Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 10.7.21

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’

Cosas de España/Galiza  

Spain’s judges might be right-wing but the current government certainly isn’t. Its latest achievement – not before time – is to radically change Spain’s 19th century laws on sexual aggression.

Spain’s overall Covid incidence rate is now well above the ‘extreme risk’ level. The highest and lowest rates are now: 

12-19 – 891 per 100,000

20-29 – 1,047

70-79 – 38

Yesterday, I wondered how great the risk is of Spain moving to Red under the UK’s traffic-light system. Right on cue, the relevant UK minister has warned that increasing contagion rates in Green or Amber nations can lead to their being bumped up a colour. And Germany is tightening its restrictions on folk coming from Spain.

Characterising yourself as ‘different’ is said to be a common/overused trope in UK ads. The latest exponent is the British government, with: See Things Differently. Other examples are the Guardian’s 1986 Points of View spot, and Foot Locker’s 2019 ad We See Things Differently. Plus . . . Apple has also made it a cornerstone of its brand, from the famous 1997 “Think Different” spot to a 2014 film called Perspective that played on reordering the words “Seen Things Differently”. OK, but possibly the earliest and most famous example is Spain is Different, said to be the brainwave of Galicia’s ex PP ‘baron’ Manuel Fraga, when he was Franco’s Minister of Tourism way back in 60s .

Modelo 720 is a frightful law on overseas assets, originally intended to reduce tax evasion by Spaniards but with a real impact on foreigners resident here. The EU has declared certain elements of it illegal but Spain has yet to formally challenge this ruling, I believe. So we are now in the 7th year of what someone forecast 6 years ago would be a 10 year process of resolution. But since then we’ve had Covid. So 10 years now looks optimistic. Anyway, I mention Modelo 720 today because of this inevitable development.

A Day in the Life of Lenox Lenoxovitch

The UK

If you watch UK TV ads, you’ll be aware that: It’s a rare commercial for breakfast cereal, building societies or furniture that doesn’tt feature a beaming family of colour or gay couple. That this is inaccurate doesn’t stop major companies indulging in the  distortion. This is a problem for the new right-of-centre GB News, which is critical of ‘wokeish nonsense’ but wants the advertising revenue from right-on companies such as IKEA, Vodafone, Specsavers and Bosch. (Putting that another way . .  Companies which are at the vanguard of the new cultural inclusivity).


I’ve been down the rabbit hole of alunizaje, which is given in one dictionary as ‘smash and grab’ but which in the article I was reading seemed to mean breaking into cars by smashing a window. The RAE’s dictionary has as its main definition as ‘a moon landing’. But the 2nd, slang meaning is: Acción de dirigir un vehículo contra la luna de un escaparate con la finalidad de romperla y perpetrar un robo. Called ram-raiding in British English. Luna here effectively means a (shop)window. But the luna of your car is the windscreen, also called el parabrisas (Lit. breeze-stopper). I think.


Another non-existent English gerund – El tumbing: Lying down, especially on a sunbed on the beach, apparently. From the words tumbar: to overthrow/knockdown/tumble, and tumbarse: to lie down. Not to mention una tumba: tomb, grave, tombstone. In the latter case, el tumbing is not a recreational choice, of course. Like el spinning, el tumbing hasn’t made it to the RAE’s dictionary yet. Unlike el puenting, el lifting and the ridiculous el footing.

Finally  . . .

Did you know that straws, cotton buds and plates made of plastic are now banned in Spain?

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