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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: 20 February 2021
20 February 2021 @ 13:21

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' 


Bad news: Desperate-for-tourists* Spain may go on the UK’s Red List.

* Even low class British ones.

Better newsRecent studies report that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, peanuts, pistachios, and dark-skinned berries, could help reduce the severity of Covid-19. It has been linked to a reduction in the severity of the acute respiratory distress syndrome that is sometimes associated with the virus.  

Living La Vida Loca in Galicia/Spain 

Can it really be true that 50% of the Spanish population shows vitamin D deficiencies. A percentage that increases to 80% in people over 80 years of age.

Lenox of Business Over Tapas reports that at least 5 of the 119 Spanish bishops have managed to get their vaccination shots inappropriately. 

Here’s an El País report (in English) on the narcos of a ‘new era’.  

Just in case you can’t visulise it, here’s a granite block border marker:-

And this is your basic plastic-bag-on-a-stick variant:-

Here’s a law-abiding finca on one side of the granite market:-

And here’s an illegal tinder-box on the other side. Just waiting for a spark:-

María’s Tsunami, Day 19. 

The UK and Brexit

Richard North today: Exporters cannot just be left to fend for themselves. Brexit, as I've always argued, is not an event but a process and it is becoming increasingly evident that the TCA was not the end game. It leaves a myriad of loose ends and unresolved issues which will keep our negotiators busy for years to come. In case you don't recall, RN's Brexit ideal was his Flexcit, a gradual process over many years which recognised the complexity of the challenge and the need to minimise the impact on the UK economy. It was ignored by the British establishment. 

As it is, says RN: It's clear that the adverse impacts of Johnson's deal are far worse than had been anticipated, while his administration's response to business difficulties has been pathetic. On this, RN is pessimistic: Without the problems of business being addressed, any post-Covid economic recovery might be significantly curtailed. In the longer-term, we might even find that the very idea of economic recovery is an unrealisable dream.

So . . . Will Johnson and the Tory party pay a price for this at the next general election? That probably depends on whether Labour can get its act together under Keir Starmer. Who is not at all popular with his party's leftest wing.

BTW . . . The pound 'soared' against the euro this week. IGIMSTS.

The EU 

Critics of the EU have long pointed to the devastating impact of the (politically-driven) introduction of the euro on the weaker economies of Southern Europe. Which was, of course, both predictable and predicted. Especially in view of the very beneficial exchange rate given to Germany. Italy is a case in point and this article addresses the perverse effects the euro has had on the country’s economic, social and political fabric. 

I'd love to hear some admirers of the EU and the Euro explain why this is either (objectively) wrong or (cynically) justifiable. And then move on to Spain. Specifically . . . What's on the other side of the balance sheet? 'Seventy five years of peace'? Hardly persuasive if this would have happened anyway, as it surely would. The Bologna scheme? Easy travel for the middle classes? The ability to stand up as a bloc to Russia? To move out of the umbrella of NATO in favour of a European army led by the French?  . . . All views welcome, of course.

I've seen and heard this talk, so understand this claim. . . . . In talking down AstraZeneca's success, the EU has sacrificed lives for the integrity of the European Project. Vaccine uptake in the EU is only poor because their leaders spread misinformation about the jabs.

The Way of the World

The comedic genius Spike Milligan has been purged from the Disney+ version of Muppet history. Cancelled, if you like. There's a price to wokism - The ‘new religion of the West’, it says here.


The Spanish say they can often do without Please and Thank-you, as they use an appropriate tone. I guess this alternative comes naturally in a language in which normal and interrogative statements are exactly the same. Not, say, reversed, as in English.   

Finally . . .

While awaiting his Nuremberg trial, Herman Goering learnt his prized Vermeer was a fake, by the celebrated Dutch forger Han van MeegerenLegend has it that Goering looked utterly appalled, “as though for the first time he had discovered that there was evil in the world”, as one observer put it.

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