Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 20.4.21


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’ 

NOTE: Info on Galicia here. Detailed info on Pontevedra coming soon.


Spain: Not good news, especially for those of us senior citizens still waiting for our first jab.

Cosas de España

A worrying development, especially for those of us senior citizens still waiting for our first jab.

Not very surprising to see the proposal for an exclusive European super-league being driven by the infamously greedy president of Real Madrid. He claims that there’s a crisis in football, meaning that he and his billionaire colleagues aren’t making enough money. Unlike the obscenely-paid players and their agents. Pérez is described in this article on the 12 men who’ve ruined football as ‘the seedy face of a greedy game’.

Yesterday I cited 2 articles on reduced ethics in British public life. These were both from right-of-centre papers. Here’s one from the left-of-centre Guardian, in which reference is made to (long-standing) Spanish corruption. Born of the system, not Catholic indulgence says the author.

A positive, if optimistic, development.

Cousas de Galiza   

I have 2 favourite local restaurants. Or, rather, non-restaurants. I’ve discovered their true status from the fact they’re only allowed to stay open until 9pm, whereas true ‘restaurants’ in Galicia can now serve until 11pm, the hour of the curfew. The owner of one of  the places told me they’d missed out on the higher status because they couldn’t meet just one of the numerous criteria. So, it’s classified as a tapas bar, which it demonstrably isn’t. As we know, the Spanish love their bureaucracy. Well, Spanish bureaucrats do, if not the rest of us. 

Incidentally, if restaurants can serve until 11pm, how do clients and staff avoid breaking  the curfew which starts at the same hour?

María’s Level Ground: Day 16


Portugal have gone up and down and up again in the Covid performance stakes. Right now – after a massive post-Xmas surge – it’s again achieving a low level of infections and deaths. As is Galicia. So why, some ask, is the border between us being kept closed?


Centuries ago, Italians in the same building began to work together in business and then eat together. These became known – in the English version – as ‘companies’. From the Latin and Italian for ‘bread-mate/with bread’ – companio and con pane. 

Quotes of the Week 

On the proposal to form a breakaway super-league of top European football clubs:- 

1. This foetid rapacity is entirely consistent with the spirit of much modern football.

2. If the European Super League is too greedy a plan for an organisation as notoriously mercenary as Uefa, then it’s odds-on that it pretty much crosses the line for everyone else. Even MPs, whose tolerance for things venal has been known to be on the high side.

Finally  . . . 

Youtube’s algorithm has introduce this singer to me, for which I am grateful. Here she is with an old standard, in ‘gypsy jazz’ style. Of which the second song is a better example. Zoom concert early next month.

Gypsy jazz was a feature on British TV during my youth, when Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli were regular performers. Bear in mind Reinhardt only had two fingers on this right hand. Plus a thumb.