For those in Spain who, unlike St Rajoy, do use words, a pretty common one is joder, or 'fuck'. But I didn't think I'd ever see it in a headline to an El País article. In Sunday's Business Section to be exact - En Qué Momento se Jodió La Unión Europa? 'At what point did the EU become fucked?' This seems to be a variation of a similar question from Mario Vargas Llosa about Perú.
And talking of the EU . . . Our Ambrose went to town in an article today about the continuing damage being done to the southern economies by the austerity program:- Europe’s debt-crisis strategy is near collapse. The long-awaited recovery has failed to take wing. Debt ratios across southern Europe are rising at an accelerating pace. Political consent for extreme austerity is breaking down in almost every EMU crisis state. And now the US Federal Reserve has inflicted a full-blown credit shock for good measure. As for our economy:- Spain’s crisis has a new twist. The ruling Partido Popular is caught in a slush-fund scandal of such gravity that it cannot plausibly brazen out the allegations any longer, let alone rally the nation behind another year of scorched-earth cuts. El Mundo says a “pre-revolutionary” mood is taking hold. More here.
The age of consent in Spain is only 13, way out of line with its European partners. And, indeed, with many other countries around the world. The government has said it's going to increase it but only to 15. Still below that in other countries. For the life of me, I can't understand the logic here but, then, I'm not a [corrupt or otherwise] politician. I can't imagine it has anything to do with the Catholic Church but you never know.
Prostitution: After listening to a recent BBC panel discussion on this, my conclusion was that its definition depends entirely on which branch of philosophy or science you're coming from. In other words, there's no definition acceptable to all. As to whether it's harmful, there was no agreement between the experts. So I'm glad this is a decision I don't have to take.
Chip & Pin: Does this French invention mean its end? Well, not in Spain it doesn't. For it hasn't even started here yet. At least, not anywhere I've been. Perhaps we'll miss it out and go straight to fingerprints, in about 10 years time. And perhaps we won't.
What is it with the hot weather and ants? Do they feel compelled once the temperature reaches a certain point to flood out of their subterranean refuges into the kitchens of not only myself but also my lovely neighbours Ester and Amparo? Forcing me to do something I'm rather averse to and kill them in one way or another. It would seem so, though, it's thirst that forces them upwards, rather than heat.
Finally . . . You've never heard Ode to Joy played until you've heard it rendered badly on a recorder by a drug addict. Twenty times in succession. Joy was not my predominant feeling. OD'd - now you're talking.