Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 7.4.21


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’



1. The future: Positive news re restrictions and jabs.

2. Thew past: Bad news re aid to companies hit by the lockdowns, etc.

Cosas de España/Galiza

The AVE-high speed train from Madrid to Galicia slows down to a crawl as it passes through Ourense. A route around the city is just being put out to tender. So, I imagine it will be at least another 10 years before there’s a real AVE train ride to La Coruña/Santiago de Compostela. Making it 40 years later than the original promise. But, of course, the trip, at 4-5 hours, is already a lot shorter than the 7 or so hours it took when I came here in 2000. Or 12 at night. I’m not clear whether opening new stretches will reduce that further before the Ourense by-pass is ready.

En passant, I see that, since December last year, the name of the northern Madrid station has been changed from just Chamartín to Chamartín-Clara Campoamor, in honour of a famous feminist politician. Thank god the name comes up on the Renfe site after the first few letters, obviating the need to type the whole thing.

One of our biggest narcotraficantes is in court and facing both several years in  prison – though possibly not enough – and the confiscation of some of his vast assets. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Our bullring here in Pontevedra has a new status; it’ll be a venue of the national league of Novilladas. Which are:  Bullfights in which novilleros (aspiring bullfighters) who’ve not yet attained the rank of matadorfight immature, overage, or defective bulls. I saw one once and it was  very amusing when the public was invited to have a go.

María’s Level Ground: Days 2 & 3


Europe’s economic response to Covid hangs in balance as Germany presses pause, with judges at the Karlsruhe court refusing to ratify the Recovery Fund, the EU’s hands are tied.  An unassuming Bauhaus building on the banks of the Rhine is where Europe’s latest crisis is threatening to erupt. More here and here.


A majority of French people don’t trust the EU, or the French government, to bring manufacturing back inside European or national borders. More here.

The Way of the World/The UK: 

Trying to resist online betting while stuck at home was impossible, say two gamblers seeking therapy  – “Every other advert will be for gambling”.

Quote of the Week: Boris Johnson is very good at answering questions. Just not necessarily the questions that he’s been asked

Finally  . . .  Is there a more annoying ad on British TV that that for Peloton’s bloody machine? Ignoring the ads for gambling companies, that is.