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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 Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 20 June 2020
20 June 2020 @ 08:59

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'*

Life in Spain

  • I often wonder how much things have changed over the 19 years I've been living in Spain. So I am revisiting stuff I wrote in the early years of my blog. Here's something from January 2004: I visited an ironmongers – or ferretería – in the old quarter today. What a wonderful experience. Like Aladdin’s cave. Or a pharmacy in the Tehran bazaar. Row upon row of little boxes on the wall behind the counter, each containing a collection of screws, nails, blades, door handles or whatever. And they will sell you just a single screw, if this is all you want, and wrap it in brown paper. Not insist on you taking a set of 10 in pre-shrunk plastic wrapping which drives you mad. And all of this at a price which hardly seems economic. They won’t survive long term, of course, but there’s life in them for a while yet. Hopefully enough to see me out. There are several of these little shops in Pontevedra – haberdasheries, seamstresses, picture framers and the like. I don’t know whether I love them just because they remind me of the way life used to be when I was a kid or because I think it is the way life should be. Probably both.    As of today, only the picture framer has gone
  • As for these strange times, María here addresses one aspect of our normal summer entertainment. Or, rather, the lack of it this year. 


  • Another 3 refranes:-

- An apple a day keeps the doctor away: A diaro una manzana es cosa sana.
- Any port in a storm: Cuando hay hambre, no hay pan duro/En el amor y la guerra, todo hueco es trinchera.
- As sure as . . . 1. eggs is eggs. 2. God made little green apples 3. Night follows day. 4. The day is long: Como dos y dos es quatro/Tan cierto como que yo me llamo X.

More tomorrow.  

  • Talking of Spanish sayings . . . I was given this one yesterday: La lengua es la castigadora del culo. At least, I think that's what it is; I actually wrote down castilladora. The literal translation is: 'The tongue is the punisher of the arse' but I don't know what it really means. Any suggestions?


  • Trump talks about his upcoming Tulsa rally,
  • In case you're wondering what Juneteenth is  . . .It's a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Texas, it is now celebrated annually on the 19th of June throughout the United States, with varying official recognition.

The Way of the World:  

  • We’re Gwyneth’s fools: Carol Midgely, the Times:  I take it all back. Gwyneth Paltrow is a genius. Like you, I scoffed at her candle called This Smells Like My Vagina. “But how do we know?” I wondered, “and can we return it if it is not vagina-ey enough?” But at £60 it sold out and now she has another candle called This Smells Like My Orgasm (“tart grapefruit” FYI) which costs even more. It proves there is literally nothing this woman can’t sell. “This Smells Like My Bra After Six Weeks Without a Wash”? Gwynnie could shift it. Ditto: “This Smells Like My Thong After a Tube Commute and 20 Lunges”. The public mocked and called her an idiot but, counting her money, it is she who is making idiots of the public. 

Finally . . .

  • My sister challenged me to post this:-

As she's been married 50 years, she should know . . .

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

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