Times Change 1: A friend recently told me that her partner's child in England, aged 9, enjoys a disco every Friday afternoon. We used to have a story read to us. But, then, there were books back then. Not phones, tablets and (yes) phablets.
Times Change 2: I went for my annual blood tests yesterday. These are done by an expert who greets me like an old friend and never causes the slightest pain. And every year he tells me that Alexander Fleming was born in a little village in Scotland, the name of which I can never get. And which turns out to be Lochfield. But, anyway, the reason for mentioning this is that, after he'd finished and we'd said our flowery goodbyes, the nurse told me that a urine test had been requested and that I needed to get a sample container from the pharmacy. "In the hospital?" I asked. "No." she said. "Across the road." I was surprised at this savings measure. Particularly as it's a private hospital. Inevitably, one begins to wonder if commission is being paid. Probably unfairly.
Pontevedra's main shopping street is being pedestrianised ('humanizado'). The main consequence so far has been to provide a perfect area for charity chuggers and leaflet distributors in which to opportune pedestrians. A leaflet I got yesterday introduced me to Maestro Cisse, who's a Vidente Curandero, which translates as 'Quack Clairvoyant' in my book. He has 20 years experience in quackery and can solve desperate problems across a vast range:- Love; Lost Partners; Sexual Impotence; the Evil Eye; Attracting clients; Buying/Selling of property; Depression; Bad luck in Business; Keeping your job; and Protection of your family. But that's not all. He's a Specialist in Matrimonial Problems. And is 'serious and effective' in his endeavours. So much so that "immediate results are guaranteed up to 100%". It would be nice to think that people wouldn't fall for this claptrap today but, having seen these charlatans on TV here, I know this isn't the case. It's as if the Enlightenment never happened. That said, even intelligent people seem to read horoscopes and to believe in astrology. And to smoke. Sorry, that's my bugbear.
A day or two ago, I wrote about all the empty houses visible from mine. Here's a few more ugly recent additions to our barrio, halfway down the hill to the bridge into town. As with earlier examples, only a quarter are occupied. Even fewer in those behind them, which have a view of nothing but the houses in front of them.
Incidentally, the most telling sign of the change since the boom years is actually invisible. It's the absence of builders' cranes. As of now, there's not a single one to be seen, compared with dozens not so long ago. Actually, that's not exactly true; there is one crane spoiling the skyline, and it's right below my house.
As you can see, they appear to be building - very slowly - some sort of nuclear bunker.
Finally . . . A news report on the oldest creature on earth answered a question I've had for a log time. Nothing scientific, mind you. I didn't know where the town of Quahog in Family Guy got its strange name from. I knew that it had been founded (allegedly in Rhode Island) by a clam, but what I didn't know is that one type of clam is called a quahog. QED.
Finally, finally . . . Google Plus - I suppose this is their version of Facebook but what I don't understand is why I'm said to be in the Circles of 3 ladies unfamiliar to me, viz. Salome Jones, Maria Gomez-Gomez and Ranee Kumar. And why one of these has somehow got into one of my Circles. So, if any of you ladies is a reader of this blog, please let me know,