As I walked to the high street this morning, I heard raised voices in the garden of a neighbour. Peering nonchalantly through the hedge, I saw it was a dispute between the lady of the house and the postman. And, as I reached the gate, I was passed by said postman, muttering rude thoughts under his breath. And I thought - How on earth do you get into dispute with your postman? What can he possible do to upset you? Theories welcome.
At the football match between Everton and league-leaders Manchester City last night, a fan handcuffed himself to one of the goalposts. It seems he was protesting against Ryanair. Specifically against their recruitment policies. Which hadn't favoured his daughter. A novel approach but I'm not sure it will have much of an impact on Ryanair. Who have a pretty thick skin. Everton won, by the way.
Talking about football teams, I noted the other night that one of Manchester United's players - Javier Hernández Balcázar - didn't have Hernández (or Balcázar) on the back of his shirt. What he did have was his nickname - Chicharito. or "little pea". I must say I was a little surprised to see this "Hispanic" custom appearing in the Premier League. I wonder now whether British players will take it up. Will Wayne Rooney, for example, have his affectionate nickname - Granny shagger - on the back of his shirt. I guess not.
In Spain, building permits in November fell to an all time low - 72, 872, compared with 865,561 way back in the different world of 2006.
A few other statistics - More than 300,000 young Spaniards left the country last year in search of work and there are now 1.5 million Spaniards aged over 18 living outside the country. I wonder how many of them have ended up in Germany, where unemployment fell to an all-time low at the end of 2011. Both Holland and Austria also had low rates, but the southern economies are not faring so well. And the EU rate is at a record high of 10.4%.
Finally . . . In the café this afternoon, I overheard the conversation of two young people of 16 or 17. Well, I couldn't not hear it, given the volume at which their most private thoughts were broadcast. Anyway, I decided they were both very intelligent. And then the young man started to tell his companion about a conversation with another young woman. Beginning every single sentence with "I was like . . ." or "She was like . . ." An American import, I guess.