Part of what I refer to as the insanity of modern Britain has been the decline in the standards of humour. But perhaps the public's reaction to the BBC's descent into slime with the execrable Russell Brand and the clever-but-puerile Jonathan Ross marks the beginning of the end of this trend. One can only hope so. Click here for a professional critic's view on the 'darkness which has yet to be lifted". And, if you haven't yet seen Curb Your Enthusiasm, I recommend you rush out to get an episode or twenty.
During Spain's 'fat cow' years, town hall politicians became rather [in]famous for the stickiness of their fingers. So it's hardly surprising they also indulged in a high level of official extravagance. This was not even noticed back then but, now the cows are thinner, it's naturally considered worthy of both considerable comment and censure. In a bow towards tabloid-type exposés, the country's newspapers are now vying to uncover just how much has been [over]spent by regional and municipal leaders on their personal appurtenances. Our own Xunta president, for example, is being taken to task for having spent millions on his office refurbishment and hundreds of thousands on his car. And on the radio this morning, a chap with an Andaluz accent was contrasting Málaga's fleet of 30 official cars with Leed's total of 3. The cities are the same size he said; so why the difference? I found myself struggling to reply.
Down on the east coast, the PP party running the Valencia region has tried to thwart the government's attempts to laicise moral instruction of pupils by having the new Citizenship subject taught in English. And, so far, they seem to be succeeding. For, as El País reports, the first exam has resulted in a 99% failure rate. There were two successful students but both had the advantage of being British. Unlike many kids in the UK, they must recognise the concept of ethics . . .
Talking of that part of the country . . . Perhaps it's because I'm a lapsed Catholic that I find it more than amusing that Valencia is about to host the first ever international congress on the Holy Grail. Needless to say, the real chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper has just surfaced, providing a real imputus to the event. There's a document which proves its provenance apparently. Just like at Sothebys.
Which reminds me - According to a cartoon in a local paper Jesús is Jasús in Gallego. But what's in a name? Especially if you're God.
I was writing only yesterday about poor customer service here and now I've just received a text message from my dentist reminding me of an appointment for tomorrow. Of course, he's private and times are tough but I'm still impressed.
Finally, if you want to get an idea of the old friend who's just been my house guest, go to Facebook and search for the Geoff Pucci Appreciation Group. There are 388 members, which is quite a tribute as they're all his pupils, past and present. Ironically, Geoff has about as much idea of how to use Facebook and, indeed, the entire internet as my border collie, Ryan. Possibly even less.
Postscript: You couldn't possibly make it up.