Saturday, May 01, 2010
Barking at the moon
I knew what it would be like. Twenty or so people. Plastic chairs. The sound echoing off the tiles and bare walls of the village hall. The side conversations, when things get heated, usually in Valenciano and always shrill and loud. Me, wanting to say something, having something to say but not tonight. Tonight, I had to be content with formulating the ideas in my mind, unsure of how to express, in Spanish, what I wanted to say.
They managed without me though.
The problem is money. The village fiesta, an event in honour of our Patron Saint has always been sponsored by the local Town Hall. Last year the Town Hall, strapped for cash could only find 2,500€ to support the village Neighbourhood Assocaition. This year it's down to 900€ and that amount is still a budget figure rather than cash in the bank. The town's quarry, the largest in Europe in terms of the tons of stone dug out, just isn't providing the revenue it has for ever so many years. Pinoso is grinding to a halt. A Town Council, used only to spending, doesn't know what to do.
Back at the village hall we decided to ask each house in the village to support the fiesta to the tune of just 10€. Add that to the 500€ plus in the accounts and the vermouth evening, the gachamigas cooking, the football games, the band for Saturday evening, the childrens games, the chocolate party and the church parade (including flowers and live music) should be safe. Reducing the brochure to an A4 sheet was the work of seconds. Not so the evening meal. We went back and forth, we talked about the large families being excluded by the price. We talked about cheaper menus, about cutting out the booze, the coffee, the pudding - but good sense won out. We're going to have a proper sit down meal with all the trimmings - waiters and everything.
Looks as though there won't be any poor people at the meal then.