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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: 28 June 2020
28 June 2020 @ 12:16

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: What has changed? 

  • I've claimed more than once that you'll never understand the Spanish until you appreciate (in at least one sense) that their superordinate goal is to have fun, in one way or another. Looking for my first reference to 'fun' in my blog over the last  18 years, I came across this paragraph of February 2002 and decided to change the theme: The Spanish have a cavalier disregard for laws which they regard as personally inconvenient. This gives them huge scope, of course. It includes such serious things as blatantly ignoring the building regulations - I was in a village earlier this week where I was told that all the houses were illegal - and such regulars as paying no attention to parking fines. Well, I was playing around with a computer programme I have which advises you of the best routes between places in Spain. This is supplied by a major petrol company, by the way. I discovered that there's a facility for setting your average speed for the various types of roads. More interesting was the discovery that the pre-set [or default] speed set by the company for the motorways was 150 kph, which is 30 kph above the legal limit! I imagine that, if a company did this in the UK, it’d face at least a good deal of adverse press comment and quite probably a legal suit for negligence. None of my Spanish friends seemed to think there was anything untoward about it. I rather got the impression they thought it was sensibly pragmatic. Accurate, even. Verdict: You won't get away with 150kph on Spanish motorways these days, or even 130. As for the question of whether Spaniards are better rule-obeyers now, the scene is clouded by the recent high level of observance of the lockdown rules. I suspect not. This comment of Angel Ganivet possibly remains as true as when he said it  in the 19th century: Every Spaniard's ideal is to carry a statutory letter with a single provision, brief but imperious: "This Spaniard is entitled to do whatever he feels like doing”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Current Life in Spain

  • More praise for (unexpected) Spanish Covid discipline/restraint has come from the WHO.
  • Will all the perspex screens remain when we're no longer terrified of the Covid virus? I suspect many of them will. Why subject yourself to the risk of (potentially fatal) winter flu, after all?
  • Here's María's Day 13 of her chronicle of these adjusted normal times.  It’s still raining.

Quotes of the Day:

1. Camilla Long: On the Bournemouth beach billions . . . The idiots are those who didn’t predict it.

2. Rod Liddle: In these woke times . . . The greater the truth, the less one is allowed to say it.


  • Another 3 refranes:- 

- Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned: No hay mas de temer que una mujer despechada.

- His left hand doesn't know what his right hand is doing: Borra con el codo lo que escribe con el mano. 

- Home is where he hangs his hat: A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina/El verdadero hogar es donde uno tiene a los suyos.


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

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