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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: 26 January 2021
26 January 2021 @ 12:06

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'


Some more good news: A study has raised hopes that a drug - colchicine -  that costs less then 30p and is commonly used to treat gout could reduce the risk of people with Covid-19 having to be admitted to hospital.   

The UK: Almost 500,000 people received their first coronavirus jabs last Saturday, a pace that if maintained would allow the government to beat its target for covering the most vulnerable people in society. As of Saturday, nearly 6.4m had received a first dose.  

The reality?Even with vaccines, we'll still have to learn to live with Covid. The government, the media and the public all need to get accustomed to Covid-19 deaths being a regular winter occurrence.

Galicia: After the latest announcement, we're very close to the total lockdown of last March. But at least we're allowed to take a walk outside the house. Though we can't meet anyone we don't live with. Which won't do much for romance, I guess. 

Living La Vida Loca in Galicia/Spain

Thanks to Franco, here in Spain the go-to insult for those with whom you disagree - be they of the Left, the Right or the Centre - is 'fascist!’. So, it's a tad ironic that the 2 British historians in this podcast agree that Franco wasn't one.

Given the restrictions, it's hard to believe the highest number of flights into Heathrow in January came from Spain. Can these be for some of the people I'm hearing more and more about - the Brits (c.800,000?) who'd been living below the radar here. Not on the local padrón, not officially resident and not paying the right amount of tax, if any. Presumably they’ve decided it’s better to go ‘home’ than face the Hacienda, despite (because of?) spending many years here.

Banking frauds are not confined to any one country, of course, but I was interested to note that the main participant in a Deutsche Bank fraud was a desk in Spain, which sells hedges, swaps, derivatives and other complex financial products. And that, while the investigation initially focused on Spain but was extended to the rest of Europe, it is believed only Spain and Portugal-based clients were affected. I was reminded of an assertion from a Spanish reader some years ago that Spain was not as corrupt as I perhaps implied it was but merely a country of 'low ethics'.

An odd tale from here in Galicia. So . . . Wasn't her ID number on every document? If so, and it made no difference, what was the point of it?   

Marìa's New Year Same Old: Day 25.

The UK

No one who's lived in both the UK and Spain will be surprised at this report on respective alcohol consumption.

The UK and the EU

Just what was needed  - the politicisation of vaccine deliveries: The Times: Amid concerns about the level of supply, the EU has told Pfizer and other drug companies that they must secure its permission before exporting vaccine doses to Britain. Brussels has announced plans for new controls on the export of vaccines in response to public anger at the slow pace of immunisation programmes in the EU. The intervention will raise fears that Britain’s supplies of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, which is made in Belgium, could be disrupted. Germany has suggested that vaccine exports could be blocked to safeguard supplies within the EU. Imagine how EU governments would react if the USA did this.

The Way of the World

The impact of Covid-19 is fuelling a 21st-century revival of spiritualism.

Unscrupulous breeders are producing dogs which face a lifetime of health problems. Lilac and merle coloured breeds, for example. And stumpy-legged creatures resembling toads. But which cost up to £10,000 each. I give you the American bully dog. Which can't breathe properly. But looks nice . . . .

Finally . . .  

Maria has advised of another English-looking mansion in the North of Spain - the Palacio de Hornillos in Cantabria:-

Finally, Finally . . .

My thanks to those who yesterday cheered up my daughter locked down with 2.75 young kids - by reading her latest blog post - on Ebay failures. Hers, I should add.

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