There's nothing like the sun for highlighting dirty windows and spiders' webs. Now that light has returned after a few days of rain, my house appears to be full of the creations of spindly money-spiders(?). This creature doesn't spin the traditional and beautifully symmetric web. Rather, it just spews out ultra-lightweight skeins of sticky silk in a jumbled mess that can spread over a foot(30cm) or more. I'm not anxious to kill them but they are a bloody nuisance. At least when the sun shines.
For several decades now – as evidenced by official government papers no longer secret – both the Spanish and the British governments have wanted to transfer the sovereignty of Gibraltar to Spain. The problem is these days we all worship on the altar of self-determination. And then there's the scabrous British tabloid press, always more-than-ready to over-react to any Spanish measure calculated to upset the people of The Rock. Despite all this, under the last left-of-centre government of Sr Zapatero steps were taken to turn down the heat and, indeed, to move the issue to where it belongs, on the back-back burner. Even more impressively, the Gib government was brought into the process as a member of regular tri-partite discussions. But then came along the right-of-centre government of Sr Rajoy and everything went quickly into reverse. See here for the details. Most, if not all, sensible people would think Sr Rajoy has far bigger problems than the sovereignty of Gibraltar to deal with – both inside and outside Spain – but he seems to believe that pleasing his right wing extremists will garner him some advantages somewhere. Who knows, perhaps in the context of party leadership loyalties. He must know, though, that his Gibraltarian efforts are futile. And irritating for everyone trying to get there from La Línea.
I've confessed to being regularly surprised by examples of specious or hard-to-understand accuracy in Spanish life. The most frequent of these is the use of figures to two – or even three – decimal places when no one believes them in the first place. For example, the unemployment rate and the fall in property prices since the peak year of 2006/7. I was reminded of this when I got a text message from my lovely neighbour Ester this afternoon, telling me that a group of us were going to eat in town tonight. And that we'd be leaving home at 10 to 9. I can't begin to understand what form of reasoning would bring one to this time. Especially as Ester and Jacobo are always late. Perhaps a dart in the clock.
Watching a BBC video on the Galicia elections this evening, I was intrigued by the name of a young Spanish commentator – Msnica Seoane Dmaz. Now, you might think that this was a series of misprints and that the young lady's name really is Monica Simone Diaz, or something similar. But the surprising thing is that each of these three odd names can be found separately on the net but, as yet, not in this combination. Anyone got any thoughts/guesses?
Finally . . . Given all the extreme swearing I hear in comedy programs on British TV, I continue to be bemused that all cursing is bleeped out of Family Guy, shown at 11pm or even midnight. Last night, for God's sake, they even pixellated out the breasts of two women who briefly raised their tops. In a bloody cartoon! Who on earth is expected to be shocked by this?