I'm a tad annoyed with myself as I meant to start my last post with the news that I'd travelled to London to look up old friends. And that, in the words of the old joke, it'd been a horrible sight. But I forgot and have now lost the opportunity.
Another thing I forgot to write was that, when I was at the Williamson art gallery last Sunday, I stopped at a large picture showing British troops arriving in a home port, after service in India. I was shocked to see that the title was Return of the Herpes, before I realised I'd misread one of the letters.
One thing you notice in the UK - and perhaps in London more than elsewhere – is the relentless march of new technologies. Or at least new applications of new-ish technologies. So it was that I could check out my items in the W H Smith station shop using one of the machines you see in supermarkets. Except I couldn't, as it went haywire and gave me one pound fifty of someone else's change. Eventually I gave up and went to the counter, where there was a human who gave me a free copy of the Daily Telegraph when I bought a Times. Which struck me as odd. Like getting a free Whopper when you buy a Big Mac.
Technology also went a bit haywire on the train back to Liverpool this afternoon. After telling us elegantly about which train we were on, which station we were now at and what the next station would be, the PA system got ahead of itself and welcomed us to a Liverpool to London train. Someone clearly noticed that – still ten minutes away from Liverpool – this announcement amused the home-coming Scousers so much it'd be fun to repeat it. So they did. How we laughed!
Back in Spain, there's a new joker on the block. A professor at a Valencia university has come under fire from politicians and students for allegedly preaching that women had a duty before God to stay with unfaithful or violent husbands, homosexuality was 'curable' and that abortion following rape was 'intolerable'. She allegedly told students during a class on Social Doctrine of the Church that becoming pregnant through rape was 'something good which comes out of bad' and was effectively God's way of compensating the woman for her ordeal. 'Even if your husband is unfaithful, the proof of your love is to carry on loving him with tears in your eyes, just as Jesus wept on the Cross.' There's little need to criticise the Catholic Church when it has comediennes of this quality in its ranks.
Finally . . . The police are now so worried about so many things in the UK that they're decked out like troops in the midst of a battle in Afghanistan. Which means they can't walk but have to waddle. Even if they're not real cops but only Railway Police. There's no way they could run to catch a malefactor. But I guess they could let the train take the strain.