Monday, 2 June 2014


So King Juan Carlos has decided to abdicate and Prince Felipe could become King Felipe. But apparently the Spanish government has to pass a law creating the legal mechanism for this to happen. Some people I know are saying there should be a referendum to decide whether the Spanish want to continue with the monarchy or become a republic. No-one would have dared to say that in the period immediately following Franco’s death. They’ve come a long way in that respect. 

The Borbón family have been having a bad time in the last few years. Juan Carlos has been a bit let down by his daughters, one getting divorced and the other involved in her husband’s corruption shenanigans. And he’s not done himself any favours either: a bit of scandal and silly behaviour here and there. And suddenly, from being generally considered to be a good monarch, he’s everyone’s target for suggested abdication. Mrs Borbón, Queen Sofía, still seems to be most people’s darling, which is quite good considering that she was much criticised in the early years for speaking better English than she did Spanish. 

So now Spain might soon have a King Felipe and Letizia will become queen: not bad for a divorcee who used to work on television! 

In the midst of all this it shouldn’t be forgotten that back at the time of the transition from dictatorship to democracy Juan Carlos was a great stabilising factor and helped that change go relatively smoothly. He was a good bloke! Credit where it’s due after all! It’s just a pity he didn’t abdicate before going off to shoot elephants! As it is there is sure to be some outcry about the cost of a coronation! We’ll just have to wait and see. 

Talking of waiting, we are waiting for the arrival of new laptop. Changes in the operating systems are driving us crazy and have led to the purchase of a new machine, after much research into what would be best. We even thought of moving over to Apple until Phil spent an afternoon helping a friend sort out her computer and decided that there were too many new tricks to learn if we made such a radical change. However, the new laptop is being very slow in arriving. Not a good sign! 

 Other changes are around as well. According to a certain Stuart Heritage, writing in the Guardian, I must not talk about going for a run. He says that we are not runners, well, not unless we rush fleet-foot everywhere with our hair blowing in the wind. No, we are joggers, pure and simple, “trudging reluctantly from foot to foot, our faces pasted with drool-crust from last night’s sleep...” I don’t think I would describe myself in quite that way but I know what he means. He goes on, “Nobody got faster or anymore co-ordinated. We still just gormlessly plod twice round a park with our cheeks puffed out, but now we seem to have given ourselves a completely unwarranted promotion.” Once again, I might argue with that “gormlessly” but I’ll let it pass. He puts it down to promotional ideas and fancy names for shops selling running, oops, sorry, jogging, gear: shops with names like “Runners Need”. He maintains that runners run because they love running but “joggers jog because they love cake and, to a lesser extent, fitting into their trousers”. Ok, I’ll wear that. From now on I need to talk about going for a jog, not a run. 

And finally, a bit of silliness from the fashion pages of the newspaper. It seems that the UK should be having a good summer (not so far but there’s time yet) and so people need to be prepared and get their wardrobe sorted. One thing they describe as an “inadvisable purchase” is a “bikini bag” which you can buy on the high street for as much as £40. That’s £40 for a plastic bag to put your wet swimwear in for returning from the beach or the pool! Really? I thought that was one of the uses for huge collection of plastic bags from the supermarket that every household has in a drawer or a cupboard somewhere in the kitchen.

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