Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interesting letter in August's edition of Prospect magazine. Referring to a comment in the July issue about 12 people being killed in encounters with sharks over the previous year, the writer pointed out that, in the same period, one million sharks had been killed in encounters with humans. Which was thought-provoking.

Somewhere in today's UK press, someone suggested that, thanks to the Olympics, the Brits are now the new Irish. So, what do I see this afternoon? The lovely teenage daughter of my lovely neighbour, Ester, wearing a Union Jack T-shirt.

Talking of the Irish . . . At the time of the British application to join the Common Market (as the EU was called back then), the British Prime Minister, Ted Heath, was so determined to secure British entry, he cravenly accepted that English would not be an official language. It was only because the Irish Prime Minister insisted on this that it happened.

The Spanish Consumer ministry has investigated the buyers of gold and has determined – to no one's great surprise, I guess – that almost 90% of them show 'irregularities' in their transactions. And that 60% have faulty scales. So, what now? Probably nothing, I fear.

With so many more beggars (and bloody accordion players!) around this year, it's even more important than ever to have a competitive edge. So I was impressed to see this morning the mendicant outside a Froiz supermarket was holding out a scallop shell – the symbol of St James – as a begging bowl. I assume it was to establish his local credentials in the face of the competition from the numerous 'foreigners' muscling in on his patch.

I don't think there's any law in Spain about not parking adjacent to a zebra crossing. In fact, I'm sure there isn't, as the object usually blocking drivers' sight lines is a rubbish container belonging to the local council. So, when I read of the death of a child on a crossing in Lugo this week, I naturally took to wondering whether the driver hadn't been able to see it until it was a quarter way across the road. No real excuse, of course, but possibly a mitigating factor.

The mayor of Pontecaldelas has admitted that the number of locals taking part in the re-enactment of the battle of Pontesampaio this year was down on previous years. And that the same was true of spectators. If this continued, he warned, it might have to be scrapped. So, just in case this happens, here are my fotos of Sunday's proceedings:-

Ian, examining the (wooden) Canon de Pau. Reduced size, of course. Though I doubt the original was as large as the one in the Sinatra, Grant, Loren film "The Pride and the Passion".

Pre-battle fraternisation.

Battle instructions to the First Battalion Wooden Pitchforks.

The battalion on the march to perdition.

The youngest combatant, ready for action. Shortly before being deafened for life.

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