In 1999, religion ceased to be a compulsory subject in Spanish schools but the current right-of-centre party has brought it back and also again made one's mark in the subject relevant to the end of school average and to the question of grants. Worse, it has spelt out a guide for the teaching of religion guaranteed to offend the faithless. In particular, pupils must be taught to 'recognise with wonder and try hard to understand the divine origin of the cosmos, and to perceive this does not come from chaos or chance." This, of course, is Creationism and we can expect that an incoming left-of-centre government will reverse these changes if they get in this November. In a country which has only the trappings of Catholicism, where 80% don't practice and a similar percentage rejects key Catholic doctrines, you have to wonder why and how the Church still has enough power to influence the PP party to this degree. Opus Dei?
Spanish and -ING: There are some words in Spanish which have simply been adopted from English - such as EL COACHING and EL SEXTING - and which mean much the same. Then there are those - such as UN LIFTING and UN RUNNING - which have been invented by analogy. Then there are those which combine a Spanish word with the -ING ending to create a bastard neologism. An example of the latter I saw recently is DESAHUCING. I'm guessing this means 'evicting', as desahuciar means 'to evict. (And 'to declare finished/terminally ill'.) But I've no idea why it needed to be invented. Perhaps because it was in a cartoon.
Sunday's flea market down in Veggie Square was a wash-out. The only traders trying to do business were those few with plastic canopies. As I walked past them, I was greeted by a guy whom I might have bought a small bronze from a year ago, He asked me if I wanted a special clock. I said not but, unwisely, added I might be interested in another bronze. He took me to his van and - after persuading the local police he shouldn't be done for illegal parking - he offered me a small bronze head. He claimed it was Roman and came from Mérida down south. It looked genuine and so the price of €60 seemed low. Naturally, he insisted it was and said it was worth hundreds. I passed up the opportunity but am not sure whether his was because I didn't want to buy illegal goods or because I just didn't like it. Or because he was probably lying.
Most of the world's great religions it seems - have places of worship around Pontevedra province, particularly in Pontevedra city - Catholics, Evangelists, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses and Adventists (Seventh Day?). Judaism isn't mentioned but might fall under Other Religions. Like Hinduism and Buddhism, perhaps.
Talking of religion . . . At the tail end of last year, Pontevedra's funeral directors wrote to the bishop, saying there was something odd going on with one of our local priests. Something to do with payment (or non-payment) of their fees. Things came to something of a head last Saturday, when the priest refused to officiate over a burial because he was asked for a receipt. Or demanded one. I wasn't sure. All a bit distasteful but I suspect we'll see more of this.
Finally . . . By now you'll surely have seen the wonderful foto of the London weasel who took on more than he could bite. But you might not have seen these photoshopped sequels. Or memes, as they seem to be called. Brilliant.