Going through a series of BBC podcasts on my iPod (Xmas present), I was pleasantly surprised to happen on one with a Galician flavour. It was hosted by Michael Portillo, who was talking to a Galician lady who's a professor at the LSE. The subject was the English armada of 1589, the year after the Spanish one had come unstuck in the Channel. This had as its objectives the destruction of the rump of the armada and then the capture of the Azores and the interception of the Spanish bullion fleet. Apart from the sacking of poor Vigo en route to Lisbon, the mission was a multi-level failure, doing nothing for the reputation of Francis Drake. If you want to know how things went, click here and cross your fingers that the link will work.
I did wonder whether Pontevedra had been sacked as well as Vigo but was confusing this expedition with a later one of 1719, during The War of the Quadruple Alliance.
During Spain's property boom, it became clear that it was common for the lead time on construction to be three years or more. Meaning that new properties would continue to come onto the market for some time after the bubble burst. And so it has transpired. In fact, almost five years after the boom peaked in 2007, houses and flats are still coming on the market, to be added to the vast overhang of empty properties. Prices, of course, continue to fall.
I heard the name of (ex)President Gaddafi on the radio today. When this happens I always recall something I read a few months ago - along the lines that "Before he was killed, President Gaddafi was sodomised by a bayonet." Possibly the first and last time 'sodomised' has been used as a euphemism. Checking the spelling of his name just now, I saw there was a video of this. But was not surprised to read that it had been removed as "a violation of YouTube's policy on shocking and disgusting content."
Finally . . . A university lecturer in England has just been jailed for 6 months for contempt of court. Taking just about the most stupid decision possible, she told her fellow jurors that she'd googled the accused's name and found that he'd previously been accused of rape. One of them promptly told a court official. The sentence seems harsh - and career destroying - but the judge said that he wanted to send a clear message. Which I think he managed.