Monday, 11 July 2016

Street naming, political theater and a fig tree

One small but noticeable change that's occurred since I was last here is the appearance of shiny new name plates on street corners, giving an identity to most of the Calle (or Carrer if you prefer the Valenciano) of the housing areas along the Costa Norte. The development of housing along and behind coast road dates back at decade if not longer. Area maps identified streets by an alphabetic letter and houses by plot identification numbers that can still be seen on tiles embedded in boundary walls of fincas here and there. Confusingly, developers' plot numbers eventually gave way to house numbers designated by the local planning authority, so new number plates were added by owners, without necessarily taking down the plot numbers. 

It's a nightmare for visitors, for deliverymen, but not necessarily for council officials or the yellow clad Corrreos post lady who tours the area on her yellow scooter, dropping off letters in the boxes wherever they are bunched. No letter box delivery hereabouts, and they've probably had an updated plan to learn from. So, Casa John Phillips, as the chaplain's residence is known in tribute to its founding priest, which used to be Carrer D, is now Carrer Llatina in urbanizaciĆ³n Saldonar
There's no equivalent word I can find in Castilian Spanish, but in Catalan this means 'Latin Street', and Valenciano is close to Catalan, one is a dialect of other, depending on which side of the riu Senia you view the world from. Neighbouring Carrer C is now Carrer Llata, and that's one I can't find in any dictionary.

It's been a day to spend with the news on in the background most of the time, to keep up with the unfolding political events in London. Suddenly there, no longer an election for Tory party leader, but an effective coronation for Teresa May, with the withdrawal of the only other contender. Then, very quickly, Cameron announces that he'll bring forward his resignation to Wednesday this week, which will precipitate immediate action to implement the brexit vote, under new leadership. In the meanwhile, criticism of the process, and legal challenges to the government trying to take short cuts and by-pass parliamentary approval are bound to continue. 

It's such a pity that the Labour Party is rendering itself impotent by its members of parliament doing their utmost to oust Jeremy Corbyn, with the forcing of its own leadership contest. This is an unhappy time to be British, European and radical. This isn't just muddling through, but a chaotic loss of common purpose, despite all the noble idealistic rhetoric.

It was a little cooler and cloudier this afternoon. Once the news frenzy abated, I walked into town and out along the port north wall. There's a wild fig tree that has grown to maturity among the huge boulders of the sea defences on the north, and bears young green figs. The aroma it gives off when the sea breeze picks up is as exquisite as it is unexpected. A Mediterranean delight.

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