By Andrew Ede
Goodness, what a week that was. History was made. Scarcely believable things happened. There were new dawns, new orders but seemingly no orders for new curtains. Yes, it was a truly remarkable week. Joana Camps sat down and spoke with the unions.
Not that the unions were overly impressed. It was all just a photo opportunity for the education minister, they reckoned. But what an opportunity.
One for Joana to display THAT hairstyle. All she needs are some bushy sideburns to complete her retro Noddy Holder circa 1974 look. “Ma-Mama weer all crazee now,” she probably didn’t inform the unions, but had she, for once her linguistic cock-up would have been justified and indeed accurate. The meeting with the unions was, naturally enough, seen as something of a victory for the hunger-striking teacher, who finally succumbed to the temptation of someone wafting vegetable soup under his nose. And thus, the Great Conflict edged towards becoming the Less Than Great Conflict. Or, because the school holidays are now upon us and no one will be paying any attention to the Conflict for the next three months, they may as well sit down and do what they should have been doing. Talking. In whichever language they prefer. And just as an aside, I have a question. The hunger-striking teacher. Was he being paid? Or how does that all work exactly?
World domination ends
Less earth-shattering was news from a distant land where they were playing games. Spain’s football team lost. Not once but twice.
World domination was suddenly and rudely stripped away by Dutchmen reliving the struggles of the War of the Spanish Succession and placing themselves in a position to succeed Spain. To make matters worse, some former colonials showed scant regard for their one-time masters and beat them, too. A nation fell into mourning and despair. It must have been like this when Cuba was lost in 1898. Whither Spain? This was the question the nation was unexpectedly presented with. And whither some of its players? We shouldn’t worry too much. Gerard Piqué always has Mrs. Piqué (aka Shakira) to keep the millions rolling in, while Iker Casillas can find himself comfort with the lush Sara Carbonero and be further comforted by the fact that the two of them will no longer have to go through the embarrassment of the pitch-side, post-match interview. (”Erm, tell me, Iker, that second goal. You made a bit of a balls-up, didn’t you?”) And the two of them can head back to Spain and to baby Martín, left behind because, or so it would seem, the Brazilians were worried he might be kidnapped.
A home fit for a queen
I f Sara has acquired the status of footballing royalty, another member of the broadcasting sorority (retired) had her own royal status upgraded during the week. The big question was, would Letizia, ever displaying the common commoner’s touch, be off to IKEA for the new curtains at the Zarzuela? It would appear not, certainly according to “Zeleb”, one’s celebrity website of choice. The odds are on Mr. and Mrs. Bourbon (they can drop the Asturias tag now) staying put at their modest, five-bedroomed, four-million-euros-worth Pabellón del Principe, which raised a further question. Where would Letizia’s in-laws be living? “Zeleb” suggested that in the short-term the Queen Mum will be coming to Majorca, while Juan Carlos will be ... . Well, no one seems too sure. Abroad somewhere. But not, one would presume, to Botswana.
One has to say that the changing of the royal guard has occurred extremely swiftly. It has been most un-Spanish. But it has been a good excuse to fill many a column inch speculating as to what Felipe will do next and which will be of rather greater consequence than where he, Letizia and the nippers decide to live.
A good deal has been made of the fact that Felipe is a walking, talking advertisement for Joana Camps’ trilingualism. He’s fluent in English and can also do Catalan, which is not something kings of Spain are normally supposed to do.
This language ability has added to hopes that he might act as a sort of go-between for Mariano Rajoy and Artur Mas. What can we expect then, that Felipe gets on the phone and invites Mazza and Mas round to the Pabellón one evening? Tizzy can rustle up some tapas, the lads can crack open a few Saint Micks and put the Catalonian independence malarkey to bed for once. Quite why Felipe being able to speak Catalan should be of any great relevance I have no idea. Mariano, one presumes, doesn’t speak Catalan, so they’d have to have their chinwag in Castellano in any event.
Felipe and the brother-in-law
A nother matter that Felipe will have to confront is the business with the sister and the ne’er-do-well brother-in-law. One of my email correspondents suggested to me that Ignatius Dungaree will be fancying his chances of the bro’-in-law granting him an “indulto” (pardon), if and when he ever gets round to be being lined up for a stretch (the if and the when both being quite big). I begged to differ. Juan Carlos would have been placed in an hugely awkward position. Felipe’s position is easier. There is his sister of course, but it is said that he doesn’t much care for Ignatius. Join the club.
What else might be on Felipe’s agenda? As yet, it hasn’t been suggested that he pops over to Majorca and sorts out matters in Magalluf, but it’s only a question of time one imagines.
Perhaps while he’s at it, he could smooth things between Joana and the unions and also get Letizia to offer Joana some tips on that barnet of hers. President Bauzá could no doubt sort out a visit, as it seems as though he’s pretty matey with the Bourbons: all that business with them sharing Google Glass specs at some tourism do. Bauzá got an invite to the official reception, but there again so did a number of Majorcan notables, such as the mayor of Palma, Mateo Isern, who presumably did his best to avoid Bauzá. It was indeed a remarkable week. A new King. Long live the King. And for once there was news to keep Bauzá’s internecine Partido Popular woes off the front pages. But only for now.
If the president had hoped he might be able to forget these woes for a day or two, Mateo’s presence was enough to remind him of them.