It is hard to remember what a shit-kicking, oppressed, dirt-poor place Spain was under the old bastard Franco. It was all donkeys, oxen, the Angelus and backwardness born of 40 years of fascist rule.
Next year sees the 30th anniversary of his death and the transformation of people’s lives and their standards of living to what there is today is the best testament you could have to the power of liberal democracy (those opposing efforts to bring these delights to the oppressed people of the Middle East, please note) and pari passu, the diminishing influence of the falangist wing of the Catholic church.
Today’s Sunday magazine in La Vanguardia, Catalanuya’s best daily, has a terrific photo essay of ordinary people 30 years on, each telling their stories.
The best are two sisters, Tere and Lois Madrid. The photo from 1978 shows them loading their donkeys on their street in a village in Malaga. Today’s picture shows them all buxom, blonde and blingy, leaning against their Mercedes saloon in the same street.
‘We had no running water and had to pack the mules. There were five daughters and we all had to work in the fields. Compared to those times we live like queens today.’