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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: 23 November 2020
23 November 2020 @ 10:19

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

The UK: Headline: We’ll be living with the devastating costs of the Covid pandemic for decades. Probably true. No, certainly true. But not realised - 'appreciated' ain't the right word here - by most.

Living La Vida Loca in Galicia/Spain

National Geographic says that one of its Best in the World Destinations for 2021 is Vitoria in the Basque Country - usually designated on maps with both its Castellano and Basque names, as Vitoria-Gasteiz. The NG claims the cities are all  'timeless wonders' which will 'define our future travel'. Beats me. I’ve been there and the only thing I recall is the menú del día which featured lamb shins consisting primarily of small, thin bones. I must return. BTW  . . . I did think for a while the city’s name really was Vitoria-Gasteiz, not one or the other. You can read about it here.

Inheritance tax rates differ in Spain between the 17 regions. In 2019 - a record year - 3,134 Galicians renounced their inheritances, so as to free themselves of the burden of the estates’ debts they'd have to take on. Oddly, the first half of this Covid year saw the number fall by 50%.  I’m not clear why. Do dead people really have fewer debts this year? Or are the inheritors in a worse financial state in which to face this problem?

I stress that the police cars ITV farce I mentioned yesterday happened in our rival city of Vigo and not here in lovely, efficient Pontevedra.

On the steep hill below my house, there are 2 semicircular chevron bits, at junctions with side roads. Over the years, I’ve noticed that - unlike me - 100% of other drivers curve round these, even though one can easily see if there's a car coming in the other direction. And that at least 90% of these - unlike me again - don’t signal at all when they get to the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. This strikes me as illogical but I think I know the reason behind it.  

María's Riding the Wave - Days 8&9  

The UK

"More good news from Boris Johnson" says the headline. It used to be "from the government". I guess this is what they mean when they say UK politics have become more 'presidential'. Thank God that works in the USA. 

Talking of which . . .

The USA 

Beat this.

Spanish 

A conundrum . . . Yincana: Both Google and Reverso give this as ‘gymkhana’ but Reverso adds ‘scavenger hunt’. Google also has Gincana in Spanish and Xincana in Gallego. But none of the 3 variants is in the RAE dictionary. Too modern? Too foreign(ish)?

Finally . . .

Another random quote, to raise a smile: There are 3 kinds of people in the world: Those who can’t stand Picasso; those who can’t stand Raphael; and those who’ve never heard of either of them: John White. 

  

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



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