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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: 14 November 2020
Saturday, November 14, 2020 @ 9:47 AM

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'*  


More here on the value of vitamin D. In which, it’s said, the Spanish have less than pale-skinned me.

Living La Vida Loca in Galicia/Spain

I believe Education is a field devolved to Spain's 17 regions ('Autonomous Communities'). Despite that, every new national administration seems to generate much political heat by introducing a new superordinate law. These all go by a series of letters, the latest being the LOMOLE, to go with the earlier LOMCE and LOE. All very confusing. Details of the latest proposals here

I know, of course, that the Spanish keep strange, late hours - for example (pre Covid) going out to eat as late as 10pm. Nonetheless, it struck me as odd that, when I did my usual nocturnal trip to the bathroom at 4 this morning, there was the sound of a TV or conversation coming from next door. 

Una matanza is ‘a ‘slaughter. It's usually used - in Galicia at least - to mean the annual pig-killing 'ceremony'. But it also features as a place name around the Hispanic world. Here's an article on one of these - a private property in Almería and the location of a long-ago slaughter of Moors. This comes from Lenox Napier, of Business Over Tapas.

Here's María's Falling Back Chronicle Days 60&61, in which she confesses to struggling with internet examples of my hometown Scouse accent. Which, by the way, doesn't extend to nearby Manchester. Which has its own (horrible) accent.

The EU

On the topical topic of VAT rates for masks, it seems the new Spanish IVA rate of 4% is not the lowest in the EU. Finland, The Netherlands and Belgium have a nil rate, to compare with Denmark's 25%. You can see the full range of rates here.

And this is the official statement on the setting of rates.


Richard North today: In all senses, this is a battle that no one can win. It is just a question of who walks away with the least damage, and the longer it takes, the more damage there will be to both sides.


If you go to Google dictionary, you can find out how the word 'irreparably' is pronounced. How it ain't pronounced as is ir-repair-ably. Except on yesterday’s BBC 3. Which used to be the repository of Standard/Received/Queen's English but clearly isn't any more. 


In English, an 'aerosol'  is normally a can of spray. In Spanish, the same word - el aerosol - also means the spray itself. Any sort of spray, for example from the nose or mouth. I realised this when reading an article on how Covid 19 is spread, headed: Ciencia dice que predomina el contagio for aerosoles, pero Sanidad no lo ratifica.

Finally . . .

I was born, a while ago now, in Birkenhead, on the eastern side of the beautiful Wirral peninsula but only now have checked on the meaning of its name  . . . It literally means Myrtle corner, from the Old English wir, a myrtle tree, and heal, an angle, corner or slope. You live and learn. By the way, most Wirral folk have a Scouse accent, ranging from weak to strong, the closer you get to the river Mersey and Liverpool on the east of the peninsula. On the west side, they specialise in Posh Scouse. As do some Liverpool-based folk I know.


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

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