Monday, 29 October 2018

Stuff going on here and there,

My run this morning took me down to the sea front and along the cycling / walking path in the direction of nearby Buarcos, past the yellow striped beach huts, which are probably summer cafes and ice cream parlours. The path rejoins the road before it gets to Buarcos proper, so I turned back towards Figueira, ran a short distance on the pavement and then back onto the boardwalks along the beach.

And then it started to rain on me. It was forecast though so I was not really surprised! Just a tad disappointed!

Later I walked into the centre of Figueira to buy supplies of this and that. On Saturday we got tied up with hunting for chess venues and yesterday, being Sunday, everything was closed. We now have supplies of coffee and nibbles to keep the chess player happy. The rain had stopped, however, the sun had come out and on my way back to the hotel I even had to carry my coat. And I saw lizards scuttling up a wall. Does this mean the heatwave has returned?

On my travels this morning I came across a very well preserved Citroen Dyane. As I stopped to admire it the owner appeared and started to talk to me about it, how old it is, what other old vehicles he owns and so on. So I told him that I used to have, long, long ago, a bright red Citroen 2CV, um dois cavalhos, or possible carvalhos, of which I was inordinately proud. I felt my limited Portuguese was doing quite well and then he asked if I was Spanish. So I guess my pronunciation is somewhat influenced by my Spanish.

We continue to have problems accessing internet in our room, indeed in the whole hotel. At reception they told us that they are having problems because an antenna was blown down by Storm Leslie. Poor old Leslie must be getting blamed for everything! And then he said that the hotel is full and lots of people are using the internet, slowing everything down. They are probably all chess players! So I am posting this evening, when the chessplayers are busy trying to defeat each other.

Out in the wider world, away from my lotus-eating, hedonistic existence, there has been a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, USA. Another crazy anti-semite with links to right wing organisations. Nine people were killed, maybe eleven.

All of this did not stop POTUS going on with his mid-term campaigning. "We can't let evil change our life and change our schedule,” he said. “We can’t do that. We have to go.” He added: "I'll go. Not that I want to go. But I think I actually, in reverse, have an obligation to go.” He added: “We condemn the historic evil of antisemitism and every other form of evil. “And unfortunately, evil comes in many forms. And we come together as one American people."

His regret did not prevent him from joking about the fact that the rain had messed his heir up, although some people had told him they preferred the natural mussed look, or so he said. In the end it’s all about the Donald!

He also apparently said that the 'results' of the shooting would have been 'far better' if their had been armed guards - a solution he has also promoted to stop school shootings “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better,” he said . "If they had some kind of protection inside the temple, maybe it could have been a much different situation. But they didn’t.”

So presumably all churches, synagogues and mosques should all have armed guards inside. Go to worship your god but be prepared for a possible shoot-out! The mind boggles!

 Some better news tells me that Ireland has voted to remove blasphemy as an offence from the country’s constitution. In a referendum, 64.8 per cent of voters were in favour of changing the law, with 35.1 per cent supporting the status quo. The result was largely expected, as the article on blasphemy in the constitution is generally agreed to be outdated and obsolete. Well, yes! I should think so!

 No one has ever been charged with the offence in the history of the Irish state, but it does carry a fine of up to €25,000.

Here is a quote from the Irish PM:

 “What we want to have in Ireland is a 21st Century constitution for a 21st Century republic. We’ve already reformed our Constitution to allow for things like marriage equality, women’s right to choose. We believe that having a criminal offence for blasphemy in Ireland is a bit outdated so we’re asking people to change that. It’s very much part of a reform of our whole Constitution to make the country more modern.”

 Quite so!

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