It being April Fool’s Day, I wasn’t too surprised to read in today’s Daily Telegraph that specially-trained ferrets, fitted with microchips, are now being used to check the underground pipes carrying broadband wiring around the country.
Talking of fools . . . On Tuesday in Liverpool, my Madrid-based daughter and I turned up at the Museum of Slavery at 5.40 to (re)discover that things here are different from Spain. So it wouldn’t be open until as late as 9. Having closed at 5. Just when things are re-opening in Spain. How we laughed.
And talking of the weird Spanish timetable . . . I had to smile at UK news reports of a Spanish woman asking – in the context of over-rowdy British party-goers in Salou – “Who runs around makes such a noise and vomiting at one in the morning?”. To which the answer is “All young Spanish kids”. As this is when they start the fun, before going on until eight or nine the next day.
There was a report in the British media yesterday about the owner of a pet-store being very harshly treated for selling a goldfish to a kid under sixteen. I was going to resist the temptation to cite this but the Daily Mail writer, Richard Littlejohn was on fine polemical form on this in today’s edition. And you won’t be surprised to hear I found myself agreeing with him that “Britain must now be about the most regulated, inspected, restricted, nannied, spied-upon country on earth which still pretends to be a democracy.” Of course, it’s the standard response of the guilty parties to blame ‘EU regulations’. But the real cause, as I regularly say, is a particularly British form of corruption which allows petty bureaucrats to – perfectly legally – feather their own nests by ‘gold-plating’ all legislation emanating from either London or Brussels. Anyway, you can read the whole article here.
Good to read that two major political parties in Spain are “putting the final details on a pact to stop corruption among their officials.” Even if it is after most of the money-making schemes have vanished along with the boom that induced them.
It looks like I was wrong to think the penny is finally dropping in Spain. The latest survey of national attitudes shows that, while 83% of the population are worried about unemployment, only half are worried about the economy. Which - taking 20% unemployment into consideration – is, I guess, less than 40% of those is work.
Talking of surprising Spanish attitudes . . . Here’s my fellow-blogger, Lenox, on the current state of play around the demolitions of ex-pat houses in the south and south east. I guess it's inevitable that, if you live entirely in the here-and-now, you're going to be short-sighted most of the time. If not always, even.