Names: In the latest international survey, it's reported that Hugo and Lucía remain the most popular here. Against Oliver and Amelia in the UK. And, would you believe, María and Joāo(John) in Portugal.
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: It's already taken 150 years or so to build this. And in all this time it's never had a construction licence. The current mayoress plans to change this. And presumably get some revenue from the Catholic Church. Which is a past master at avoiding taxes in Spain.
Donald Trump: Someone has made the claim - remarkable because it's probably accurate - that comics should stop parodying him as it humanises him. By the way . . . Has any male reader ever been in the sort of locker room he claims to frequent?
Guimarāes: This is Portugal's founding city and is truly beautiful. It has the same population as Pontevedra - c. 80,000 - but its medieval gems are spread out over a larger area. I shall return for a longer look.
Driving: The Spanish regard the Portuguese as dreadful drivers but everything is relative, of course. I've driven quite a bit in Portugal and have yet to see a clear example of dangerous driving. But there's still a lot of the very fast driving that one no longer sees on Spanish autovias. And even more of the pointless, macho(?) overtaking on urban or slow roads that gets you to your turn-off or final destination in only a few second fewer than if you'd stayed where you were in the line of traffic. Plus the tailgating that inevitably goes with this.
Express Anulment: I'm not sure what this really is but I read that, since the Pope recently introduced it, Galician couples are rushing to avail themselves of it. I guess that, as in the past, they'll have to make extraordinary claims to get their marriages technically annulled. But, on the positive side, perhaps it will be cheaper as well as quicker.
- Cupcakes: My antipodean friend, Ian, has alerted me to this Spanish word and has asked whether it's masculine or feminine. The former, apparently.
- Las Trolas: Internet trolls?
James Lovelock. Here - from reader Perry - is a piece on the inventor of Gaia that I've yet to determine is genuine or a spoof. Certainly looks and smells like the former. Astonishing.
More examples of Finnish/British nightmares:-