Down in Lisbon, I'm once again struggling with understanding Portuguese, even those words and phrases written in exactly the same way as Spanish. But I guess it's not for an Englishman to complain about a non-phonetic language. And it's not for a Scouse to complain of funny nasal diphthongs.
I had thought that a single S in Portuguese was pronounced as in 'was' and a double S as an 'past'. But the waitress at our lunch in Aveiro yesterday disabused me of this notion, making them sound almost the same. So, back to the drawing board.
Aveiro, by the way, advertises itself as 'The Venice of Portugal". This is rather like Blackpool describing itself as 'The Monte Carlo' of England. They ain't.
Back in Spain, the country's police chief has been asked to explain how, since 1984, he has set up 46 companies in 4 countries and has amassed a property portfolio in Spain valued at €14m. My guess is he'll resort to the currently fashionable response that it was all set up by his (dead) father.
Wealth, of course, is no bar to insanity. John Paul Getty Jnr. gave the following forenames to his son: Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy. But it was the Swinging Sixties.
Talking of words. . . One of the definitions given for 'gypsy'(gitano) in the Spanish Royal Academy's Dictionary is 'swindler'. Every now and again, Spain's gypsies ask that this be removed. But no luck so far.
Finally . . . Thanks, I guess, to targeted advertising based on a computer's knowledge of my personal details, I'm now receiving info on a product called Tena, which appears to be pad for men which absorbs leaks from one's nether regions. I keep telling the computer it's got me wrong but it doesn't listen. I might as well be married to it.