SPAIN: The equivalent of the UK's obsession with paedophilia seems to be the issue of violence against women by their partners. While not wanting to downgrade the issue at all, I would say that the statistics here are better than in the UK. And that the incidents are declining. Which is probably true of paedophilia in the UK too. Possibly because of media attention in both cases.
THE EU: It's degenerating, says the British historian, Niall Ferguson. Read his rationale here:-
CRIMES: I see the Pope has labelled the leaking of Vatican papers a serious crime. This might be unfair but I don't recall any Pope being as rapidly outspoken in respect of things most of us would regard as far worse.
HOUSEKEEPING: The English lessons for my neighbour, the lovely Ester, are marred by her patent irritation that my house is not kept as well as hers. My kitchen is particularly offensive because of my habit of not washing my dinner plates for 2 or 3 days. To be honest, I realised last week that, though this seems perfectly reasonable in my own house, it looks pretty sluttish in friends'house.
FINALLY . . . A NICE STORY from the vociferous british actor, Brian Blessed:-
When I was 12, there was a World Peace Congress outside Sheffield [in 1950] that attracted 360,000 people. Picasso was there, painting, and I raced ahead of everybody and stood before him. I asked, “Are you Picasso?” and he replied, “Yes, I am.” I told him, “You sound more like Carmen Miranda, so if you’re really Picasso, draw me something.” He said, “I will draw you a dove of peace,” which he did and handed it to me. “I said, 'That shows you’re not Picasso, that’s not a dove!’ ” Picasso replied: “For the first time I have a critic, the child does not believe this is a dove.” I threw his drawing on the floor and in doing so, threw away about £50m. It was picked up, presented to the assembly as a symbol of the peace congress of 1948 and now hangs in Sheffield Gallery