Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 6.4.21


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’


France: People in northern France are refusing the AZ vaccine, adding further obstacles to the push to achieve national immunity by the end of the summer. The mayor of Calais said hundreds of doses had been left unused since reports a week ago in France of people suffering blood clots, then word of 30 similar cases in Britain on Friday. “It’s more than a wave of panic. It’s been going on for a week, and Friday was the final blow.“There really has to be a national campaign to explain that this vaccine has no more negative consequences than those from Pfizer or Moderna,” she added. Merci, M Macron.

Cosas de España/Galiza

Spain’s economy is said to be in a coma. Here’s some thoughts on how to extricate it.

Spain recovers part of El Cid’s skull for a sherry and a pastry.  En passant, Cela was Galician, with an English maternal grandfather. He wasn’t universally popular.

Still as bleak and as closed as ever yesterday . . .

I recall now that, last week, the owner was sitting in the entrance and seemed surprised, shocked even, when I asked if the place was open. By pure coincidence, on Friday last I passed the Van Gogh café in Vigo that was the venue for a dinner in what I’d understood, over the phone, to be the Bangkok restaurant . . .

The UK

Covid: the insanity of Johnson: Richard North is less than impressed with the latest government  announcement. Nothing new there. Be warned that the first sentence could be clearer . . .  

The UK and Brexit 

Britons who live in Europe have been refused jobs, healthcare, bank accounts, university places and car purchases as they slip into a post-Brexit bureaucratic limbo, even though those rights and services are guaranteed under the withdrawal agreement signed by the UK and EU. More here in an article entitled British expats tell of a ‘Kafkaesque’ fight for residency rights in Europe. It seems that things aren’t as bad here in Spain as they  are in France and Italy. Assuming you were on the ball enough to get your TIE last year . . .

The Way of the World

Academics are embracing gibberish studies: Social justice warriors on race and gender seem to prefer gobbledegook to persuasive argument. Prepare to laugh. And then weep.

Max Hastings: I dislike feeling a coward but am grateful not to have to speak or write about LGBT, race, Greta Thunberg, Joanna Lumley, Chris Packham or his BBC programme Springwatch. This is because anybody who dares to swim against the tide about any of the above, or other contemporary icons and shibboleths, faces social media torture of a cruelty the Spanish Inquisition would think excessive. Matters are worse for university teachers, who must express opinions and face persecution if students dissent.


Here’s  Lenox Napier on the subject.

Finally  . . . 

I knew that the British has regarded Ribbentrop in the 1930s as an imbecile but I hadn’t heard this . . . In the autumn of 1940, Ribbentrop made a sustained but unsuccessful effort to have Spain enter the war on the Axis side. During his talks with the Spanish foreign minister, Ribbentrop affronted him with his tactless behaviour, especially his suggestion that Spain cede the Canary Islands to Germany.  The Spanish came to the same conclusion. As had most senior Germans, other than AH.