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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 January 2021
14 January 2021 @ 13:09

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 

Our Covid restrictions were duly tightened yesterday. So, as of midnight tonight, I again won't be able to cross the river to go into Pontevedra city. But members of the tennis club in Poio can come the other way. And Members of the golf club up in Meis are also permitted to ignore the travel restrictions. I guess it can't be simply because, on average, they're richer than the rest of us. But who knows?

Anyway, today I'm setting up a Yoga club in my attic flat, a table tennis club in my basement, a wine club in my kitchen and an athletics club in my garden. I believe this will allow people who are federados/as to come and visit me, so long as not more than 4 of us sit round a table. In so far as there'll be any sitting at all. IGIMSTS.

Talking about houses . . . An odd survey suggests - rather surprisingly - that these are the percentages of European folk living in 'homes that are too large for their household needs’:-

Malta 73%

Cyprus 71%

Ireland 70%

UK 56%

Spain 55%

Luxembourg 54% 

Belgium 54%

Netherlands 53%

At the other end of the scale:-

Romania 7%

Latvia 10%

Greece 11%

Bulgaria 12% 

Croatia 12% 

Slovakia 14%

Italy(!) 14%

Details here.

The UK

I've been known to claim the concepts of customer orientation and genuine customer service are not well advanced here in Spain. This week I've had the example of service at the other end of the spectrum - from the UK subsidiary of the German company, Miele. About a vacuum cleaner I bought in the UK in late 2019. So rapid, helpful and personalised was the reply (from Amanda) to my email, that I was too shocked to respond immediately. A Dutch friend and I share the opinion that neither of us has seen anything like it in 20 years here. Which was the reason that I eventually told Amanda that, given the option of dealing with Miele here or with Miele UK when I'm next there, it was a no-brainer. No matter how better Miele Spain might be than the average Spanish operator, I was bound to face problems and delays.

The USA 

Trump should be punished for inciting the Capitol violence but Democrats would be wise to prioritise national healing.  Easy to say but . . .

Arnold Schwarzenegger makes some pertinent points in this impressive video.

The Way of the World

An American commentator: The concept of a 'Just the facts' newscast designed to be consumed by everyone has died out. We have an informational system that profits from division and conflict.  . . .It’s time to admit this is a failed system. You can’t sell hatred and seriously expect it to end. . .  We need a new media channel, the press version of a third party, where those financial pressures to maintain audience are absent. Sounds rather like the BBC to me. The full article is here.

Finally . . .

A tale to melt your heart. Or something.

 

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



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