Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 1.7.21

 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’


The EU: Details of the EU Certificate/Passport system, now operational


1. Details of what’s required of folk coming from the UK

2. Spain’s overall incidence rate has jumped from 106 to 117 per 100,000

3. Two thirds of the kids arriving in Vigo from their mega-party in the Balearics tested positive, adding 117 cases in the Pontevedra health area.  

Cosas de España/Galiza

As in the UK re Scotland, the Spanish Prime Minister has said there won’t be a referendum on Catalan independence. But, unlike Johnson, Sanchez has added ‘never’.

Spain is in the societal van again . . . The Spanish Cabinet on Tuesday approved a  bill that would  allow transgender people over 16 to freely change their gender and name without doctors or witnesses being involved in the process. The proposal could still change during parliamentary debate of the legal draft. But, if its essence prevails, Spain will join a handful of countries enshrining gender self-determination without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or requiring that a person’s physical appearance conforms with traditional male or female expressions. See also the article below.

Another move away from the rigeurs of Catholicism.

María’s Final Stretch. Day 26: Those malditas crías . . .


The union of Ireland and Northern Ireland: What is very surprising is the relative lack of debate on the economic challenges of pursuing this. Put bluntly, it would ruin the Republic, at least in the short to medium term. The costs would make the damage visited on the public finances and the economy by the banking and eurozone debt crises of 2008-12 look tame by comparison. This is because Northern Ireland is a hugely subsidised economy. So, as with Scotland, rather different from the Spain-Cataluña issue. 

The Way of the World

American academics have developed a colourful T-shirt emblazoned with a design that manages to send facial recognition algorithms haywire, rendering the wearer invisible to the camera’s detection systems.

Quote of the Day

In one way, Matt Hancock did pick the right time to have regular clinches. Of all the things you’d imagine you could get fired for in Boris Johnson’s Government, having an extramarital liaison with someone who is in some way linked to taxpayer’s money wouldn’t be it.


Other new words learnt in the Madrid museum, albeit not terribly useful.-

– Basquiña – bustle

– Aguafuerte – Etching

– Buril – Engraving

Malditas crías – Take your pick: Variably translated as ‘Bloody/Damn/Fucking kids’. No one in Spain will turn a hair if you choose the last one, of course.


Well, I never . . . ‘Cheerio’ emerged in the early 20th century from ‘Cheero’, which was simply used to wish someone cheer. The word ‘cheer’ used to mean ‘expression’, and comes from the Latin word carus, meaning ‘face’. 

Finally  . . .

I have 2 (male) friends who are on Tinder. They are poles apart:-

Mr A: Swipes right for every woman and then pays to find who’s liked him and takes it from there.

Mr Z: Rejects every woman who:-

– smokes

– has a tattoo

– doesn’t show her face at all

– obscures her face in shadow or by wearing a Covid mask

– is wearing sunglasses

– has a 2nd or 3rd foto rather less attractive than her 1st one

– is overweight

– is underweight

– places too much stress on dogs or, especially, cats

– displays too much flesh or stresses her sexiness

– puts ‘spirituality’ in her interests

– puts beach-going as a main interest

Pretty easy to guess who’s having more success. However you define it . . .

Note: If you’ve arrived here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try this.  


Spanish bill allows 14-year-olds to change gender: Isambard Wilkinson, Madrid

The Spanish government has approved a draft law that would allow children as young as 14 to change their legal gender with no medical diagnosis, despite strong opposition from members of the ruling coalition’s senior partner, feminists and conservatives.

The bill, drafted by the equality ministry — led by the far-left Podemos party — would allow those aged 16 and over to change their name and gender officially with a sworn statement, while those aged 14 and above could do so if supported by their parents or guardian.

“We are making history with a law that takes a giant step forward for the rights of trans and LGBTI people,” Irene Montero, the equality minister, said. She added that the law would put Spain “at the forefront of Europe in a context where some countries are profoundly questioning the rights of LGBTI people”.

The draft law, which still must be reviewed by advisory bodies and passed by parliament, would make Spain one of 16 countries, including Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Malta and Argentina, that permit gender self-determination without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

It would also allow changes in the official registry to be made more quickly than in most countries: up to four months from the first application to the change finally appearing in official documents. The process would be easily reversible for half a year, but it would require going to court after that.

Spain has allowed an individual to change their name and gender on ID cards without gender reassignment surgery since 2007. But to change their gender officially, at present a person must provide evidence of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Feminist members of the Socialist party of Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister, have criticised the right to gender self-identification. A leaked internal document, signed by Carmen Calvo, the deputy prime minister, said that the concept of gender was “being used by certain movements to substitute the very concept of sex”.

Known as the “trans law” but properly titled “law for real and effective equality for trans people”, the original draft proposed by the equality ministry has been watered down slightly, eliminating a clause that would permit 16-year-olds to make decisions about receiving hormone treatments. Originally the draft proposed that 12-year-olds would be able to change their name and gender if supported by parents or a guardian.

Federico de Montalvo, a law professor at Comillas Pontifical University, a private Catholic university in Madrid, said: “I am in favour of transsexuality ceasing to be a pathology, but I am concerned that the trans law will open up a path . . . that will lead to minors being unprotected.”