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Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

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

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 17 September 2020
17 September 2020 @ 11:24

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'* 

Covid 19 

Some good news from here.  A Spanish lab has created a test which produces accurate results in under 30 minutes. The devices do not need technicians or laboratories and can be used in local GP practices, in A&E, and even in high-street pharmacies.  And, I guess, private labs. Available December/January. Maybe.

Living La Vida Loca in Spain and Galicia  

For those interested, articles on the property market here and here

I must get up to Astorga to see what’s left of the Maragatos community that both George Borrow and Richard Ford wrote about - A small ethnic and cultural community with distinctive customs and architecture. The Maragata women used to wear a striking regional dress that made them stand out when they travelled to other parts of Spain. Tierra de Maragatos has its own traditional way of building stone houses with large doors.  Efficiency: Renfe: My elder daughter told me yesterday - hardly to my surprise - that she’d had so many problems booking a trip on the net that she gave up and called them, only too happy to pay the increased price this meant. Can it be deliberate?  

After a new shower was installed in my bathroom, the cold water taps started to turn on the hot water boiler. The plumber denied any connection but the internet says differently. Air left in the system acts as a ‘cushion’ and fools the boiler into thinking the hot water tap has been turned on. Good job I haven’t paid anything yet.

Some good news on the subject referred to by Maris yesterday.

The UK

The UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, doesn’t seem to know that many words in English end in G.  Someone wrote of this yesterday thus: She had earlier said citizens could be arrested for minglin’. Correcting her pronunciation, she refined it to mingerlin’.  I don’t really know I feel about this.  Don’t want to be snobbish but . . .

A man in Manchester boarded a bus wearing a snake as a face mask. A Transport for Greater Manchester spokes(wo)mxn said: Government guidance clearly states that this needn't be a surgical mask, and that passengers can make their own or wear something suitable, such as a scarf or bandana. While there is a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to this, we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin - especially when still attached to the snake.

The UK and the EU

As regards the negotiations on a 'comprehensive trade deal' against an end October deadline  . . . Richard North today: We're going round in circles, claim and counter-claim, leaving us no further forward, and with not the slightest idea of what is really going on. No doubt it'll all come out in the wash.

The USA

Another non-surprise.  

The Way of the World/Social Media

One of the most important things social media does is to induce feelings of powerlessness. Thanks to Twitter, politicians, newspaper columnists and the PR managers of big brands are exposed to the power of the mob every day. No matter how powerful you are, social media offers you the opportunity to feel like a victim. 

English/Spanish 

It'll all come out in the wash: [Allegedly, though I don't see it] De algún culo va a salir sangre.  

English 

Relatively new in the UK, from Oz and NZ: ‘To dob in’. To inform against someone. I wonder if Americans have ever heard it.

Finally . . . 

Some bon mots from Richard Ford in the 1840s:  The Moors thought so highly of the bastinado, that they held the stick to be a special gift from Allah to the faithful. It holds good, a priori and a posteriori, to mule and boy, “A hijo y mulo, para el culo;" and if the "macho" be in fault, and he is generally punished to encourage the others, some abuse is added to blows, such as “Que perro!” " What a dog!”

More anon.

 

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



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