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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: 10 November 2020
10 November 2020 @ 13:53

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

I hadn't realised Lenox Napier's research for his estimable Business Over Tapas extends to the Faro de Vigo but he's kindly sent me this report of the dastardly and disastrous theft of 5,200 cockles of 'enormously scientific value' which were being used for vital research purposes.

A UK friend recently commented on how difficult it is to keep up with changing regulations/restrictions. 'You're lucky', I said. 'You have only the UK to think about. I have one daughter there  and one in Madrid and I live in a community which makes its own rules, different sometimes from those in Madrid and elsewhere.'

In respect of a minor element of our local rules . . .A reader and I have briefly discussed if it's permissible to raise one's mask for second to eat, drink or smoke in the street. Particularly if there's no one anywhere near you. He/she says it's not, but none of my Spanish friends agree, so far. These might all be wrong but how to find out, other than by doing it in front of a policeman and seeing whether you're warned or - more likely - immediately fined? This is not an academic question for me, as I intend to continue with my morning constitutional around town and to drink a take-away coffee en route. An internet search, in Spanish, threw up nothing dated this month and didn't answer my query. Anyone got a definitive reference? María?

Talking of being fined . . . Yesterday, for the first time in 19 years, I had my alcohol level checked by the Guardia Civil. Fortunately, I was below the max, after just a single glass of wine in town to celebrate my birthday. Anyway, this happened at the odd - to me - time of 9pm. I wondered if it was because Guardia Civil officers are rather bored these days, having little to do but run these checks around the clock. It's a bit too early to see it as the annual Xmas campaign, which we're always warned about in advance.

There was another GC patrol on the main road as I came back home at 11.30 this morning but I wasn't stopped this time.

This a roadside house in my barrio of Poio. Like most of its generation it's no longer occupied and, like nearly all of them, it it’ll one day give way to a 5-7 storey block of flats. Which is a shame. I don't think there's anything like the UK's National Trust to save at least some of them, to remind us of how architecturally superior things used to be:-

María's Falling Back Chronicle Day 56.      

The Way of the World 

These are the world leaders who, says the BBC, hadn’t congratulated Joe Biden as of yesterday:-

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa

Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Chinese President Xi Jinping

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Notice any other similarities?

Spanish

From the Faro de Vigo article cited above: Ir al traste: Literally: To go to the fret. Idiomatically: To fail.

English

To beclown: this word seems to be still in use in the USA and means: To make a fool of oneself or another; To make into a clown; To clown around. Interestingly, Google's ngram has never heard of it, either in America or British English.  

Finally . . . 

In the latest podcast from The Rest is History, the historian of ancient times avers that, the more he studies modern history, the more he thinks everything goes back to the early Persian empire. Before Axlexander got to it. By coincidence, in an Indian song on the radio this morning I heard the work zendegi, which means 'life' in Persian. And turns out to mean the same in Hindi. I wondered what it'd be in Sanskrit but only came up with this page. No words beginning with Z . . . 

 

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



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