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Thoughts from Galicia, Spain

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

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: June 19 2020
19 June 2020 @ 09:39

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

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

- Christopher Howse: 'A Pilgrim in Spain'* 

  • Yet another new beggar here in Pontevedra yesterday. What has the city done to deserve this plague? Apart from being on the Cocaine Coast and a few hundred metres from the drug-dealing centre in the gypsy settlement in my barrio.
  • Only in Galicia? . . . A newspaper headline: Una 'brass band' feminina que rinde homenaje al grelo triunfa en toda Galicia. A female brass band which honours turnip tops triumphs throughout Galicia.
  • Here's Days 3 and 4 of María's Adjusted Normal chronicle.
  • If you're thinking of buying property here in Spain, you should take note of this (very valid) advice posted by someone on FB this week:-

- I would never buy off plan again; what they promise is highly unlikely to be what you get.
- If you're buying on a community, ask to see the minutes of the last AGM; by doing this you'll find out how the finances      are, who's not paying and what grief is going on between the 
- If you're considering spending winter time, make sure your property will get plenty of sunshine, ie south facing.
- If you're buying rural property -  check, check and treble check that everything is legal and all the property is on the deeds and there are no extensions without planning permission.
- If you can't handle lots of racket in the summer months, don't buy anywhere near a hotel or bars, 
- Get a surveyor's report on the property you're interested in before considering an offer.
- Consider what the fiscal consequences are; the Spanish have a harsh tax regime and they'll happily take your hard-earned cash.
- Definitely do not buy until you've rented for a while and have a good feeling for both Spain and the area. You'll need to spend time at different times of the year to get a true reading. 
- Another concern is health of course; the system here is great if you speak Spanish



  • Another 3 refranes:-

- Actions speak louder than words: El movimiento se demuestra andante.  Las palabras se lleva el viento.

- All mouth and no trousers/All talk and no action: Much ruido y pocas nueces.

- All work and no play makes jack a dull boy: Hay que dejar tiempo para el esparcimiento.

The nice thing about many of the Spanish refrains is that, although longer, they rhyme. More memorable perhaps. Three more tomorrow. Meanwhile . . . Two Spanish words new to me: 1. Un thriller. 2. El merchandising.

The Way of the World:  .

  • See the pungent article below on how to respond to current cultural trends.
  • My RSS feed yesterday warned me that one of the items was potentially dangerous, as possibly containing a virus. It was from the BBC website . . .
  • The Times yesterday had an article which featured 'Arteta has strived . . .'. when you all know it should have been 'has striven'. But it was by a sports commentator.


Let’s take this vanity of the bonfires to its logical conclusion: ban all culture!

First Little Britain, then Fawlty Towers, why doesn't Generation Bedwetter ban David Bowie, John Lennon, and Dickens, whilst they're at it? Julie Burchill, Telegraph

When we consider the phrase “Flaming June” we might think of the famous portrait by Frederic Leighton showing a sleeping woman in an orange dress that Samuel Courtauld once called “the most wonderful painting in existence”. But the June we’re living through now isn’t a month of sensual slumber and molten gold sunsets. It’s a conflagration of sensibilities as one cultural artefact after another – from the sublime to the ridiculous – goes up in flames lest it offend some petulant cry-bully. This June will be remembered for the vanity of the bonfires.

As luck would have it, I’m writing a book called Welcome to the Woke Trials published by Constable in the spring of next year. You’d think that everything happening would make it a piece of gluten-free cake to dash off at top speed but I’m finding it something of an embarrassment (literally, for the perpetrators and capitulators when they look back on this shameful summer) of riches. Each morning I read back the previous day’s work – only to find that half a dozen new acts of idiocy have taken place while I slept. Writing this book feels like the fabled painting of the Forth Bridge: no sooner completed than in need of attention once more as you see a bit you’ve missed.

Little Britain (blackface), Fawlty Towers (“racial slurs”), The Dukes of Hazzard (Confederate flag). One Little Indian record label to become One Little Independent – the whole lazy lip-service aspect of virtue signalling summed up gloriously by the NME headline “One Little Indian change name to help fight racism”: yep, that seems sensible, never saying the word “Indian” again will surely defeat one of the greatest evils on earth. Gone With the Wind. DAVID ATTENBOROUGH! I’ll leave it there, but by the time you read this it’s a fair bet that something which made you think or made you laugh will have been cancelled or castigated for fear of attracting the wrath of a group of people who appear to have a deep distrust of both thinking and laughing.

Monstrous regiments of Violet Elizabeth Botts have joined the Stasi and started up a series of deranged sideshows detracting from the very real ills of a society with a risible level of social mobility all across the colour chart – white working-class boys do worse in education than any other group, don’t forget. The star turn of these witch trials is, of course, J K Rowling, who has nothing to do with racism but who has attracted the considerable ire of the small, well-financed, extremely loud trans lobby, who have never seen a drama that wasn’t about them, even if it was the killing of a black man in Minneapolis.

After a period of attempting to placate the geek chorus, Rowling was recently reborn as a fearless and funny feminist who responded to the proposed book-burning of her Harry Potter bestsellers with: “Whenever somebody burns a Potter book the royalties vanish from my bank account. And if the book’s signed, one of my teeth falls out.” That the Harry Potter actors who turned on her are from privileged backgrounds while as an impoverished single mother she once wrote in cafés as she could not afford to pay her electric bills (and went on to drop from billionaire to mere multi-millionaire status due to the sheer amount of money she gave away) has made the situation even more grotesque. This is a generation coddled by stupid mothers who treated their offspring like royalty and chauffeured them everywhere – even to climate-change protests. They could do no wrong and even when they failed at something they were praised.

They believe they’re special due to social media where you can get affirmation for simply being as opposed to doing; the funniest thing I’ve seen during the Rowling affair was a social media pile-on by thwarted Harry Potter fans in which a horde of no-marks opined that this self-made super-successful woman should educate herself simply because she knows the difference between fairy tales and facts and they don’t. Told by their thick parents how perfect they are since birth, these moaners totally lack the inquiring minds that inspire art and culture; they’ve never heard the word “no” but ironically “no” is all they contribute to the world.

When I was young, how we mocked Mrs Whitehouse! But she asked merely for the nine o’clock television watershed, which anyone who isn’t a dribbling sex-pest approves of. It’s interesting how drill/gangster rap music and pornography are perfectly OK with the woke, despite their depictions of black men as thugs and women as orifices, the effects of which on their somewhat inadequate fans may well be less than healthy. It’s savagely amusing how women have had to put up with repulsive rap lyrics calling them bitches and whores for decades without rioting – and now we’re informed by anti-racist statue‑daubers that Queen Victoria Woz A Slag.

But where there is destruction there will be pushback – and the violent virtue signallers are going to get a whole lot more than they bargained for. As the black social commentator Mo Kanneh tweeted over a photo of John Cleese as Basil Fawlty: “This is all going to negatively impact on black people – we didn’t ask for, or want, this cultural purge.” Maybe I’m an old cynic, but I sense that a backlash against blameless BAME citizens isn’t the first thing on the collective mind of the culture trashers; the heady dopamine hit of their performative rebellion almost seems like a grab-back of attention on the part of a highly entitled group piqued by the communal appreciation of front-line workers over the past three months. It’s almost like the bourgeoisie can only stand the actual working class getting credit for being the really important people who make our society work for a few weeks – and then it has to be all about them again.

What I coined “The Big Sulk” (Le Bouder Grand) has been going on ever since the working class refused to vote on Brexit the way their betters and bed-wetters told them to; now it has transformed into The Terrible Toy‑Throwing. But let’s try to think well of them; Christopher Hitchens’s great line of the Not In My Name mob – “The silly led by the sinister” – is surely applicable. The majority are more moronic than malevolent and one expects the young to be daft – I certainly was, though as I recall I was keener on experiencing things rather than banning them.

But now that I’m old, I’m no stick-in-the-mud. So here’s a suggestion: in the interests of harmony and time saving, shall we just cut to the chase and ban everything – every book, film and TV show, reinstating each one in turn only when a worldwide referendum has established that no one in the world is offended by them? Because surely if some people are offended by a statue of a man who led the armies that defeated Hitler, then they can be offended by anything; I fully expect Flat Earthers to start pulling down statues of explorers soon. Swan Lake has the good white swan and the bad black swan, David Bowie had sex with under-age girls, Manet used prostitutes, John Lennon used the N-word and Dickens was mean to his wife.

Yes, there will be a huge void where entertainment used to be, even before we take into consideration the research from Oxford Economics released yesterday on behalf of the Creative Industries Federation, which shows the projected economic impact of Covid-19 on UK culture and the creative industries. Over 400,000 jobs will be lost and there will be a revenue drop of £1.4 billion a week, the creative sector being hit at least twice as hard as the wider UK economy; some creative sub-sectors such as music and film will be hit even harder, with half of all jobs expected to go. Also announced yesterday was the parking of four of the biggest ever musicals – Mary Poppins, Phantom, Les Mis and Hamilton – until some unknown point in 2021.

But I’m sure that Generation Bedwetter can easily replace all that with ukulele solos and social-distanced dancing flash mobs. So let’s give it a try – everything must go! Because it’s not like burning books ever leads to anything bad – is it?

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

Note: This blog has long appeared on Blogger here: www.colindavies,   where you can choose to subscribe by email or via the Feedly RSS reader.

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