On the outskirts of Madrid is a notorious area called Barranquillas. This is a shanty town of 90 huts and 5,000 drug addicts, where business turnover is estimated at around 18,000 euros a day. I can’t quite decide whether this is a scandal and a national disgrace or an exemplary bit of Spanish pragmatism.
At the other end of some scale or other, here in Pontevedra construction is nearing completion of a large house down the hill from me. It has an imposingly tall stone crucifix in the garden and what looks like a chapel behind the house itself. I’m told it belongs to the head honcho in the town’s branch of Opus Dei, which sounds eminently plausible. This is the Spanish-founded, secret [but powerful] religious organisation regarded as right wing even by Catholics. And of which the British Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly, is a member. I wonder what she has in her garden.
A local newspaper reports that a woman driver suddenly left the road and crashed through a shop window. ‘As yet,’ it adds ‘the reasons for this are unknown but it is thought that she lost control of the vehicle’. Well, yes. Either that or she chose to top herself in a somewhat unorthodox manner.
My nice-but-noisy neighbour, Tony, has started to add tuneless caterwauling to his pointless bellowing. If this blog suddenly stops, you’ll know I’ve driven my car into a shop front. Either that or Opus Dei have paid me a visit.