Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I’ve sent my mobile phone to Coventry for making unauthorised calls by itself. What a blessing it is not to have to worry whether it’s your phone ringing when taking your morning coffee. Especially for those of us who can’t for the life of us recall what our ring tone sounds like.

I see that, back in the UK, young women are becoming more like young men and vice versa. But not as was hoped. The men are spending more on grooming and the women on drink. In fact, British young women are now said to be the heaviest drinkers in Europe. Is this really what their mothers fought and died for in the Great Gender Wars of the last century?

If you want evidence of the infamously different approach to risk and safety here in Spain, just ponder the latest traffic regulation. This allows completely untrained riders to enter the roads on/in any machine of 50cc or less. If they’ve learned to drive a car [or at least passed the test], they can ride a motor bike of up to 125cc without a single second’s tuition. And without ever having to pass another test. As it would be the world’s safest bet to gamble on a rise in accident statistics, you sometimes wonder just how serious the government is about its stated intention to get them down from their current high level. And whether some of them have shares in motor bike companies. Or private hospitals.

The Tower of Babel: The Spanish government has now formally requested that Galician, Basque and Catalan/Valencian be regarded as official EU languages. They’ve even kindly offered to finance all the additional interpreters. But, then, it isn’t their money, is it? And relations need jobs. I was going to say we can expect the Irish government to seek the same for Gaelic but I was too slow off the mark; already happened, apparently. Welsh next, then. Followed by Cornish, perhaps. Or its close cousin, Breton.

Talking of things Irish, there is a new bar-restaurant in the old quarter which looks like a French bistro but serves Guinness. This gives it the right to call itself Donegal's Irish Cavern even though it couldn’t look less like one. But I suppose this means it can quickly re-brand itself in line with the next fad when all things Irish cease to be fashionable. Wales this time?

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