As I suspected, a lawyer friend has confirmed that you can't execute a DIY burial in Spain. My guess is that you're compelled to use a funeral service to take the body to the tanatorio and, from there, to the burial site. Or, rarely, to the crematorium. Separately, a friend who's in the Guardia Civil has advised that two Englishmen were arrested down south when one of them was towing the other's car, something which is legal in the UK but not in Spain. So, there you have it – One activity to avoid in Spain is towing a trailer containing a body while you're listening to a BBC podcast through headphones. If you didn't know all these three things were illegal in Spain, you do now!
Spain is different: When I was last in Hamburg, the wide pavements were divided into pedestrian and bike lanes and it wasn't wise to wander into the latter. Here in Pontevedra, we're having a major road re-configured to provide a new pavement for pedestrians and bikes but it won't be split into separate lanes. It'll be a free-for-all and, if my experience is anything to go by, the cyclists will use it as if the pedestrians weren't there.
Down in the small town where a local counsellor appeared on the internet enjoying/pleasing herself in the buff, the local mayor has now been summoned by the magistrate to answer allegations it was he who published the video. He is, of course, from a different party. By the way, I resent the way the video is referred to as 'pornographic'. The lady in question is surely entitled to film herself, with or without a partner, and what she or they get up to between themselves surely can't be regarded as pornographic,
Religion. Who needs it? I read this article with disgust last night but was shocked to hear this morning that the American Ambassador to Libya had been killed because Muslims had taken lethal offence to a film. One wonders how many centuries must pass before all the adherents to this faith arrive in the civilised world. Sure, the film they object to is appalling and provocative. But you can only be provoked when you're conditioned to be or if you allow yourself to be provoked. These don't rest easy with maturity.
The EU: I may be wrong but I don't think the aim of 'ever closer union' is helped by Greece insisting in 2012 that Germany still owes it money from the Second World War.
Having lost out a couple of times – and notwithstanding the recessionary times - Madrid is pitching for the 2020 Olympics. But the sums look odd. The budget of 2.4 billion dollars compares with London's investment of 17.5 billion and with the figure of 12.5 billion put forward by the Italians before they pulled out a while back. Maybe they're just saving face.
The city of Tordesillas has an an annual festival which centres on stabbing a bull with lances until it's dead. And then someone is awarded a prize. Usually. But not this year. It seems that two offences were committed by the blood-crazed mob. Firstly, they got carried away and all started stabbing the bull at the same time. Which naturally had the effect of killing the bull too quickly. Secondly, the bull died outside the limits of the one-sided tussle, as delineated by Spanish flags. So no one got a prize. In a tone and with a logic quite familiar to those of us living here, some spokesman said “If you don't like what we do, don't come here'. Would that the bull had the same choice.
The Pontevedra Retail Scene: We used to have two delis in the centre of the city but one of them was an early victim of the recession, leaving just the one. But now we have three and either the two new ones won't survive or their owners know a lot more about their business than I do.
Out with friends last night, I noticed that the table next to us was occupied by six young women whom I took to be about 14 but who might have been a year or two older. I mention these only because four of them were smoking, one assumes because they think this will keep them thin. Whatever the reason, I'm always hit by a wave of sadness when I see this. In part, I guess, because of the inability to do anything about it.
Finally . . . The problem with using a café's paper serviettes for making notes - when you've left your notebook at home – is that the next time they turn up is as a hard, crumpled, mess in the pocket of the shirt you're ironing. From which state it's impossible to determine what your words of wisdom were.