Over 35 years of untrammelled power, Robert Mugabe has enriched himself beyond anyone's dreams but impoverished his country. To mark this success, he's just been appointed Leader of the African Union. Doubtless the many thousands he's killed, one way or another, will be cheering from their graves.
Why am I not surprised - after 14 years in Spain - to read that deaths from lung cancer among European women now surpass those from breast cancer. Nothing was more predictable. At least not for countries in which young women continue to see it as both sophisticated and as an effective appetite suppressant. Until such time as it does't matter what they think, as they couldn't quit even if they wanted to.
If you want the best return from property rentals in Spain, then Lleida is the place for you. You can get 7% there, against only 5% in Madrid. God knows why. Other than it's near Barcelona and the Catalan coast.
Readers kindly write:-
Fellow blogger Lenox of Business Over Tapas tells me that, down in Mojacar, they have an extra (orange) bin, for olive oil.
Galician reader Paideleo says that billarda is played all over the world, under names such as pandolo in the Czech Republic, gilli-danda in India and, would you believe, dainty in the USA. It also has different names in other regions of Spain. Naturally.
Spain's Parador hotel chain is justly famous for the beauty and quality of its establishments. Most of these are old castles or mansions, though there are one or two modern monstrosities that should be avoided. It's state owned and the rooms are understandably quite pricey, if you're not entitled to any of the discounts. So you'd think they could afford a native speaker to do their translations. Well, if they did for the Pontevedra brochure, then he or she deserves to be shot. An example: A THOUSAND AND ONE FAVOURS[sic] OF GALICIAN COOKERY: Varieadad and abundants, the Galician gastronomy offers a thousand and one flavours in dishes of meat, fish and seafood. Evidence of this is the restaurant of the Parador which invites the guest to taste "Pulpo Feira" (boiled octopus drizzled with olive oil, paprika and coarse saet[sic]) and turbot, without forgetting its excellent seafood'.
I may have mentioned that my cleaner may well be one of the clumsiest people in the world. At least in my house. Whenever she crashes into anything or noisily drops something heavy - such as the vacuum cleaner - she exclaims Bueno! Which is not the word which springs to my mind. She came for the weekly clean last night and this morning the top centimetre of my cafetiere came away in my hand, suggesting a crack right round it. A coincidence? I rather doubt it.
I'm not often in Pontevedra early(10am!) on a wet morning so I was unaware just how empty the narrow streets of the old quarter are at this time of the day. Very atmospheric, as the rain glints off the granite walls. Well, the granite everything, apart from the metal garage doors. And an excellent chance to snap the unimpressive graffiti scrawls that blight said doors. Fotos tomorrow, as my SD card won't work and my USB lead is back at the house.
Finally . . . Yesterday's Diario de Pontevedra reported that the car on the steps next to the Café Savoy got there because of daft instructions from the driver's satnav/GPS. "It wasn't the first", said the paper. "And it won't be the last".