CATALAN INDEPENCE: The principal driver of this - the President of the regional government - has a couple of major problems. Firstly, he's been blocked by one of his coalition partners from re-election as president. Secondly, his party is shrouded in corruption allegations. While this isn't very different from any other major party in Spain, he's decided to go with what may well be known in future as The VW Option - a change of name/'brand'. He's disbanding his CDC party and forming the Democracy and Liberty party. Good luck with that.
CORRUPTION: The perfect recipe for this, says judge Baltasar Garzón, is a combination of 'A civil servant responsible for urban development, a businessman closely linked to a political party, a growing town or city and a property market on the rise'. He should know; he's presided over some major cases. Being the victim of serious government dirty trick campaigns in the process.
BREXIT: For the first time, surveys suggest more than 50% of Brits support this. David Cameron continues to support staying in the EU, provided his demands for structural reform are accepted. Given that he must know which way the wind is blowing - in the direction of the collapse of the institution - I've begun to wonder whether his real purpose is to avoid the UK getting most of the blame for this, and losing out in the new inter-state trade agreements which must follow.
HEALTH SERVICES: There was a time when the UK national health service was the best in the world, if only because it was unique. There are many in Britain who think it still is and they're supported in this by virtually all politicians, who feel obliged to repeat this nonsensical claim whenever the elections come along. As anyone who's experienced one of Europe's health services knows, this belief/claim/lie is far from justified. This week, it's reported that the UK is in the bottom of the OECD third when it comes to 5-year survival rates in colorectal cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer. And survival after hospital admission for a heart attack or stroke is also worse than in many OECD countries. Most European health schemes are, I believe, a mix of public and insurance scheme services, an option which is anathema in the UK, where 'insurance' is widely interpreted as 'privatisation'. Is there a public service anywhere in the world where discussion is as curtailed by (self)deceit and mendacity?
HEALTHY FOOD: " It is a fabulous racket", says the Guardian. Click here for the details of this claim.
PONTEVEDRA'S RETAIL SCENE: I wouldn't want to give the impression it's all closures. Many shops are taken over by new owners. These, though, all seem to be women who offer yet more expensive dresses and accessories. So, we have El Armorio de Audrey (Audrey's Wardrobe) or La Tienda de Raquél. (Raquel's Shop). One could be forgiven for suspecting these are not genuine outlets but fronts for drug money laundering purposes.
FINALLY . . . FACEBOOK: Someone asked me yesterday how to get rid of the French flag behind their foto. I said I hadn't the faintest idea, never having succumbed to the temptation to show solidarity in this way. But, then, I have a knee-jerk reaction to anything suggested by Facebook. Incidentally, yesterday I saw that an English chap had been befriended by 37 people, all of them women. So, I sent friend requests to the 5 most attractive, to see what would happen. Four of them immediately accepted my request. What this means, I really don't know. Other than it's easy to ring up the thousands of friends some pathetic folk feel the need for.