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A federal state

Everybody knows the outcome of the so-called Catalan crisis, a rearrangement. This is what will happen in the next decade or so. For me, it is easier to guess than what is going to happen in Britain with Brexit. I know where I come from better than were I live.

Spain has been rearranging herself for most of her history. But what will happen here in the UK? What do they want to do with the money? Where do they want to invest? Maybe that idea of people moving out of the country to somewhere else could come true. Is money all that matters? I am a country woman. To me there is land. Nationalism is just a mask that hides the dreams and hopes of people, which sometimes lurk far away from what their words intend to say. This is just a thought, I cannot guess how foolish, maybe not more than anyone else’s. I got used to hearing people talk, saying one thing when they mean another totally different.

There is land, there is history and there is a film by Kenneth Loach, who seemed to be very interested in our whereabouts in Spain, Tierra y Libertad, land and freedom, one or the main reason why people fought in the Civil War, since it was mainly an agricultural society at the time. Now it is different, so maybe the people will not be caught in the fight, and it is not even expected at this stage. They will be more watchful of their leaders. I do not like the future.

Tierra y Libertad


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Estos veinte años

I wake up to a new reality in my home country, like Rip van Winkle. Things have changed since I moved away. I just do not know how much. People look the same, just a bit fuller, more overweight, small towns and villages are a better place to live, but they are empty, new terms in everyday language, homosexual marriage, express divorce, “mileurista” (a person, not that unlucky, earning 1,000 euros, the equivalent to £850 or £900 in today’s money).

All looking well, maybe better than things really are. Both in the couple working full or part-time, so, perhaps it is not such a bad thing to be “mileurista”. Unemployment changing from season to season, the same as in the past three decades or more.

In Central Spain things seem to have improved more than anywhere else I know, and I confess that I do not know much, but I know a bit of Castille. The wine and food industry must have contributed to this.

What is it like now to live in Spain? I could only guess maybe by watching Isabel Coixet’s film, Spain in a day. I will do it as soon as I get hold of it. You are invited, but, unfortunately, only to this promo. I have no more, but probably it is enough, since it only seems to tell of people looking at themselves, like in a looking-glass, who want to see themselves in the pictures, nothing else. That is Isabel Coixet depicting an era, like the realist painters in the Golden Century? Where am I, or we, who have emigrated? Do I belong? Do I have anything to do with the people who live there? With their 21st century?

21st century Spain


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What we have

I left my country twenty years ago now. It was not really my decision, but the circumstances of my then husband, a newly qualified doctor who could not find a suitable job or the training he wanted. He does not like criticism, and I do not like people who do not accept critics. So the story about my marriage should end here.

On the other hand, now I remember how critical he was with the country he left behind, Spain enjoyed a public health system, with lots of flaws, but, as I found out, the UK was also far from perfect. As much can I say without going into detail.

Some state that the public health system was created under Franco’s regime, and it certainly was, but it was not his idea, rather a necessity and a way to please his subjects. At least, the first stepping stone was laid.

Gradually people also accepted that it was in the best interest of their children to stay in education until sixteen and have more training. That was a difficult idea to understand for many. In short, progressive ideas gave way to a new country.

Not everybody welcomed these changes, the same that not everybody likes living in peace or even their country. Generosity is not for everyone. But, for a while it worked. Maybe because many were busy making money, or enjoying a lifestyle they did not have before, living la vida loca, as the song goes, whereas others were simply watching. Now, precisely, this new reality where the wildest dreams were entertained is the real monster, a reality which at times seems fabricated in some lab of social engineering. I keep my distance.

We all want to be happy, and that’s a real problem. Success wants more success, but maturity is something different. In a country with parts of it claiming independence perhaps people should stand and wait, see progress behind, deal with the humdrum of daily life, if they want to keep what they earned. The rest could be an illusion, like that other old song of the eighties goes. And it is, so let us sit, not stand, and wait. People cannot be that stupid.

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