Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 30.6.21

 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’



1. The national incidence rate has increased again, for 100 to 107 per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days. For those 20-29, it’s now 251

2. The Majorcan student madness resulted in almost 1,200 positive cases. Pontevedra is reported to be the place worst hit by infected returnees. And some restrictions have been-reintroduced in the city.  

4. Vaccination rates. Galicia has the best record, while Madrid has the worst in mainland Spain. It also boasts one of the highest incidence rates, thanks to the laxity of the business-friendly PP president. .

The UK:  The new Minister of Health has opened the way for EU travel to resume with an NHS app that will enable Brits to prove they’re fully vaccinated, bypassing Angela Merkel’s quarantine demands. The app has been updated to serve as a Covid passport that will enable Brits to prove they’re fully vaccinated, show a negative pre-departure test or show that they’ve had the virus in the past 180 days. It’s now ready to be integrated into the EU’s identical green pass system, which will allow people to travel freely throughout the bloc.

The Delta variant: The UK Health Ministry says no fully vaccinated person under 50 has died from the delta variant, even though younger age groups now make up 90% of cases.

Italy: England fans won’t be able to to to Rome, should their team make the Euros final. Unlike ‘important’ officials, who will be.

Cosas de España/Galiza

Spain Considers a National Digital Currency Alternative to the Euro. I wish I knew what that meant.

I spent a pleasant 2 hours in the Museo de la Historia de Madrid yesterday. It has a marvellous display of magnificent fotos taken during January’s unprecedented snow blizzard – Storm Filomena. Well worth a visit.

Madrid is certainly different from Pontevedra in a number of ways:-

– No newspapers in bars/cafés – ‘Because of Covid’.

– Money not accepted in some shops and bars, only cards – ‘Because of Covid’.

– No biscuits with your coffee. [Nowt to do with Covid]

– Prices for several everyday things up to 50% higher [Because of Covid??]

As regards prices, my daughter and I agreed that – thanks to a guild-protected monopoly – pharmacies must be one of the most profitable businesses you can get into in Spain. A probiotic that I’ve started to take cost me €15 here, against €12 in Pontevedra. And it’s c.€8 on the net. . . . As in Pontevedra, here in Madrid you can sometimes see 3 pharmacies from where you’re standing.

The good news is that you can get nice Galician empanadas here in Madrid. Though I do wonder whether Hecha en Galicia means, ‘Made in Calle Galicia’ . . . That’s how you get here.

I was (almost) pleased to see a young woman in the Museum of Madrid’s history being chastised for having let her mask to the tip of her nose. But I guess the attendants have little else to do but be zealous.

María’s Final[???] Stretch. Days 24-25. Those bloody stupid/normal kids . . .


Who can keep up anywhere? After ‘days of chaos and confusion’, Portugal has announced that children under 18 won’t have to quarantine on arrival, so long as they’re accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. Initially, it seemed only children under 12 were exempt, leaving many family holidays in doubt.


I learnt several new words in the museum yesterday. Like currutaco for coxcomb. And petimetra for quaintrelle. Now I just have to find out WTF quaintrelle means . . .


Quaintrelle: ‘A woman who emphasises a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures’. Wish I knew some of these . . 

Finally  . . .

I think that, if I were a woman who’d lost out on an Olympics 1st place medal to a trans woman, I’d take my silver medal to a jeweller and have it gold-plated. After putting out a contract on the ‘winner’, of course.