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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: 25 September 2020
25 September 2020 @ 11:20

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    

An extract from this UK article: Covid-19 can cast a “long shadow”.  Its aftermath effects include “fatigue, a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, achy joints, foggy thinking, a persistent loss of sense of smell, and damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain”. One study suggests that the proportion of those who first catch the virus and then develop such persistent symptoms is about 15 per cent.  But there’s still much we don’t know about it and evidence is hard to come by.  Nonetheless, it is clearly wrong to claim that the Coronavirus is no worse than flu. The long shadow effect is also a reminder that one doesn’t either get Covid-19 and end up in hospital, or else not get it at all.  However, the UK, like other countries, would not be responding to the virus with a mix of shutdowns, new laws, voluntary action and testing were the Coronavirus not a killer. We believe that a choice between more mass lockdowns and a Swedish option would be the wrong one: the best policy to counter Covid-19 is mass testing.  But successful testing will inevitably go hand in hand with social distancing and other preventative action.  . . The scale, duration and sweep of anti-virus measures will ultimately be shaped not by the long shadow, but by death numbers. Mass lockdowns v a Swedish option is a flawed choice. But if Ministers can’t make mass testing work, it’s the one we’ll have.    

Living La Vida Loca in Spain and Galicia  

Well, the visit to the Tráfico yesterday went smoothly. But I didn't get a new sticker on my car registration document; instead I got a typed number. Which I rather felt I could have written in myself. But it would've been less 'official', of course, and so open to a fine. One of many things one can do in and around your car here which bring this risk.

As I expected, María came through on the word puella/poella for light rain. Here's the article she supplied on more than 70 words for 'rain' in Galician . . . P. S. I don't know what to make of James Rhodes, who seems to be even more enamoured of Spain (and Galicia) than any Hispanophile I'm aware of.             

Who'd be a weather forecaster on the eastern Atlantic coast? Last week, I had to cancel hotel bookings of a weekend Camino along our coast, because storms were forecast and no one wanted to risk lightening. In the event, the storms arrived 2 days early and the weekend was totally dry. As for this week, rain was forecast for every day but only arrived on Thursday. And, as I write, sun is pouring through my salón window.

Which reminds me . . . Yesterday lunchtime was the first time for months I had to go indoors to avoid the cold wind gusting down the narrow street I was sitting in. And a jacket was necessary in the evening, leaving me a tad despondent about the several winter months ahead.

Having been swerved past by someone on an e-scooter doing at least 20kph yesterday, I found this article of great interest. Both Santiago de Compostela and Pontevedra feature in it. 

Richard Ford had little time for 2 classes of people: 1. Brits who'd travelled through Spain and who - to sell their books - had created the myth of murderous robbers behind every tree or bush; and 2. Spanish doctors. As regards the latter, he naturally had an appropriate refrain or two: El médico llleva la plata pero el Dios es que sana. 'God cures but the doctor bags the money'. And: While thieves demand "Your money or your life," in most cases the doctor takes both. But he does show some sympathy for the medics as they have low status in Spain, and because: The Spanish medical man is shunned, not only from ancient prejudices and because he is dangerous like a rattlesnake, but from jealousies that churchmen entertain against a rival profession, which, if well-received, might come in for some share of the legacies and power-conferring secrets, which are easily obtained at deathbeds, when mind and body are deprived of strength. I guess things have changed.

María's Fallback Diary: Day 11  


On Santa Rita, Rita, Rita, o que se da non se quita, María has suggested: ‘What you give, you can't take back’. My own thought had been: ‘Don't be an Indian-giver’ - A person who gives something and then demands it back.  


A kermit: A permit allowing a truck driver to enter Kent, en route to France. A consequence of Brexit.

Finally . . . 

HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for the news that there are 2,000 doctors and 3,000 nurses unemployed here in Spain. In total contrast with the UK.  


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

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