Monday, March 04, 2013

So it's official – wolves have returned to the sparsely inhabited north of Madrid. And here in Pontevedra, I've caught my second mole of the week. As I may have mentioned, I use a humane trap for this, as demanded by my younger daughter. Who's big on this sort of thing. Unfortunately, moles need water every 4 hours and will die if they don't get it. So, if one should enter the trap at, say, 1am, there's not much hope for it by the time I come to check things. However, I've assured my daughter I take the captured moles to the forest and release them. So far, she hasn't asked whether they're alive or dead when I do so. Which is fortunate. Hunting wolves is a lot harder, I imagine.

The day started with a disappointment. Having left two odd messages on the dentist's answer-phone yesterday, I arrived at the prima hora(10am) expecting to share a humorous exchange with the receptionist. But neither she nor the nurse had any idea of what I was talking about. I didn't bother to ask the dentist, who had few patients when I first used to go there but now operates two chairs and seems to be run off his feet. But at least he gives me an itemised bill before I sign the chit - unlike the doctor, who just gives me an empty chit and fills it in later. But, if you can't trust a doctor, who can you trust?

By the way, the dental nurse must have mistaken me for someone of the Saga generation today, as she showed signs of being prepared to help me get out of the chair. Almost as insulting as those polite checkout staff in the UK who ask whether I'll be alright with packing my purchases. In a patronising tone.

The Bárcenas News: This, you will recall, is the ex-Treasurer of the governing PP party, who's being investigated for several financial irregularities:-
  • There are suggestions his cash piles in Switzerland may amount to more than the last figure of 38m euros.
  • The judge in the case has asked about significant payments into Bárcenas's wife's bank account.
  • Papers leaked to the press suggest that most of the many millions of illegal corporate contributions made to Bárcenas stuck to his fingers.
  • President Rajoy now says he won't be pursuing legal action against Bárcenas in respect of the claims that black money payments were made to leading PP members.
  • Bárcenas is taking legal action against the government for the release of computers taken from his office.
  • Four paintings in the Prado are said to belong to the man.
  • The Diario de Pontevedra today has a nice cartoon saying that after Celebrity Come Dancing and Splash there was now to be a new TV show called Cash, for celebrity crooks. “Where alleged criminals learn to elude justice with style.” Below this there's a smiling Bárcenas diving into a pool and giving everyone the finger with both hands.
A Spanish minister has gone public with the comment that “Gay marriage doesn't ensure the survival of the human race.” Well, neither does them living apart, mate. So what's the difference? Next he'll be saying divorce reduces child abuse. The PP party has described the remark as 'unfortunate'. I'll say.

Finally . . . Sick leave in Galicia has reduced by 50% since La Crisis began. Logically, average time off has risen. As the bias in favour of genuinely sick people has increased.

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