The Pope says choosing not to have children is 'selfish' and that a society which doesn't surround itself with children is 'depressed'. He himself, of course, is childless. And, being celibate, is likely to remain so. Ditto the entire Vatican state. As someone once said, it's easy being pro-children when you've no kids to manage and pay for. JC, of course, was in a similarly privileged position. Though some do say he wasn't. But he does suffer little children to come unto him. The less said about priests and children the better.
Under a 2007 law brought in by the last Socialist (PSOE) government, we aren't supposed to have any Francoist symbols left on show anywhere in Spain. But we do. Pontevedra, for example, has at least 2 of them in the form of shields on buildings, though we long ago ditched the street names in honour of his psychopathic generals. Anyway, a lawyer has now brought suits against 38 Spanish mayors for retaining Francoist symbols on their municipal buildings. It'll be interesting to see how many of them succeed in arguing they can keep them because they're "of artistic or architectural significance", or "part of a religious space". Those who can't could see themselves suspended for up to 2 years. Which is more than they'd get for financial skulduggery, I suspect.
Another good thing the Socialist government did was to extend peace feelers towards Gibraltar and to try to take the heat out of the situation. All very sensible but, within days of coming to power, the right-of-centre PP party boasted it had a mandate to reverse the policy - as if the electorate had given it a second's thought. Anyway, under the aegis of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sr José 'Motormouth' Margallo, things go from bad to worse. His latest announcement is that he's closing the Cervantes Institute there. On the grounds that no one needs to be taught Spanish in Gibraltar because everyone speaks it there except the apes. I thought I'd seen a reference to him saying even the donkeys spoke Spanish in Gibraltar. But I must have been mistaken. Perhaps it's just that a donkey - and now an ape - springs to mind when I see or hear Margallo's name. By the way, 20 students are currently taking Spanish courses at the Cervantes Institute in Gib. Presumably all apes.
Next week sees our pre-Lenten Carnival, when a range of funereal activities ends with the immolation of a huge parrot, called Ravachol, a week today. This follows a procession of wailing female mourners, many of whom are men in drag. So, not a good time to chat up anyone in a veil and fishnet tights. Elsewhere along the coast, the corpse is usually a sardine. Anyway, I went to the relevant web page and was surprised and pleased to see a version in English. Sort of: Random wanted that Ravachol was died in Carnival time and its grief, according to the chronicles of the year 1.913, was a massive show. The real big day of the Carnival is Friday´s Carnival when neighbours go out rigorously wearing mourning clothes to celebrate the funeral of the parrot Ravachol, forming a massive courtship. More here. BTW: 'courtship' = cortege.
Possibly more spectacular will be Valencia's fiesta of Las Fallas in mid March. These include huge papier-mâché figures - ninots - satirising politicians, actors and other famous folk from around the world. I must get to see it one day. Meanwhile, here are some pix, from The Local.
Finally . . . You may have seen the pictures of semi-naked women prostrating themselves on the bonnet(hood) of the car taking Dominique Strauss Kahn to court. What you actually saw will depend on the country you were in. In the UK, the breasts were pixellated out. Whereas in France the women were 'fully anatomically correct', a phrase I once heard in a US ad for a baby doll. I didn't see what was shown in Spain but I guess the breasts also featured largely here. In close-up. These (ex)Catholic countries are not known for their Puritanism. What I want to know is whether the current head of the IMF was also involved in DSK's orgies. If so, is it ungallant to say it would be obvious to even DSK that money was changing hands?
By the way . . . Does anyone else think DSK is stretching credulity when he claims he attended ('only') 4 orgies a year at which he was serviced by gorgeous, sex-mad young women who were just 'libertines' who were there, not for money, but because they were attracted to him and his power? I suppose it's possible he's so arrogant he did actually believe this. Sorry, but it reminds me of an old joke to which the punchline is: "They weren't pimples on her bum; that was the price in braille." Go figure.