Wednesday, September 17, 2008

cotton wool, fishing, crisis

From the aeroplane, I watch clouds, like little balls of cotton wool packed close together, drive into the valleys, and pile up the slopes of bare, snowless mountains.

This evening just one man on the beach is looking after two fishing rods leaning over the edge of the sea. The rods are supported in the sand by means of narrow tubes which hold them firm. There is a full moon. The light reflected off the steel rods shines silver against the dark sea, like the scales of the fish which the rods are set to catch.

In the newspapers and in people´s conversation, the word everywhere is la crisis. Here the crisis is two-fold, the banking crisis, which is shared with the rest of the world, and the building crisis. The building crisis is local. The Spanish have embarked on building programmes too extensive for demand and for people´s capacity to buy what is already built or in the process of being built. Incomplete blocks of flats are a common sight and above the building sites, the cranes are still and silent. For visitors, there is a consoling sense of solidarity. The news at home and in the USA being what it is, we are all pursued by the same spectre.

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