Cataluña: Two more excellent articles from Don Quijones, here and here. As he says, It seems that Catalonia’s pro-independence coalition is now moving inexorably from the realm of fanciful words to the realm of determined action. And: In Catalonia, just as in Madrid, emotion and gut feeling, rather than logic or reason, are now firmly in the driving seat.
Only in Spain Department: Cruelty to animals: It's alleged that events around the country cause suffering and, in some cases, death to more than 60,000 animals a year. The majority centre on bulls, cows and calves but there many fiestas which harm ducks, horses, donkeys and even pigs. Though the chucking of donkeys off church towers is a myth. More here.
You Couldn't Make it up Department: The guy who won the Kill-the Bull prize at the Torre la Vega 'fiesta' was disqualified for 3 reasons:- 1. The bull was killed by more than one person; 2. it was speared from behind; and 3. it died outside the designated area where it was supposed to be killed. Good to know they have such strict rules for the participants. The bull presumably only has one:- Run like shit and then bleed to death.
President Rajoy is a native of Pontevedra, where it's regularly said he's gay. I mention this only because the right wing of his right-wing party is up in arms about his plans to attend a gay friend's wedding. In part, this is because he and his party have set their faces hard against same-sex marriage, even though it's been legal here for 10 years. "Marriage has always been an institution between a man and a woman," Rajoy said in 2005, shortly before he took the issue to the Constitutional Court. "This new law", he later said, "perverts the basic institution of marriage". So, a hypocritical politician. What next? Jeremy Corbyn?
Do you ever worry that you or your partner is a psychopath? If so, here's the way to tell: Hare’s test is simple: a list of 20 criteria, each given a score of 0 (if it doesn’t apply to the person), 1 (if it partially applies) or 2 (if it fully applies). The list in full is: glibness and superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, cunning/manipulative, lack of remorse, emotional shallowness, callousness and lack of empathy, unwillingness to accept responsibility for actions, a tendency to boredom, a parasitic lifestyle, a lack of realistic long-term goals, impulsivity, irresponsibility, lack of behavioural control, behavioural problems in early life, juvenile delinquency, criminal versatility, a history of “revocation of conditional release” (ie broken parole), multiple marriages, and promiscuous sexual behaviour. A pure, prototypical psychopath would score 40. A score of 30 or more qualifies for a diagnosis of psychopathy. So, there you go.
Finally . . . HT to Jennie. This is said to be a lolipop lady - a zebra crossing guide for schoolkids - in Birmingham in the UK. Can this really be true? Will it catch on? Will we see Kate Moss in it soon? And is there a male equivalent I could buy?
Finally, finally . . . My thanks to all those who've congratulated me on being a grandfather - it was remarkably easy - and to those who've sent me advice re dealing with diverticulitis. As regards the former, I rather like the reply of the chap who was asked if he felt good about becoming a grandfather: Yes, he said. I just don't like the idea of waking up next to a grandmother. Happily, this has yet to happen to me.