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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: 7 March 2021
07 March 2021 @ 09:34

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'

Cosas de España   

Here’s another way - probably the best if you qualify - of beating the 90-days-in-180 restriction on Brits coming to Spain - the EU Family Regrouping (Marriage Visa).

And this is another nice Spanish Shilling piece from Lenox Napier

Cousas de Galiza

Following last Saturdays's widespread disregard of the rules, the local police were out in force yesterday in Pontevedra's tapas streets. But why they needed to walk around all together in a foursome defeats me. Where they expecting a violent reaction to their presence and finger-wagging?

Here's another BBC Scotland video, this time on Galicia alone. I did fear it merely comprised relevant bits of the joint Asturias and Galicia video of yesterday but, as it’s 7 minutes longer, this can't be so. For those of you still unfamiliar with the dreadful percebes, you can see them at minutes 21 and 36. As I've said - like a bit of rubber dipped in salt water, But that's only my view, of course. Most Galicians have been raised to adore them. I wasn't very surprised the Irish lady promptly reached for her wine.


Here's one side of the border marker up in the forest between Pontevedra and my barrio of Poio, which I wasn't supposed to cross until very recently. The PO stand for Pontevedra, of course:-

And here's the other side of it, on which the PO stands for  . . . Poio:-

So . . . Not a lot of use, if you get caught up there in one of our (allegedly) endless 'Celtic' mists . . .

The UK 

Nice comment: Scotland emerges from the Salmond-Sturgeon wars looking like a banana republic without the bananas. See the article below, which might well contain some truths about all nationalist states/countries/regions.


Sometime last century, a British politician commented: The question is whether the German government is blundering about, actuated by a sense of its own strength, though without any clear sense of direction. But this wasn't a reference to Germany’s place in the EU. Rather, it was to the Germany of 1906, when - on the back of a rapidly growing economy - it was building up its naval fleet towards the level of Britain's. It made me wonder whether Germany hasn't been wandering between extremes since 1870, when - as Prussia - it defeated France in a war foolishly begun by the latter. And which France has never forgotten, as Germany thus displaced her as the leading power on the Continent. With, of course, pretty disastrous consequences for, first, Europe and, then, the entire world.

The Way of the World  

The woke warning on a beloved children’s cartoon is beyond a joke. Even the most powerful businesses now live in terror of causing offence. The other day, I was about to watch an old film. But before it began, the screen flashed up a stern warning. The film, it said sternly, “includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.” From the tone of this warning, what would you guess I was about to watch? A hagiography of the Ku Klux Klan? A profile of Goering by Leni Riefenstahl? Believe it or not, it was Lady and the Tramp. The Disney children’s cartoon about two small dogs falling in love.


1. A hugger-mugger

A. Traditional meaning: Disorder or confusion; muddle; secrecy; reticence: 

B. New meaning, as suggested by a Times columnist: A police constable whose sole task for the day is to persecute people flouting social distancing regulations

2. Focaria: Hearth-girl/kitchen maid/'companion of the hearth' - The euphemism for 'wife' used after Catholic priests supposedly became celibate in the 11th century. After which their (many) children automatically became illegitimate under English Common Law.


Having watched a film with friends last night, I left their place at exactly 10pm, the hour of the current curfew. The streets were not quite deserted, so not everyone was afeared of the long arm of the law. But, though I wasn't expecting imprisonment and torture, for the first time in my life, I did feel queasy about being a lawbreaker in a public street of a free country. It reminded me of my Farsi teacher, years ago, telling me I could never have any real conception of freedom, as I'd never lived without it. I suspected he was right back then and now I know for sure he was.


The nasty, ignorant SNP has been unmasked- For too long the Nats have been allowed to get away with telling people like me that we are not true Scots:  Douglas Murray 

In the Western world today, “nationalists” tend to be viewed in a dim light. The term is used damningly of politicians in America, and with deep concern about anyone on the Continent (how much do we love French or German nationalists?). To be an “English nationalist” is to be very nearly accused of football hooliganism. Only two types of nationalist – the Irish and Scots varieties – are widely, mistakenly, regarded as “nice”.

Whatever the causes of this, it finally seems possible that the free ride given to the Scottish nationalists at least might finally be coming to an end. Historically, the bar for their outrages has always been remarkably high. After all, when the Luftwaffe were bombing London the Scottish nationalists of the day cheered the Nazis on. And neither that nor anything else ever seemed to put much of a dent in the political project of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

Happily, in a denouement both unexpected and pleasing for Unionists like me, it seems to have needed Alex Salmond to hole Nicola Sturgeon below the water-line. In recent weeks the self-regarding Queen of Scotland has teetered. Her grip on her one-party state has faltered. And a cronyistic political settlement has finally been displayed fully on public view: embarrassing, reeking, putrid.

The First Minister currently clings to power by hoping that she will not be found to have broken the ministerial code of conduct. But even if she is found to have broken the ministerial code we should expect her to find some excuse to stay. Because demagogues like Sturgeon always believe that the rules are there to catch out other people, with bad intentions, not great historical liberationist figures like Nicola with all her wonderful, good, bonny intentions.

In the past, before they were in control, the Scots Nats made great play of the importance of ministerial good conduct. Indeed when the then Labour first minister, Henry McLeish, ran into trouble over the subletting of part of his Westminster constituency office, the SNP were in the highest imaginable dudgeon. The first minister’s behaviour must be beyond reproach, they roared.

How different when it is their own gal in charge. In recent weeks almost every branch of the Scottish legislature has fought to protect the Queen Bee. All the while proving nothing but their own deep corruption. As a number of observers have commented, Scotland emerges from the Salmond-Sturgeon wars looking like a banana republic without the bananas. Throughout the recent hearings the behaviour of the Nationalists has been consistently wretched. This week for instance, while the First Minister was giving her evidence, one of those giving a running commentary was Hamza Yousaf, the SNP’s “Justice Minister”. Railing about the whole “house of cards conspiracy” and much more, it presented a conflict of interests that would have been a resigning matter in Westminster. But in the people’s republic of Scotland all such decencies must take a back seat.

Indeed every decency must take a back seat in order to protect the grand political project of ripping Scotland from one of the most successful political unions in history. It is extraordinary what depths the Nationalists are willing to go to as they pursue this project, with its follow-on aim of immediately taking an independent Scotland to Brussels and begging to be allowed into the EU and the Eurozone.

Take Michael Russell, the SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute. This week he could be found on social media berating British journalists who dared to question the Sturgeon government. Russell attacked Scottish-born journalists who now happen to live and work in London as “Scottish exiles”. What a putrid and petty little heart a man must have to speak like that. What is this talk of exiles? Of premium-rated Scots, and the sellout sort who dare ever to go south of Berwick-upon-Tweed and refuse to take the knee before the throne of Sturgeon?

Some of us mind this sort of talk very deeply. We mind the rank, wretched tone that the Scottish Nationalists have managed to introduce into this nation ever since the disastrous project of devolution first began. I was living in Scotland the year that devolution started and I saw and felt then first-hand the way in which the Scottish Nationalists were grinding into gear some of the worst, lowest weapons in the political armoury.

They rejoiced in stoking anti-English sentiment. They rejoiced in their historically ignorant accounts of our island’s history. They rejoiced in stoking up half-baked grievances. Most of all they rejoiced in sowing division. Of pitting Scottish against English and Scot against Scot. Suddenly people like me who happen to be Scottish and English, and fully British, were told that we were not Scots. You might be Scottish and have a Scottish accent, but if you moved to London you became a not-Scot. Unless you moved to London to take an MP’s salary and work to split up the United Kingdom, of course. Then you were a good Scot.

For over two decades the Scottish Nationalists have curdled politics in Scotland. They have turned families against each other, turned neighbour against neighbour and done all of this in pursuit of a lamentable, ignorant political goal. As they have gained control over the levers of education they have sought to indoctrinate a new generation in their putrid nationalistic ideology. And as education standards, health standards and every other standard in public life in Scotland has plummeted under their control, still the Nationalists have the gall to suggest that all of this would be better if only they were given even more power and even more independence.

Many people in the rest of the United Kingdom look at the Scots Nats and are prey to the temptation to let them just sail away: enough of them, they think. Be off with you. But the instinct is an ignoble one. The United Kingdom needs saving in its entirety. And Scotland has a deep need to be liberated from the Nationalists who claim to want to save it and have managed over two decades to do nothing but demean it.

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