Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 19.6.21

 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


The WHO has warned that the Indian/Delta variant is becoming globally dominant because of its increased transmissibility.

Russia: Moscow has seen record new infections, mostly Delta.

Germany. The top public health official has predicted the Delta variant will rapidly become dominant there, despite rising vaccination rates. 

Spain: So, we won’t have to wear masks from 21 June? Some medical experts are alarmed at the move, warning it is too soon and could lead to a spike in contagion.

Italy: Has reimposed a 5 day quarantine on British travellers because of the surge in Delta cases there. Stable-door-closing?

The UK: People who’ve been double vaccinated and come into contact with a Covid-19 carrier would be spared 10 days in quarantine under plans to use daily tests to return to normality. Given the profiteering price of tests in the UK, this could be expensive. Does the single J&J/Janssen jab qualify? I can’t find an answer to this question.

The obvious question: Is the European tourism industry really going to be saved this summer, or will there be some backtracking relatively soon?

Cosas de España/Galiza 

Experts have warned that Spain is facing the biggest demographic crisis since the Spanish Civil War. Too many deaths last year and not enough births.

An astonishing Spanish success.

Ten Spanish reds worth checking out. Nice to see Galicia’s red grape – Mencia – represented, albeit by a bodega from next door León.

This roundabout challenge is a new one to me.

Lenox takes the piss. Or at least a leak.

The EU

As I predicted (it didn’t take genius). . . . Judges in Brussels have rejected European Commission demands for Astra Zeneca to deliver hundreds of millions of Covid jabs immediately.  

This is a scathing appraisal of the EU President, Ursula von der Leyen. Taster: The significant question about here is not whether she will survive, but what she signifies about leadership in today’s EU. In particular, why did Macron promote her, while the leader who knew her best—Merkel—temporised before only reluctantly acquiescing in the final stages of the 2019 horse-trading? Thank god that, in contrast, the UK has a great leader . . .

The Way of the World/Social media/Quote of the Day

The surest way to work up a crusade in favour of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behaviour ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats. – Aldous Huxley


I don’t know why I said yesterday that the Pilates instructor had said Ey Pi Pi – as if she were English – when she’d actually said A Pé Pé. I corrected it in the evening. More importantly, a Spanish friends says she’s never heard anyone Spanish say anything other than ap.


If you want to know how Shakespeare spoke and why his Sonnets used to rhyme far more than they do nowadays, this is for you.

Finally  . . .

There’s a TV ad for an energy drink in the UK which uses – in cartoon form – a joke which is at least 50 years old. It originally centred on an enterprising Jewish tailor but, of course, said ad features not a Jewish tailor but a male hairdresser. Who is presumably not gay.