Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Hospitals; Magaluf; Naked lady; Political financing; The AVE; New fines; Pirating; Messi; & Depression.

The UK's National Health Service is in crisis, we're told. But can anyone remember a time when it wasn't? One reason is that the British have caught the Spanish habit of using Accident & Emergency units as surrogate GP surgeries. Including, for example, the case of a split nail.

So, what does Magaluf mean to you? Cheap holidays, binge drinking, vomit, piss and public sex? Well, the place aims to change this image and go upmarket. Easier said than done, I fear. But needs must; bookings are way down after all last year's tabloid exposure of its steamy yoof scene. More here.

Talking of the media . . . Here's another of those headline you're unlikely ever to see again:- Naked woman rescued after spending two hours in ex-boyfriend's chimney. She was planning to give him a surprise, it seems. So, probably successful.

And here's a Spanish headline which will come as a surprise only to those who live in a cave - The Tax Office sees evidence of illegal financing of all political parties.

It's an election year so all sorts of promises have been made about completion of the AVE high speed train sections around Spain. Like the one between Santiago to Vigo, via Pontevedra. No news, though, on the completion of the line between Madrid and Santiago. I'm sticking with 2020. Many, many years later than the original forecast. Still, it may yet happen, unlike some cancelled stretches down south.

Up in La Coruña, the traffic police have found a novel way to expand their revenue-raising activities. They've started to fine pedestrians (and even cyclists!) for committing motoring offences. The truly surreal aspect is that the offenders don't just get fined but have points deducted from their driving licences. Spain is different.

Talking about driving . . . 10 years ago, 38% of motorists killed on the roads hadn't been wearing seat belts. Now it's 'only' 23%, a figure which is still pretty incredible. I wonder what it is for people with a child or a dog on their lap.

And talking of fines . . . The new year saw the introduction of a €600,000 penalty for illegal downloading, suggesting that Spain is finally getting serious about losing the honour of being Europe's pirating capital.

Does anyone watch Euro News? I mean anyone at all? That asked, I was grateful to it today for this video of the magician of soccer, the incomparable little Lionel Messi, goal-scorer extraordinaire. We could do with him in Everton. Or anyone who knows where the goal is.

Finally . . . There's a book on my chest-of-drawers entitled Overcoming Depression. I can't say how I came by it but I can say it's almost certainly useless once you're imprisoned in serious depression. Believe me, the last thing you want to do then is read a book. Maybe it's useful if you've merely got the blues but have been told you're depressed. Or maybe it should be entitled Preventing Depression. Or maybe it was written to cash in on a epidemic. Must have a look at it.

1 comment: said...

Work continues apace on "our" section of the big AVE line between Madrid and Gijon -- some sections actually have tracks and overhead cables! No idea who is paying for it all, or when it will ever be finished.
Hope springs eternal, however.

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