The notary is an inescapable feature of life for Spaniards. This is because the law dictates their involvement in transactions which, elsewhere in the world, would be done without them. Selling or buying a house, for example. The best way to generate astonishment on the face of a Spaniard is to tell him or her that, in the UK, you can go your entire life without ever seeing a notary. Anyway, notaries here operate a sort of guild which determines how many a place can happily tolerate. During the years of the phoney boom, it allowed an increase in numbers since there was enough business to permit them all to become millionaires. Now, though, things are different. So numbers are being reduced. Pontevedra is to have only 2, as opposed to the 4 or 5 we have now. Quite how this is to be done, I have no idea. Assassinations maybe.
You may worry a bit about Putin's ambitions but these are nothing, it seems, to those held by Russian 'nationalists' who aspire to the restoration of the Russian empire. Not that of pre-1989 but that of pre-revolution Czarist Russia. Members of these organisations form the backbone of the Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. They're volunteers who pay for most of their gear. And they see the invasion of the Ukraine as a modern crusade, equivalent - they say - to the crusade to liberate Jerusalem. Frightening. Where next?
Talking of Russia and its RT TV channel . . . These are the only products advertised last night/this morning: E45; Scholl; Veet, Gaviscon, Airwick and Vanish. All are from Reckitt-Benckiser, an Anglo-Dutch multinational with dozens of well-known household brands. They have an operation in Russia, of course, and one wonders if they're buttering parsnips in its favour. Or if they're really owned by Putin and friends.
You have to hand it to our local narcos; they're really inventive. I recall a mini submarine of a few years ago. And now we have a hang-glider loaded with sheets of paper impregnated with cocaine.
Talking of local criminals . . . One was sentenced to 190 years in jail last week but will only serve 3. I guess it makes sense to someone. Perhaps there were 38 offences of 5 years each.
Not long after I'd brought from the UK a large plastic owl to frighten the pigeons in my Sunday bar, they started to appear in other places around both Pontevedra and Vigo. But last Sunday there were 2 for sale on one of the flea market stalls. The end of an era, I guess.
BTW . . . As well as the 300 houses below me facing demolition, there's also the private school to which the wealthy folk of Pontevedra send their kids.
Finally . . . I found myself wondering again last night if, however surreptitious one tries to be, an attractive woman always knows she's being looked at. And, if so, is this because she's always looking to see if she's being looked at? I think it was Aristotle who first voiced this question. Perhaps my daughters will answer it.