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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: 13 July 2020
13 July 2020 @ 09:52

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: Living La Vida Loca . . .

  • There was another aspect of Saturday that I forgot to mention. Perhaps because it wasn’t really an irritation. Arrival time for the lunch guests was 1 to 2pm but the Spanish contingent - current and ex neighbours - arrived at 3. I’d expected this, of course, and wasn’t put out by it, having planned to serve up at that time . . .
  • The good news is that my Kindle has been found, in my regular bar. And the duff filter machine still gives me coffee if I pour boiled water into the cone. And today might see the arrival of my daughter's Amazon package**. And the sun is still shining brightly. And the view over Pontevedra city from my large lounge window is still spectacular.
  • The pastor of one of our nearby gypsy settlements has again insisted that they've all reformed and won't be selling any more drugs. These are the gypsies of Upper Vao, who distinguish themselves from the gypsies of nearby Lower Vao, who - they say - are the real drug traffickers. I imagine many readers of the Diario de Pontevedra will be sceptical. BTW . .  . I suspect the Lower Vao gypsies are the ones - it's said - who came originally from Portugal. 
  • Here's María's Day 28 of our Adjusted normal. St Christopher processions. Or, rather, the absence of them. Is he the same as San Benito, I wonder. Or do they have adjacent feast days?
  • Finally . . . News that you've all been waiting for . . . In yesterday's elections, the conservative Popular Party (PP) won its 4th consecutive majority, while the leftist Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) more than tripled its parliamentary presence to win 19 seats and become the region’s second-biggest force. The group overtook the Socialists(PSOE), who maintained their 14 seats. The left-wing Galicia en Común alliance, which is led by the far-left Podemos party and has been riven by infighting, was left without representation.

The Way of the World

  • Twitter promises to police language and warns its users to avoid gendered pronouns. Another good reason for staying away from it. As if this were really necessary.

Quote of the Weekend

  • According to a new book by a sociology professor: A failure by parents and schools to enforce boundaries has spawned a generation of “infantilised” millennials and fuelled identity politics. "Why Borders Matter" will probably appeal to a fair share of despairing older folk.


  • New Word of the Week: 'To onboard': To take onboard. Another of those American neologisms which you initially hate, as being ugly, and then gradually get inured to. Like sentences ending with a proposition,


  • Another 3 refranes:- 

- Let's get things clear: Las cuentas claras hacen los buenos amigos.

- Lightning never strikes twice in the same place: No hay tempestad que mucho dure.

- Little strokes fell great oaks: Con paciencia y saliva, un elefante se tiró a una hormiga.


  • Said view . . .






















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

** No. The current tracking advice is dated 6 July, advising of delay due to 'bad weather or natural disaster'.  A call to the number I cited the other day elicited copious apologies and the information that 'the carrier' accidentally lost the parcel'. Impressive. Not. This, of course, is the same company which initially tried 3 times in the same hour to deliver it and said it'd be returned to the UK. Possibly a euphemism.

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GuyT said:
13 July 2020 @ 14:57

We entertain a fair bit....and have found that our Spanish friends always arrive and inevitably bring extra guests. We have progressed from the Anglo way of all sitting down together...and eating through a set format meal....into a much more unstructured free for all. Some people come to the dining table...others take their food back to a side table and continue nattering with friends. One big takeaway over the years is how generous the Spanish are....they arrive with boxes of food from delis, each bring several bottles of wine...and beer by the case.

Doncolin said:
13 July 2020 @ 16:06

Very interesting, Guy. I was initially confused by 'takeaway', which which is British for 'take out food'. So I thought you meant your Spanish friends had only brought one meal over the years, which they got from a restaurant. . . . But my daughter put me right. But, anyway, I can't say that's been my experience with Spanish (Galician) friends, to be honest. I have a big meal every weekend now in my house, comprising roughly equal shares of foreigners and Spaniards. I do the shopping and the cooking and we all contribute equally to the cost. I'm left wondering what part of Spain you're in. My guess would be the (more effusive) South . . .

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