Podemos is the left-of-centre party in Spain which has grown from nothing in the last year or so and is currently riding high in the polls. But it will surely lose some of this support when a general election takes place later this year. In the meantime, one of Mrs Merkel's advisors has expressed concern at the rise of both Podemos here in Spain and Syriza in Greece, especially as the former has no experience of political power. Indeed, he's gone so far as to compare Podemos with Hitler's rise to power. Which is nice. And constructive. On the other hand, another German politician has said he's sympathetic to Athens' demands for war reparartions from the Germans. Who'd have thought we'd still be talking about the war so long after it finished?
Spanish archeologists strongly believe they've found the bones of Miguel Cervantes, the creator of Don Quixote. Or some of them, at least. But the bones are not in good condition and are mixed up with those of several others. Getting DNA-based evidence will be difficult. More on this here and here.
Gentlemen: These are the 8 things you need to make a woman's heart beat for you, according to my mother's Daily Mail this morning. They're based on the appeal of a chap who stars in the BBC's new production of Poldark:-
- A seductive smile
- Manly but not too muscular
- A pert posterior
- Look good in a frock coat
- Flowing locks
- A ravishingly rich voice
- Arms to sweep up a woman
- A fuzzy chest.
If you haven't got all - or any - of these, being in possession of a pile of money also seems to do the trick. This is known as the Bernie Ecclestone option. Also championed by Woody Allen, inter alia. A sense of humour (GSOH) is no longer essential, it seems.
There are at least 10 words in Spanish for 'prostitute'. I mention this because this morning I learnt from a Times article that there's a new term in English - Tantric therapist.
Facing traffic jams further north yesterday, I left the motorway and headed north westwards across countryside, between Crewe and Chester. Whenever I drive off the motorways, I try to see things with the eyes of a tourist. Nowhere is this more rewarding than in Cheshire, with its mixture of farmland and villages - hedges, lawns, ancient trees, 'classic' pubs, mansions and cottages in red brick or sandstone andthe occasional example of 'Cheshire magpie'. All very pleasant, even on a grey day.
Finally . . . The southern United States can be a strange place. Here's a sign outside the Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle Church: "Remember: Satan was the first to demand equal rights". And he wasn't given them, of course. Time to remind everyone that we get 'satan' from the Persian word for devil, shétan. Or شیطان to my Iranian friends.