Saturday, July 30, 2011

La Crisis is naturally leading to a sinfin of cuts. Some are easier to implement than others. So, as dogs don't vote, the proposed improvements to the (pretty execrable) Pontevedra pound have been scrapped. Other things said to be at risk of cancellation are an annual tourism fair (Ferpalia) and the annual Pontus Veteris fashion show. Can't say I'll miss either of them. But I do feel sorry for the dogs.

I mentioned last night that the police here were constrained in their dealing with gypsy miscreants on the basis the value of the goods stolen. Things seem to be a lot worse in the UK. There, reports The Times, “Police fail to investigate one in three crimes reported to them, including drug trafficking, sexual assaults and violent attacks. The figures are even more stark in London where almost half of all investigations are dropped after an initial screening process because officers believe they cannot be solved.”

The Spanish daily timetable – el horario – is a thing of wonder - with many (most?) people having a three to four hour break in the middle of the day and then working to as late as 9.30 in the evening. You might think this is a function of the heat and that the Portuguese would do the same. But they don't; they work the same 'sensible' hours as the rest of us. I suspect the long Spanish day contributes to reduced productivity. But here's a report on other unhappy consequences.

A lot of dogmatic arguing goes on in Spain. And not just on daytime TV. So I was taken with this quote of Dr William Osler that I came across today . . . “The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism.” Must remember it. Dr Osler was already known to me for another of his quotes which is a favourite of mine . . .We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it”. Wish I could say I lived by it. But I do try.

In the moribund Spanish property market, “Research reveals that vendors who bought since the bubble burst in 2008 are asking the highest prices”. Which is useful information for bargain-hunters, they say. Even if it doesn't come as a great surprise.

According to Amy Winehouse's first manager “Her voice that was that of the very best - Ella Fitzgerald, Billie and Dinah — up in that league. Her voice transcended just her generation, she is one of the greats of all time. The voice could crush you with its emotion.” If so, we have really lost a talent that comes along only once in a long while.

An interesting development down at the community pool this evening. I'd gone down there at six for a spot of reading, expecting it to be as under-used as it normally is. But, no, there was a group of young men and women there. And one of the latter was topless. This is the first time I've encountered this in ten years and one wonders – if that's the right word – whether it will catch on. I fear not.

When I finally got to concentrate on my book – George Orwell's “Burmese Days” - I came across yet another reference to The News of the World. Plus the interesting view that “You cannot stop your brain developing and it is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.” I wonder what my excuse is.

Finally . . . Recommended reading. If you're an agnostic, atheist or even a fairly balanced Christian, Jew, Hindu, Bhuddist, etc., etc., you will/might enjoy this piece from the prominent atheist, Sam Harris. But possibly not if you're a Muslim.

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