Today was a public holiday in Spain – The Day of the Constitution, I think – and, as I drove into town this morning, a thought occurred to me once again – there's nothing deader than a Spanish city on a día festivo. In summer, of course, many residents go to the beaches but what happens in winter? Do they stay in bed all day? Or sit huddled in front of the TV? I have no idea but one thing's for sure – they're not to be seen on the streets.
I've mentioned once or twice over the years that the Spanish have a ghoulish interest in gore. So I wasn't too surprised last night to glimpse an ad for a TV program which seems to be a rundown of the top 25 bloodiest fotos ever taken. I didn't catch the name but my impression was it stems from the Spanish word for a slaughter/ massacre – matanza. But I could be wrong.
There was something else pretty odd on the box last night. Fifteen minutes into a serious roundtable political discussion, the chairman suddenly looked into a different camera and provided the voiceover for an ad for a coin collection. Sometimes I just can't believe what I'm seeing in this country. Though God knows I should be beyond surprising by now.
There's a bit of a stink over the government's proposal that the work of Civil Registrars - birth, death and marriage registrations essentially - be passed to the Property Registrars. Cynics have noted that – with the property market gasping for breath – the Property Registrars now make nothing like the (windfall) income they did through the boom years. And that the President, Sr Rajoy, is a Property Registrar himself. As are all his three siblings. But I can't comment. Surely such an obvious abuse of power couldn't happen in a modern democracy.
Talking of stinks . . . I've mentioned the arrest of the chap – Gerardo Día Forrán – who used to run the now defunct Marsans Group. He and two colleagues have now been told how much they have to put up to be released on bail – 50 million, 30 million and 30 million. Interestingly Forrán is one of the 30 million boys. But, anyway, none of them appears to be regarded as trustworthy. Can't think why.
Prompted by an ad, I've been looking at car names. Some of them are decidedly silly. Here's a short list:
Ford Kuga – presumably for women in their 40s
Whenever I think of car names, I'm reminded of the huge gaffe made by no less a company than Rolls Royce when they launched the Silver Mist. Unaware, apparently, that mist means dung/shit in German.
Finally . . . My daughters get rather upset at my (allegedly noisy) practice of aerating wines in my mouth before swallowing. So they've been thrilled to be told I can buy an aerator that does it all for me, when held over the glass. Before the wine is poured in, of course. Not after. It's not magic.