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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: 29 October 2020
29 October 2020 @ 13:02

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 Galicia/Spain

Optimism re the Spanish language.   

Pessimism re the Spanish economy. The consequence of sapped confidence. In her politicians mainly.  But also in the previously much-admired health system.

An enforced change in Spanish culture? Not before time, some of us would say.  

María's Day 45      

More Diary entries from early 2004:

Down in the very centre of the old quarter of Pontevedra there is a small grocery shop-cum-bar. By this I mean that behind the counter is the entrance to what must be the most decrepit bar in Galicia, if not Spain. The clientele would be truly frightening, if it weren't for the fact that they are clearly permanently incapacitated by one chemical substance or another. The owner is an old dowager whom my English neighbour - with some justification - thinks is an uglier version of Mrs Thatcher. She is followed around by a spaniel of a son of about 35, who may well be one prawn short of a paella. If they think you are important, they put a sheet of newspaper on the table in your honour. Other than an urge to immerse yourself in Dickensian England, the sole reason for braving this place is to partake of the raisin wine this odd couple serve from filthy barrels. Contrary to all expectations, this sweet concoction is truly delicious and seems to have an alcoholic content closer to whisky than grape wine. Despite this, they virtually give it away. In every sense a knockout. It doesn't take long to forget about the decor. Or, indeed, everything. 

The Minister of Development has unexpectedly quit politics, laying some blame on intrusions into his private life by the pink press. This had become rather interested in the details of his 4th partner in 10 years and, even more so, in the fact that his ministry had recently bought an awful lot of pictures from the gallery she owns in Madrid. She was pictured in the papers at his final press conference and I have to say that I have never seen anyone looking quite so miserable at the prospect of being photographed, especially in this celebrity-obsessed country. The government TV channel reported the outgoing Minister as being 54 and born in 1947. I trust they have a higher degree of accuracy elsewhere. Mind you, El Mundo got on the bandwagon yesterday, reporting a survey of attitudes towards to foreigners in which the various groups totalled 140%. Albeit not to two decimal points. 

The USA

Are you ready for this? . . . On Tuesday, the White House issued a press release on the Trump Administration’s accomplishments  in science and technology. The first one on the list was. “Ending the Covid-19 pandemic.” Can anyone but Trump have written this?

Finally

By and large, I’ve been very happy using the OCR program included with my HP printer to convert documents into computer files. But you wouldn’t believe how wrong it gets simple words like ‘Spain’ (usually Spam); ’The' (usually Tile, but many other variations); and nearly all words ending in ‘ing’, (mg’. Very frustrating, revising them all. In one single-page document, I had ‘Tile’ 14 times . 

 

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



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