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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: 24 September 2020
24 September 2020 @ 11:14

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'*  

Living La Vida Loca in Spain and Galicia  

Researching something else, I came up with this comment in a blog post of 2008, which amused me at least: Well, a local friend last weekend braved the scorn of her colleagues by taking a trip on Pontevedra's tourist train. Possibly she was the only passenger to know the recorded commentary was describing the Plaza de la Leña when, in fact, they'd stopped in Plaza de la Verdura. And so on throughout the trip.

Richard Ford was undoubtedly a brilliant travel writer of  his day. With a lot of money at his disposal and a classical 19th century education behind him - and with the British empire in its heyday - it's inevitable that, like George Borrow, he could display a level of arrogance that's insufferable these days. Even for fellow Brits. And possibly wasn't all that sufferable back in 1845. This has probably come through from the bits I've already cited. Though this one is perhaps more insulting than merely arrogant. That said, it's possibly what the 'hardworking' Catalans and Basques still think of the Andalucians . . . The Spanish postilions generally, and especially if well paid, drive at a tremendous pace, often amounting to a gallop. Nor are they easily stopped, even if the traveller desires it—they seem only to be intent on arriving at their stages' end, in order to indulge in the great national joy of then doing nothing.

María's Fallback Diary: Day 10 


Pualla: My neighbour, Amparo, came up with this word last night, for rain which is even thinner than drizzle (llovizna). However, we could trace no evidence of this word in either Spanish or Galician dictionaries and she admitted it could well be a word invented by her family. Anyway, we saw evidence of it later in the evening, when the pavements became wet, even though there was no sign of rain. 


Three more less-common refranes:-

- Friendless in life, friendless in death: Vida sin amigos, muerte sin testigos.

- Give a thing, take a thing, to wear the Devil's gold ring: Santa Rita, Santa Rita, lo que se da ya no se quita. [??]

- He that blames would buy: Lo que pienses en comprar, no lo has de alabar.

Finally . . . 

I was thinking of producing a schedule over 7 days of all the wrong signalling I see as I drive to the river and back twice a day, before walking or biking into town. Split into categories. But on day 2, you'll be relieved to hear, I abandoned this notion, in favour of a bald statement that I see 5-10 examples a day. Which would be more if I actually drove into and around town. But I will add that virtually everybody does, at least, signal that they're turning left, across the oncoming traffic. Which is a relief.


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

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