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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:2 October 2020
03 October 2020 @ 10:40

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'*  


One of the best overviews of developments comes, every 2 weeks, from the medical correspondent of the British satirical magazine, Private Eye. Here's a few points from the latest edition:-

- 27% of patients (mostly the elderly ones) don't have the 3 'core' symptoms of high temperature, persistent cough and loss of smell and taste. They 'merely' feel awful.

- The most frequent symptom is actually fatigue, both in adults and in children. 

- The best advice is: If you have any symptoms you can't explain, get a test. [Assuming this is possible where you live!].

- Some combination of hand-washing, social distancing, masks and room-ventilation has dramatically slowed the spread, as has localised test, trace and isolate. "These simple measures reduce infection, harm and death, Keep it up."

- Perspective: In the UK, 999 out of 1,000 citizens haven't died from Covid, and only 1 in 100 death certificates mention Covid. So: "Keep the kids at school, keep protecting the vulnerable and keep your distance."

The UK: The main point made by Private Eye is that the government there has made a complete hash of the Covid challenge, to the extent that the country - still lacking effective test and trace capability - continues to 'fly blind'. In brief, a scandalous 'debacle'.

Living La Vida Loca in Spain/Galicia   

This article reminded me that this sort of thing happens in Pontevedra city whenever they take up pavements(sidewalks) or road tarmac. Perhaps the best was when, similarly, they were going to make a roundabout at the city end of the (infamous) O Burgo bridge and found the Roman and medieval approach roads to earlier bridges at the same spot.

Brexit and Spanish properties . .  HT for this article cited by Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas. 

And another HT for this site on British expat rights in the EU as of next year.


It seems that I have more than one reader called María . . . Here's a message that arrived yesterday from one of them, along with one of the regular spam messages about brothels in India:- Olá, bom dia. Eu estou fazendo uma campanha para arrecadar fundos para voltar para minha terra. Porque estou com problema de saúde e gostaria de ficar perto da minha família. Desde já agradeço! muito obrigada... E se você puder colaborar clique aquí..  

Our Sunday lunch of suckling pig, near Viana do Castelo. Could have done without the orange:-

And, in truth, it could have been larger, for 4 people. But, as ever in Portugal, we did get both rice and chips(French fries). ‘Carbohydrate overload’.

Galicians seem to be very upset that Portugal should have the effrontery to build up economic capability near its northern (Miño/Minho) border with Spain. They clearly regard it as 'desloyal', the Spanish word for ‘unfair’ in the context of competition. Particularly when they 'copy Galician successes’ around car component companies. Of course, this doesn't only attract investment but also qualified Galician personnel.

Which reminds me . . . There was - and maybe still is - a large sign in Oporto's hugely successful airport stressing that it's 'The international airport for all Galicians'. Which is a (justifiable) dig at our region's 3 pathetic airports that will never be consolidated (in Santiago de Compostela?) because of 'localism'. And quite possibly political corruption.


En toples: Toplesss


Three more less-common refranes:-

- Hope deferred make the heart sick: Quien espera, desespera.

- Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper; Con esperanza no se come.

- Hunger drives the wolf out of the woods; Mas discurre un hambriento que cien letrados[!]


A paper from Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment: Inhabiting the Chthulucene: Forging Tentacular Intimacies in 'Edgy Times'. Anyone got any ideas what this might mean? Here's something that might help: Chthulucene, ‘A word derived from chthon, meaning “earth” in Greek and which is associated with things that dwell in or under the earth’.

P. S. You can get a free download of the article here. Don't overwhelm the site . . .

Finally . . . 

Another nice quote from Richard Ford, based on this travels around Spain in the 1840s:- Spaniards never fidget themselves to get quickly to places where nobody is expecting them: nor is there any good to be got in trying to hurry man or beast in Spain; you might as well think of hurrying the Court of Chancery.

And just in case that's a repeat . . . "Mas vale vino maldito, que no agua bendita," "Cursed bad wine is better than holy water;" at the same time, in their various scale of comparisons, there is good wine, better wine, and best wine, but no such thing as bad wine; of good wine, the Spaniards are almost as good judges as of good water; they rarely mix them, because they say that it is spoiling two good things. 


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

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