I was pleased to read yesterday that Spain's Eurovision entrant has been chosen, not sure how. She (Edurne) is an ex-participant on a talent show, a pop star and the wife of a footballer. I haven't heard of her, of course, but this isn't her fault. And it doesn't mean she won't win, and send the country into delirium.
Here's surprise - Because of a new process, the Madrid-Galicia AVE high speed train won't, after all, be completed by the last promised date, 2018. The earliest will now be 2020 and the 'latest' 2022. This is getting to be beyond both a joke and my most cynical forecast of 10 years ago. But who cares, it's only the poor Gallegos who'll be last to get this service. And they have no clout. Don't even want to secede.
Another non-surprise: The government has parked its plans to do something about the thousands of Spanish bureaucrats and politicians with immunity from prosecution (Aforados). Which must have seemed like a good idea to the dictator, Franco. But seems hard to do anything about in these more democratic times.
But at least the EU President is to be investigated for possible financial crimes when he was running Luxembourg. Anyone want to guess on the outcome? Mind you, there might not be any EU to preside over by the time the investigation is wrapped up. In a whitewash cloth.
There was no one begging on the steps of the Post Office yesterday afternoon. But, inside, I had a bit of a problem with a letter I wanted stamp for:-
Great Britain, please.
[The lady takes out a flexible rule and measures the envelope]
It's only 12cm.
It needs to be at least 14.
That's the regulation. Have you got a bigger envelope?
Yes, back at my house.
The lady stares at me, voicelessly.
[With as much sarcasm as I can muster] Thanks.
The good news is that the machine from the lobby that took 8 steps to tell you either it had no stamps or it couldn't give you any change has gone. I wonder why.
Spanish words: Stumped again. Thanks to something written by my friend Dwight last night, I now know that fusilar doesn't just mean 'to shoot' or 'to execute by firing squad' but also 'to plagiarise'. Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps they used to shoot plagiarisers.
Finally . . . Galicia has a number of summer events that involve rounding up wild horses, corralling them, separating out the foals, wrestling the mares to the ground and rapidly shearing their manes and tales. The stallions aren't tackled in this way, understandably. The Gallego name for all this is A rapa das bestas. Only one of them is a tourist event, bigger every year and held near A Estrada. More info and pix here. At some events there's a bit of horse trading and you can buy yourself a foal. Or watch some locals strutting on their pure-bred arab mounts. Worth considering for your bucket list. Along with the Grand Mosque in Córdoba, as it used to be called.