Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 29.4.21

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 (relatively) soon.

My thanks to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for a couple of today’s items. 


So . . . Are you most afraid of surfaces, droplets or aerosols? Read here how you really should think.

A few stats:-

Looking good

UK: Pop. 60.2m. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths: 22

Sweden: Pop. 10.2m. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths 3 – down from a peak of 98 in December (UK equivalent 20)

Portugal: Pop. 10.2m  Current moving-7-day-average of 2 – daily deaths down from a peak of 291 in January (UK equivalent 13)  

USA: Pop. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths down to 727 – from a peak of 3,443 (UK equivalent 152)

Not so good

France:  65.4m. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths: 291

Italy: Pop. 60.4m. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths: 325

Germany: Pop. 84m. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths: 230

India: Pop 1,391m. Current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths: 2,656 (UK equivalent 130) but rising very rapidly 

Cosas de España

Says El País: The Madrid election campaign is descending into a toxic battle. The debate has given way to a series of ever-more-concerning criminal incidents and regular clashes over fascism and the rise of the far right.

Here’s an article on the quality of 15 large cities, with Vigo emerging as the best. But it’s telling that all 3 friends who live there have immediately suggested their ‘crazy’ mayor bribed the researchers . . .

Less seriously . . . Ana Rosa Quintana leads the most popular day-time talk-show at TeleCinco. Just as she did when I arrived 20 years ago. And the funny thing is that she looks younger now than she did back then . . .

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has so far authorised the reunion of over 4,000 foreigners with their Spanish partners despite the closure of borders. Spanish consulates will issue a visa to those who can prove they maintain a stable liaison with a Spaniard. The ‘Love is Not Tourism’ site has information on this. Possibly not up-to-date.

Oh, dear . . .

Cousas de Galiza

In Pontevedra city, the street named after the self-exiled, disgraced ex king, Juan Carlos no longer exists. Sic transit gloria mundi, as they say.

María’s Level Ground: Days 24 and 25


I erred when citing stats the other day. The deaths were not per million but the current moving-7-day-average of daily deaths. But still very low in the case of both Portugal and the UK. Which was my real point.

The UK

A terrific article, with some lovely lines, on The Court of King Boris. You don’t have to be left-of-centre to agree with it.

The EU

Europe’s leaders are betting everything on red with their re-opening gambit. The vaccine debacle tore EU politicians’ credibility to shreds. To open up only to spark another wave would be the final straw. They are taking big risks in opening up their economies before vaccine rollouts are anywhere near delivering herd immunity and while infection rates are still relatively high. But do they actually have any choice in the matter?


So close but so far apart . . . Imagine for a moment that an open letter to the British people has just been published in Country Life. In it a former commander of the Royal Marines, an ex-commandant at Sandhurst, a Parachute Regiment colonel who served in the Falklands, two admirals, the retired chief constable of Borsetshire and a dozen other pensioned soldiers warn of an imminent race war in Britain. Unless Boris Johnson takes action to avert it by getting a grip on Black Lives Matter protesters and Muslim immigration, they claim, their comrades serving in the forces will have little alternative but to intervene and save the country. Within days the letter threatening a coup has been endorsed by hundreds of members of the military and police. It’s unimaginable, of course, but it has just happened in France. Not only that but the analysis underpinning the letter has been supported by the country’s main opposition party, the National Rally (which used to be the National Front) of Marine Le Pen.

Finally  . . .

A good way to get shut of scammers who phone you? Hello. This is Scotland Yard. Please hold.