Showing posts from October, 2019

Keep Him Dead

Finally, finally, Spain is not an exception among European countries. Finally, finally, her dictator is no longer interred in a national monument created for his adoration.  Last Thursday, Franco was finally taken out of the mausoleum he built outside Madrid, the Valle de los Caídos . This being Spain, and gossip being king of just about every television channel, it was plastered on every television screen. Even an online newspaper, of which I have an app, was sending out minute by minute notifications. "En directo..." The only ones allowed to be present were the crew carrying out the exhumation, the Minister of Justice, and part of the Franco family, now grandchildren. The press was only allowed to film outside. Absolutely no filming, not even by the family, was allowed at the exhumation nor at the final burial. So, news coverage was ample that day, showing every moment, every hiccup, every "Viva Franco" uttered, every outstretched hand upraised, every pre-co

Future of Smoke

Back in 2017, on October 1st, the Catalans held what the Spanish government termed an illegal referendum to decide whether or not to declare independence. While true validity could not be determined, because the police went from polling station to polling station to confiscate ballot boxes, and there was no electoral supervision, it was estimated that about ninety percent of the votes were for independence. Independent opinion polls say that the population is evenly divided, half for independence, half for continuing the status quo.  In the days and weeks leading up to the referendum, people gathered in the streets. The leaders, mindful of consequences, always and continuously asked the public to avoid violence and to demonstrate peacefully. There were a few spates of reactions that might be termed violent, and some government officials from Madrid found themselves fearing the mob, though nothing happened to them. When everything was over, independence declared and then independence

No More Fallen Roses, Please

Once upon a time there were thirteen young women, ranging in age from 18 to 29, incarcerated among 4000 other women in a prison designed to hold just over 400. Most of them were dressmakers, one was a pianist, others were simple housewives, and another a secretary. The thread that held them together was that they all belonged to the Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas, an organization that combined youth movements of both the Communist and Socialist parties. Except one, the pianist, and the eldest, who merely had a friend who was a militant.  They had all been arrested for belonging to that group right after the Spanish Civil War ended, in April, 1939. Between April and June they were arrested and sent to Las Ventas prison in Madrid, along with many others, whose names were mostly arrived at through torture of known militants, and through the services of an infiltrated police officer.  Their names were: Carmen Barredo Aguado, 20 years. Martina Barrosa García, 24 years. Blanca Bri

Hie Ye From Me, Boredom!

October has come, and with it, classes have begun again. Not that it's been easy, scheduling everyone who wanted at least an hour. Every year it seems that a child's after school schedule resembles that of a CEO of an international corporation. 4 o'clock: swimming classes 5 o'clock: art classes 6 o'clock: tae kwondo 7 o'clock: football practice 8 o'clock: theater classes 9 o'clock: roller skating I could continue, but I'll stop. Apart from these, there's rowing, ballet, tennis, other support classes (math, etc.), dancing, computer classes, etc. Children nowadays have no time to get bored. I don't even know how they have time to do homework and eat supper, let alone play.  Was I remiss with my daughter? She only went to one after school activity at a time. She went to an art class once a week in the first years. In later primary school years, she went to roller skating classes. Then, in high school, she went to math support classes.