Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 23.4.21


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. 

Cosas de España

It’s hard-to-impossible to keep track of what countries say they’re going to be doing re travellers from other countries, and when. The latest reports say the UK will put the Balearic Islands on its green list, even if the mainland is orange or red. Which means, I think, you won’t have to quarantine when you return from Ibiza, etc..  

Spain yesterday began to use the J&J/Janssen vaccine for 70-79 year olds. It’s said.

Spain’s toros bravos are reported to be furious they’re not considered to be pets, which means they won’t benefit from this development.

So, where are all those foreign young homeworkers going to be living in Spain, assuming they get the required visa(s) if they’re Brits or other non-EU residents? This article has some thoughts on this.

Need I say that the notoriously greedy president of Real Madrid has struck a defiant tone, saying the European SuperLeague project was not dead but on stand-by? The president of Barcelona FC said something similar. Not exactly true democrats. Which is par for the Spanish course.

Cousas de Galiza

Correction: The TV episode I saw being shot the other day doesn’t take place in Argentina – blame the film poster they were putting up – but here in Galicia. For a series called Un Asunto Privado, which I’ll now have to watch. If I ever get Amazon Prime. Filming takes place  in both Pontevedra and Vigo, of the ‘1940’s.

There’s a track in the forest behind my house which goes up to the radio masts at the top of the hill. Twenty years ago it was just about possible to use it in a 2-wheel-drive car but the rains since have forged rock-strewn ruts which make this impossible now. So, one of my little joys in life is to watch cars pass me on their way up and then to bet with myself how many seconds it’ll be before they turn round. Here’s yesterday’s car going up:-

And coming down, 27 seconds later:-

María’s Level Ground: Day 19. A taxing experience.

The EU

Let’s hear it for little Sweden. Which also used to have a large empire: No carbon cutting without pain? Let Sweden set you straight.

The EU is preparing legal case against AstraZeneca over vaccine shortfalls. EU governments have told the Commission they support its plan to sue AZ for failing to hit delivery targets of its vaccine. Sticking my neck out, I’d bet that the case never reaches court. Or, if it does, that it eventually fails. It’s surely a political gesture which will waste vast amounts of brainpower, time and money. Only the lawyers will be happy. Let’s hear it for these maligned folk, who can’t be blamed for the stupidity of others .


Italy’s legal process is one of the slowest in the EU and can take more than 3 years on average to enforce commercial contracts, which is regarded as a factor in deterring overseas investment into its sclerotic economy. Blimey, even worse than Spain?

The Way of the World

Preface: NFTs – non-fungible tokens – are essentially files containing links to a server where the ‘actual’ digital images are stored. OK, now read these and bear in mind there’s no typos: 

1. Last month an unnamed punter paid $69m for a non-fungible token for a digital artwork that was available online for free.

2. Earlier this month, hackers took over a number of accounts on a digital art marketplace, stealing NFTs valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. Causing the owners to thereby lose something that never actually existed in the first place.  Doubly painful, then.

3.  NFTs  exist only on servers. If these go down, the NFTs are effectively gone. 

4. According to a specialist website, many highly priced NFTs are inaccessible already – in fact, most of those that it checked returned a “504 Gateway Timeout” error message. As time goes by and exchanges go bust,  this will be the case for more and more. 

5. So, if forking out millions for a link to a picture sounds mad, how about paying that for an error message? 

*By someone called Beeple, who is really a clever chap called Mike Winkelmann.

All this suggests that, to some folk at least, the concept of money/wealth is meaningless. And gaining or losing it has no significance whatsoever. But Mr Winkleman is probably not unhappy or worried about this.

Finally  . . . 

Yesterday, I wanted to complement a woman by telling her she looked even prettier in a mask because of her beautiful eyes. But what I actually said was “You look fantastic in a mask”. Didn’t go down well . . .