|Zapatero smiles disarmingly as he canters to the right, and Rajoy |
gazes into space while trying to think up an economic policy.
Note the identical ties ...
And to cap it all, we are experiencing one of the coldest, greyest, windiest, nastiest spells of weather I can remember since we moved here, with no sign of a let-up.
Nevertheless, a recent survey by the Centre for Sociological Research revealed that while 60% of respondents believe Spain's economic woes won't improve in the year ahead, this doesn't seem to affect them at a personal level as badly as you might think. 75% of those questioned said that they were very satisfied with their lives, and 55% said that things had gone well or very well for them in 2010.
Morale seems to be worse in Britain, whose economic optimism is apparently among the lowest in the world. Every day the expat forums get new enquiries from people anxious to escape the horrendous implications of the public spending cuts (why do they call them a "review"?) and start a new life in the sun; postmen, window cleaners, air-conditioning salesmen, teachers, nurses, herbal therapists, musicians, and guys who had a great holiday here a couple of years ago and have done a bit of bar work. It's hard to know what to say to people who think they can find a job here, or even just pick up enough casual work to get by. You don't want to trample on their dreams too harshly, but the reality is that there are four and a half million people chasing very few jobs, and those people already speak fluent Spanish.
On the other hand, if you don't need to find work, there are still many good reasons for coming to live in Spain. The bad weather won't last long - that's guaranteed! - and the wonderful things that attracted us here in the first place, like the view over the mountains from our terrace, are not affected by the economy. So let's batten down the hatches, tighten our belts and weather the storm, things can only get better ...
And apologies for all the clichés, but at times like this they come in handy!
|The best things in life are free. And who knows, there might be a pot of gold |
at the end of that rainbow ...