Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 3.6.21  

 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

This article explains the new multi-level pricing of electricity here. Now, leaving my iron switched on all will day cost me even more than before. In truth, as there was a cheap nocturnal rate in the UK over 30 years ago, I’d always rather assumed that was the case here too. And so have always put my washing machine on at midnight. But it seems not. 

Blogger María – see below – surely encapsulates the universal view here when she writes: The electric companies have become a racket here. Every single change benefits the companies, not the small consumers. This is a result of the Spanish revolving doors between government and industry. Many Spanish ex-politicians find a comfy chair on some corporate committee of some industry, notably the electric industry, after their political careers come to an end. Of course the regulations are going to favor the companies; that way their comfy chairs and plushy paychecks are assured. As for Spain’s Consumer Association, FACUA, this is said to have ‘slammed’ the new billing system. Much good that will do.

The electricity industry is not the only one accused of ripping off consumers here. We still have internet prices which are among the highest in Europe, I believe.

A propos . . . Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas reports that: Thirty ex-politicians are working as Directors in state-run (or partially owned) companies, making €8.5m a year. The companies include Indra, Enagás, Red Eléctrica Española, Hispasat, Navantia and Correos.

This is a drug-smuggler’s speedboat recently sequestered down south by the National Police, but made here in Galicia. It’s 15m long and ‘valued’ at €200,000. Chicken feed to our local narcos, of course.

María’s Level Ground: Days 57-8 Those electricity price hikes.

Portugal

The 7 day moving average has fallen to just 1 but the incidence rate has risen significantly in the last week. Meaning that Portugal is at risk of losing its Green status today, affecting many actual and imminent holidaymakers in the UK. 

The UK 

NIMBY: An acronym from ‘Not in my back yard’, defined here. So now everyone can understand this comment: Britain’s first Nimbys objected to public executions near their homes. Rather than being motivated by a sense of justice, 18th century Londoners petitioned for the hangings and the display of corpses to be moved from their doorstep because of the stench.

The USA

The website – From the Desk of Donald J Trump – allowing him to communicate directly with his followers has shut down a month after it launched. Trump had used it to rile up his supporters, attack his opponents, including the Republican senator Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney and repeat his baseless assertions that the 2020 election was rigged against him. Maybe he does have a modicum of sense and sensibility.

The Way of the World 

Like viruses, conspiracy theories travel around the globe. But are they always unhealthy? One answer here.

English

The things you learn listening to podcasts. . . . William Penn gave us not only Pennsylvania but also Philadelphia. Which is Greek for ‘brotherly love’. Is there a lot of it around there? 

Finally  . . . 

The first person in the UK to get a Covid jab was called William Shakespeare. In Argentina a newsreader commented: “This has stunned all of us, given the greatness of this man. We’re talking about William Shakespeare and his death. As we all know, he is one of the most important writers in the English language. He’s died in England at the age of eighty one.” The internet had a field day.

A friend’s email provider rejected a message from me, twice. His theory is that its computer didn’t like a work in the text – possibly ‘fag’. For Brits, this means a cigarette. For Americans, it’s a homosexual. If he’s right, the (American) machine will reject my email today, with ‘fag’ in this post. Unless it’s asleep on the job.  

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