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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: 8.6.21    
08 June 2021 @ 10:35

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' 

Detailed info on Galicia and Pontevedra city here

Covid 

The UK: The odds are reducing on June 21 being Freedom Day, in the face of a looming 3rd wave.

Cosas de España/Galiza 

Covid 'passports' (i.e. certificates) are now available in Galicia and several other regions, in English as well as Spanish.

Today sees the Selectividad university entrance exams throughout the country. Students undertake these having already been assessed by their secondary schools. In an indication that grade creep is now not just an Anglo phenomenon, I see that 25% of Galician kids are now Sobresaliente, or Outstanding. Which - as with First Class degrees in the UK - rather questions the accolade, both in logic and in common sense.

Talking of young folk - 3 more deaths here over the weekend when a car driven by an unlicensed and uninsured driver jumped a stop sign and was hit by a truck. Despite technological advances, our local police don't seem to have cracked a problem which inevitably increases insurance premiums in this province/region. And causes untold grief, of course.

I've said many times that Spanish society is the best of the 6 I've lived in but, of course, there are niggles. This week, I've already been reminded of 2 of these, neither of which, I suspect, would bother many Spaniards:-

1. If a shop doesn't stock what you want, the shopkeeper never says anything like 'Sorry, we don't have that'. Usually it's a bald No. Sometimes in a tone that suggests he or she resents being bothered by the question.

2. Given that none of the several Panama hats I've left in bars has ever been handed in, there seems to be something a Finders Keepers attitude in Spanish society. I've noted a couple of times that the receptionist in the Prado years ago actually laughed when I asked if there was a Lost Property office there. And I've given up, as a complete waste of time, writing my phone number inside my hats. 

Judging by the regular sight of men walking dogs smaller than cats, I'd guess that the Spanish male has changed a lot since I first came here in 1971. I can't imagine this happening back then but I might be very wrong, of course. They also push baby carriages now. Something else they might not have been seen doing 40 years ago.

Yesterday I signed up for Pilates classes at our refurbished sports centre in Pontevedra city. This now goes by the name of Be-One. Which strikes me as ridiculous. If anyone can figure out the rationale, please let me know in the Comments.

Portugal

Portugal warns it will reciprocate if Spain imposes a vaccine certificate requirement for overland travellers. I'd better remember to keep my certificate in the car . . .

The UK

Flashbacks yesterday when I read that the first Brit to be convicted for murder via DNA analysis - in 1986 - is about to be released. My company had licensed this technology from the inventor (and later Nobel prize winner) but then had to fight off an attempt by the UK government to steal it from us. See here on this.

France 

Is it really on the brink of civil war?

Finally  . . . 

The ferry from the UK to northern Spain re-commenced this week. I hope to be getting it later this year, as soon as I won't need to quarantine on my arrival.. .  



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