Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cataluña and Scotland; England; Grimpers; In-laws; & Vermin.


The plan to hold a referendum on Catalan Independence on Nov. 9 continues apace. And the Spanish government has finally come out of the long grass and said it'll take the issue to the Constitutional Court on 2 counts. Chances are high (100%?) it'll get the judgments it wants but whether this will bring a halt to proceedings is anyone's guess. Quite possibly not. Meanwhile, the leader of the main opposition party has said that this 'serious problem' needs to be addressed by a major revision of the post-Franco 1978 Constitution. Who'd argue with that? Well, the government, I suspect.

Speaking of Constitutions . . . In the UK, confusion still surrounds the issues of what extra powers Scotland will get and whether devolution to England will mean a federal state. One things's for sure, these questions can't really be answered in the time-frame set by David Cameron. Which primarily reflects the fact of a general election in 8 months time. The political commentator Timothy Gorton Ash (The Guardian and El País) has suggested a Constitutional Convention would take 4 years, not 4 or 5 months, and has asked "How on earth can we talk about a federal settlement for Britain without discussing the powers that belong to Europe?". Which is surely valid.

Some years ago I invented the word grimper, as the name for the claw-like tool with which you remove staples. Sad to relate, it hasn't yet made Webster's dictionary. And isn't known by my visiting daughter. So, fortune still beckons.

Talking of words . . . One way of referring to your in-laws in Spain is los suegros. Last night I heard another: la familia política. Which rather says it all.

Finally . . . My visiting daughter this morning saw a very black rat shine up a narrow metal pole to get at the bird seed tray. Taking a leaf out of the book of horreo construction, I solved this problem with a circle of cardboard below the tray. And then put out both a humane trap and a less-than-humane trap. Neither have succeeded. Worse, the latter has been sprung and the bait purloined. But we have caught 5 more hornets in the fireplace. So much for the fire I lit a week ago to smoke them out.

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