Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 3.5.21

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’ 

NOTEInfo on Galicia here. Where you can also find the first 9 sections of my guide to Pontevedra city. 


I got a J&J/Janssen jab early this morning. So these are relevant questions: Vaccinated but won’t go out? The rise of Covid anxiety syndrome. We’re beating the virus, yet many have been left with a chronic fear of reintegrating. How can we break free of this self-imposed lockdown?

Cosas de España/Galiza

Wow. Here’s para on Galicia here which doesn’t contain the standard lie that rain falls incessantly, every day of the year . . . The scenery and coastline in Galicia is often compared with Scotland [is it?] – although its weather generally is not, since, despite fairly regular light rain which keeps its bright emerald tones intact, Galicia is a huge favourite with summer tourists seeking some beach time. 

Actually, I’ve come to the garden of the Parador to write this post. Under a blue, cloudless sky. But it’s almost Andalucian – too hot in the sun, too cold in the shade. A north wind, I guess. But I’m not really complaining. It’s glorious. 

I arrived just before my appointment time for my jab this morning, expecting to be allowed into the hall at 9.35. What I found was a long line of more than 100 people – in rows of 5 or 6 – with no apparent system based on the time slots advised by SMS. And nil social distancing. Having seen several folk ‘jump’ the queue, I asked if everyone had a specific time. The answer was Yes but, as mine had passed, I should proceed to the head of the line and enter. Which I did, to find about 7 booths and, belatedly, 1-2m distancing. I was expecting only the first of 2 Pfizer or AZ jabs but was told it was the single J&J/Janssen version and I didn’t need to return – assuming I didn’t die during the compulsory 15m sit-down period or later. So far so good, though my shoulder hurts a tad. Nothing was said about a certificate allowing me to travel to the UK this summer and I forgot to ask. No one I’ve asked since knows how to get one of these, so I will talk to my doctor neighbour tonight.


I hear the border at Valença is not being policed. But is it a trampa?. Will be fined on our return? Who’d rule it out?

The UK

The return of Colin the Cake. Only in Scotland . . .

The EU 

First I’ve heard of this.  I had a vague recollection of Mr Michel being an anglophile but the opposite is the case. I mistook him for the nice Mr Tusk.  

The Way of the World 

Edinburgh University lecturers have been issued with guidance on transgender issues, including a list of “microinsults” they should not use, such as: “I wanted to be a boy when I was a child.” Other phrases that they have been told to refrain from using include “all women hate their periods” and “all people think about being the opposite gender sometimes”. The sayings have been described as “microaggressions” which “negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or lived reality of trans and non-binary people” and undermine their transition to different genders, according to the guidance. YCMIU.


This is a headline of an article in The Times today: Line of Duty review: So was H worth the wait? Definately. But this last word doesn’t exist in English and should be Definitely. This – in ‘The paper of record’ – is testament to the decline in sub-editing in the UK press. Several years ago it was reported that (expensive) UK staff had been replaced by (cheap) teenagers in NZ who could do it during the UK nighttime, ahead of the morning issue. But not always very efficiently, it seems. And has seemed for years now.