Spanish (non)Government: There are hints the left-of-centre parties – doubtless Communists to USA voters – are getting their act together, so avoiding another general election for us in June. I say us but, of course, we foreign, tax-paying residents aren't allowed to participate in these. Revoultions have begun for less.
La Crisis: The suicide rate in Spain has risen 20% since the start of this. It now accounts for twice as many deaths as road accidents. Though this reflects the impressively dramatic decline in the latter over the last 15 years.
The PP Party: This right-of-centre party is currently the interim government but is expected to lose power shortly, leading to the (very belated) replacement of its uninspiring leader, Marian Rajoy. His successor was widely expected to be his fellow Gallego, Alberto Feijoo. But the latter has received an offer of a million euros a year to head up the Ortega[Zara] foundation. A real dilemma, then . . .
RT TV: There's a huge international conference taking place today on terrorism. Russia is boycotting it. Was this mentioned on Moscow's propaganda channel this morning? Well, you know the answer to that. But there was a load of anti-American news to enjoy instead. As ever. Ironically, they had a long interview with a French ex-Prime Minister on the terrorism threat faced by the EU.
And now . . . From Threat to a Treat: Two love poems. The first, one by John Donne from the early 17th century, described by Andrew Marr as possibly the greatest poem about love-making ever written. The second, a rather more modern avowal of love from a woman to her beau. HT to the lovely Lucy for the latter. Not sure her husband - the equally lovely David - knows about her citation . . .
TO HIS MISTRESS GOING TO BED: John Donne (1572-1631)
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glistening.
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear
That the eyes of busy fools may be stopped there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed time.
Off with that heavy basque, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so high.
Your gown, going off, such beauteous state reveals,
As well from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with that wiry coronet and show
The hairy diadem which on you does grow:
Now, off with those shoes, and then safely tread
In this love's hallowed temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes, heaven's angels used to be
Received by men; thou, Angel, brings with thee
A heaven like Mahomet's Paradise; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite:
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
License my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
Oh, my America! My new-found land,
My kingdom, safest by one man manned,
My mine of precious stones, my empery,
How blessed I am in this discovering of thee!
To enter in this bonds is to be free:
Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.
Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee,
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys . . .
To taste whole joys . . .
BRIDLED VOWS by Ian Duhig (1954-)
I will be faithful to you, I do vow.
But not until the seas have all run dry
et cetera. Although I mean it now
I'm not a prophet and I will not lie.
To be your perfect wife, I could not swear;
I'll love, yes: honour (maybe); won't obey
but will cooperate if you will care
as much as you are seeming to today.
I'll do my best to be your better half
but I don't have the patience of a saint
and at you, not with you, I'll sometimes laugh,
and snap too, though I'll try to show restraint.
We might work out. No blame if we do not.
With all my heart I think it's worth a shot.
Finally . . . My Garden: Every year there seems to be a new weed which colonises this. The latest is this bugger, which grows quickly but is easy to yank out of the ground.
Anyone know its name(s)?