Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 21.5.21

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’ 

NOTE: Info on Galicia and my Guide to Pontevedra city here

Covid 

Spain: 

1. Down to medium risk. The 4th wave hasn’t been as bad as earlier waves and a 5th one might not happen. But not enough and all rather belated for the tourism industry.  

2. A new warning for holidaying Brits: Passengers who meet entry requirements may be asked to demonstrate sufficient funds for their stay, present a return or onward ticket, and proof of accommodation. Details here, I think.

The UK. Good news: Infection rates are clearly rising in only 3 out of 15 Indian variant hotspots, easing fears about how quickly it spreads. Cases in the over 60s are not rising in any of the areas currently subject to surge testing outside Bolton. This is seen as an encouraging sign that the vaccines are protecting the most vulnerable.

Cosas de España

Here’s Guy Hedgecoe on an event which the Spanish media regards as cataclysmic.

A nice little article – to which I can relate – from Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas, to which I owe 1 or 2 of today’s items

And, talking of  villages . . . Olvera is given an award. Another reason to go again to Cádiz.

Portugal 

Holidaying in Spain will cost about €580 euros in various tests because London has kept us on the list of risk countries. Many tourists (of those we need so much) will think about it and perhaps change Benidorm for Portimão, because to travel between the UK and Portugal needs no test. The advantages of having the pandemic under control.

The UK 

“Quite a few” countries are on the cusp of joining the green list for quarantine-free holidays at the beginning of June, Boris Johnson is claimed to have said – Malta, Grenada, Cayman Islands, Fiji, British Virgin Islands, Finland and Caribbean islands including Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos and Anguilla. But not Spain, France, Italy or Greece. Just possibly the Spanish and Greek islands.

Quote of the Day:   

Old but still true, from Raymond Chandler:- Man has always been a venal animal. The growth of populations, the huge costs of war, the incessant pressure of confiscatory taxation – all these things make him more and more venal. The average man is tired and scared, and a tired, scared man can’t afford ideals. He has to buy food for his family. In our time we have seen a shocking decline in both public and private morals. You can’t expect quality from people whose lives are a subjection to a lack of quality. You can’t have quality with mass production. You don’t want it because it lasts too long. So you substitute styling, which is a commercial swindle intended to produce artificial obsolescence. Mass production couldn’t sell its goods next year unless it made what is sold this year look unfashionable a year from now. We have the whitest kitchens and the most shining bathrooms in the world. But in the lovely white kitchen the average [person] can’t produce a meal fit to eat, and the lovely shining bathroom is mostly a receptacle for deodorants, laxatives, sleeping pills, and the products of that confidence racket called the cosmetic industry. We make the finest packages in the world, Mr Marlowe. The stuff inside is mostly junk.

Finally  . . .

I read that the Traffic police have – logically – been adjusting the times of their patrols to the beginning of the curfew. Which explains why, after 20 years of none, I’ve been tested twice in the last 6 months at 9pm. I’m not in the habit of going home after a heavy lunch at 5pm or after dinner at 2 or 3 in the morning.

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