Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 30.5.21

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’ 

Detailed info on Galicia and Pontevedra city here

Cosas de España/Galiza

Here’s the latest post-Brexit guidance for Brits in or coming to Spain. The carta de invitación might well not be essential if you’re going to stay in a friend or relative’s house. Though ‘this could still change in the future.’ Bottom line: ‘In the meantime, be prepared to supply all other cited documents on arrival’.

News for car owners who need to have the ITV inspection.

Yesterday I was addressed in a shop firstly in the informal/friendly ‘tu’ and then by the formal ‘usted’. Was this because (Anglo) I was a customer, or was it because (Spanish) I was older than the shop assistant? I  guess I’ll never know. Or much care.

Can there many other households in Spain which have as many problems with water as I do? In the last few weeks, I’ve had the nth leak from a pipe under my lawn and not one but 2 breakdowns in the water pump which maintains the pressure. And, yesterday, I had floods – upstairs and downstairs – when a wall tap next to a toilet cistern refused to close and the plug I put in the end of the flexible tube from it proved inadequate. As I discovered when I came back to the house after 3 hours in town. Right now – with the water turned off at the main tap – I have only buckets and pans of water around the house, as I wait for my friendly plumber to come. Yet again.  

Postscript: The challenge I have when there’s leak in the house is emptying the huge underground tank below my drive through which the city water passes into my house. My guess is that its original rationale was a reservoir in the event city water failed. But now – lacking a tap – it’s just something that has to be laboriously drained – into bath, buckets, pans, jugs, etc. – when something needs to be attended to in the house. Like a tap that won’t turn off. But my neighbour has today advised me of a solution – replace the underground tank by a much smaller one adjacent to the water pump. For which I will now get an estimate. Simples.

Quote of the Day

Creating a nightmare atmosphere and then claiming that you’re the victim is classic 2021 behaviour.

Spanish

What do you know about the very Spanish letter Ñ? (Which sound also exists in both Gallego and its sister language Portuguese but is represented as ‘nh’).

English

 ‘Heavy lifting’: A useful phrase in Spain, as in the the advice: If Spanish friends advise you they’ll arrive around 2pm, the word ‘around’ is doing some pretty heavy lifting . . .

Finally  . . .  

Yesterday I moved into my summer trousers. This was to jump both the ‘weather start of summer'(June 1) and, of course, the meteorological start of summer (June 21). I reminded myself of my first year here, when a neighbour remarked rather disparagingly that I was looking ‘very summery’ (muy veraniego) when wearing shorts in the city on a hot day in May. 

Actually, I know it’s truly summer because yesterday one of the banes of my life – an irritating accordionist – made his first appearance of the year in the old quarter – playing the same bloody 3 tunes as in every previous year. Turns out he’s Bulgarian, which might explain why I’ve never understood a word of his Spanish when he’s stopped to talk to me. And to stretch out his hand. I pay to get rid of him, of course. If I haven’t managed take refuge in the toilets before he gets to my table.

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