ther girl's mothers says that they can't believe she's not Spanish. I can't think of a better compliment.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

La seguridad es cosa de todos

So proclaim the posters at work.
A shame the bar owner across the road hasn't read them.

Atropellado un guardia civil y un operario cuando regulaban el tráfico en Santiago

Traffic officer run over whilst controlling traffic in Santiago

(c) EFE

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA.- A Guardia Civil traffic officer and a highways maintenance man were run over and suffered serious injuries whilst controlling traffic following an earlier accident which had resulted in no injuries.
The incident happened at 22:40 horas at km 511 on the A-6 (Madrid to Coruña) highway, in the Begonte district of Lugo province [NW Spain].
The collision happened when M.V.Q.V., aged 35, from Rábade (Lugo), who was uninjured, lost control of his vehicle an Opel Corsa (registration C-6972-AM), and ran over the officer J.V.S., aged 51, the highways maintenance man A.V.C., aged 40, both from Lugo.

It appears Tráfico (DGT) are not having a good month. This incident, on top of the second week running where accident fatalities are higher than last year - in spite of the new points-based licence system introduced in July. Perhaps a few more drivers need to be banned. So far only one driver has 'definitively' lost his licence under the new system, despite the benemérita handing out more than 200,000 points! (you get 12 per licence)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dictan sentencia contra 27 examinadores de tráfico

This story from I thought interesting.

Twenty-seven driving examiners have had their status revoked. The examiners union (CSI-CSIF) says that 60,000-70,000 people the examiners have certified fit to drive could have their licences revoked as a result. DGT deny this, saying that the tribunal merely disallows the examiners from instructing and that drivers already qualified have nothing to fear..

According to the CSI-CSIF, the cause of the revokation of the examiners qualification was a course they were all supposed to attend. Their spokesman, Manuel Jesús Santiago said that due to the need to recruit new examiners, DGT decided to hold the course in Barcelona. The problem has been that the training is the "exclusive competency" of the Road Training Institute which always gives its courses in Madrid (Móstoles).

It appears the tribunal agrees with the Road Training Institute (the vested interest), rather than the government (DGT). This now means even more pressure on the driver training system and more delays to driving tests - demand is running at record levels.

Perhaps I should apply to go straight for an examiner's role and skip being an instructor.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nuevos resaltos de velocidad

A fantastic idea from Denmark to control speeding.

Speed related accidents are still high in Spain and the initial reduction in fatalities from the new licensing system is starting to wear off. Time for another radar gun campaign from the Benemérita.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Día del armisticia

It's strange but my father never told me what he did during the war (WWII).
The only family connection I have to the 'Great War' was an RAMC officer.
I reached my own peace settlement yesterday with a former employer. In exchange for paying me my back salary, finiquitos and legal costs I have removed references to them from my blog.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Caos en Europa por un apagón de luz

The power outage which has been widely reported struck here too in Casares. We were without power for 2 hours on Saturday night. By previous Spanish standards this may not seem unusual, but the management of the network has improved dramatically over the last few years. This is the first power cut we've had in over six months; the last one being caused by thieves nicking copper cable from the local power station - the mind boggles at the risks some people will go to!

Normally I wouldn´t comment on this but a couple of items buried in the news make the case more interesting.

Firstly, why is it that the power network is so sentitive that shutting down a high voltage line across the Ruhr river trips the European grid over half a dozen countries depriving 10 million customers of light and heat?

Secondly, this will do no good to E.ON's bid to take over Endesa - this is exactly the sort of incident that will play into the protectionists' hands. The Spanish government has just (today) lifted the conditions it (illegally) applied to E.ON's bid. Now, all that could be overturned in a fresh round of protectionism.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Grill Argentino

For some reason this bar/restaurant no longer features on the San Roque town hall website. I tried it this lunchtime and found their menú del día perfectly adequate and reasonably priced at €8. However, that's not why I'm writing about it. While I was there other diners were enjoying what is the Grill's raison d'etre. between the two diners they polished off about 2 kilos of grilled meat including, grilled ribs, grilled chops, grilled sausages, grilled chicken, etc. All served at the table on a portable charcoal grill (No Health and Safety inspectors to be seen). The diners looked satisfied - they seemed unable to move afterwards and had to have their cigars and coffee brought to the table - somewhat unusual in Spanish bars.

Price unknown at this time, but I'm definitely going back to try the full-on menu as soon as I can. I'm also going to post this one on Wikimapia in case you want to find it.