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Thoughts from Galicia, Spain

Random thoughts from a Brit in the North West. Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Quite often curmudgeonly.

TfG 2 June 2020
02 June 2020 @ 09:44

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   

- Christopher Howse: 'A Pilgrim in Spain'*

The Bloody Virus

  • In places such as the former Yugoslavia, it's been observed that the BCG vaccine - a cheap immunisation against TB - appears to steel recipients’ immune systems against other infectious diseases as well.  Damn. I wasn't given it as a kid. But, then, this was because the test (on my inner wrist, as I recall) showed that I didn't need it, as my natural immunity was good. Let's hope so . . .
  • But anyway . . . Randomised controlled trials of the effects of BCG on Covid-19 are now being done in the Netherlands and Australia, where Bill Gates has donated $10 million to the research through his foundation.

Life in Spain

  • Spain will lift its 14 day quarantine rule for tourists on 1 July. The relevant Minister insists these lucky people won't only not run any risks coming here but also that they won't bring any risks to our country. Which might well be a good reason for barring currently exultant Brits, it seems. The authorities are working out how to decide who will be let into Spain. And if Brits are allowed in, will they be quarantined on their return to the UK? Confusing times.
  • Dutch tourists might well be allowed in but could, because of this, face a welcome warmer than they anticipated. At least in Majorca.
  • It's reported that smoking in  Britain has fallen from 45% of adults back in 1974 to only 14% last year. I mention this only to point out that: 1. It's said that 34% of 15 to 64-year-old Spaniards still smoke every day; and 2. Smoking here has increased during the lockdown. Not a huge surprise, I guess. Mind you, given that they all talk simultaneously all the time, this might just mean they light up cigarettes but never have time to take many puffs of them . . .
  • Talking of health issues, obesity is a growing problem in both countries. Back in the early 70s, the rate among British kids was around 5%. Now it's 33%. Here in Spain, despite the famous Mediterranean diet, the problem is said to be even greater. Sugar and cheap junk food are fingered.Though some Dutch folk might also cite laziness . . . 
  • María gave us both Day 21 and Day 22 yesterday, of her Come-back Chronicle, of course.
  • Well, I finally got my microwave mica plate yesterday. As I  entered the shop, the chap at the desk told me it had arrived but then interrupted his dealing with me to take 2 phone calls. After which he then fiddled with his computer so that he could print out an invoice for €6. So, it was 10 minutes before I could leave the place. As I've been known to say, Spanish providers don't worry much about wasting customers' time, essentially because the latter aren't much bothered
  • Disappointingly, the blinds on the window and door of my favoured spices shop remain down, meaning I'll have to resort to the other one in town. 


  • A laughing stock, presiding over a country you'd be justified in crying for:-

  • Not surprisingly, the local bishop took exception to this latest example of Third World 'leadership' in action.
  • Still, if it turns more people off the man, it could well turn out to have been a positive.
  • Meanwhile . . . Twitter makes living in the world of President Trump feel so much like having a giant malign baby sleeping in the room next door. As in, each morning you wake with a feeling of trepidation about what, in the night, he may have dribbled out and spread around.

Finally . . .

  • The word hellebore appeared in an article on British politics this morning. I had to look it up and here it is, coincidentally continuing the gardening theme.
  • The same writer recently used gerbilarium, but I'm not going there . . .

 * A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.

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