Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 11.7.21

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  

Here’s the latest advice on travelling to and from Spain. How long this will remain accurate is anyone’s guess.

Only in Galicia? Three headlines in yesterday’s Diario de Pontevedra:-

– An alleged drug dealer had more than a million euros in his house.

– Meis reinvents its traditional fiesta to make tripe more tasty.

– Octopus supplies are now higher than before the pandemic 

When I brought my border collie to Pontevedra in late 2000, he was the only example of that wonderful breed in the city. Now, they’re almost 2 a penny. Though long-haired dogs that need a great deal of exercise aren’t the ideal dog in a city centre flat, I wouldn’t have thought. Much more sensible to have an ugly creature no bigger than the average cat. Of which there are, sadly, many in the city. And even more of the even uglier French bulldogs and pugs. Thanks to the dictates of canine fashion among citizens who like to show off.

After a near crash involving a driver who mis-read my signal, I’ve decided – after years of resistance – to conform to Spanish norms and make no signal on entering, navigating or exiting a roundabout. In this way, oncoming drivers will be forced to stop, as they’ll have no idea what I’m going to do next. But, of course, I won’t ever assume they they will actually stop. It’s a percentages game and I’m just trying to decrease the probability of being killed on my bête noire.

And now a heart-warming tale, to set agains my gripe that lost items are never returned to me or handed in . . . Yesterday, as I was about to enter my car, I got a phone call and put my kindle on top of my car while I answered it. And then drove off with it still there. Halfway home, I heard a horn blown behind me and saw in my mirror a guy on a scooter 50 meters down the hill, whom I ignored. Once home, I realised what I’d done with the kindle and headed back down the hill to where I’d seen the chap on the scooter, hoping I’d find the kindle on the road there. But what I actually found was the kind soul waiting for me with kindle in hand. Since he must have been there 5-10 minutes against the possibility I’d return, I naturally thanked him profusely but later wondered if I should have offered a reward. Next time I certainly will. Though I might die before then.

P. S. I also put a magazine on the roof of the car but later found this at the side of the road near my the parking lot.

María’s (new) Not So Fast: Day 5  

The UK

I hear that the government’s ‘world beating’ app for advising people they’ve been near someone infected with Covid is so troublesome folk are deleting it in droves. The Law of Unintended Consequences at work again.

Quote of the Day

Keeping one’s dignity on dating apps is all one has left in this modern age of courtship.

The Way of the World

The classic economic definition of money is 3-fold: It’s:-

– a “unit of account” in which to quote everyday prices, 

– a “medium of exchange” that everyone accepts for payment, and 

– a “store of value” you can preserve your wealth in. 

Bitcoin doesn’t perform the first 2 functions. True – thanks to explosive price gains – it’s been a wonderful store of value, if you bought some 2 years ago. Yet the same was true of tulips when a mania for them gripped 17th-century Holland – until suddenly it wasn’t.

Finally  . . .

Aren’t sudden flashbacks wonderful? I saw a young woman wearing baseball boots last night – a current fashion item, I’m told – and was transported back many years, to when I found some among my father’s WW2 paraphernalia. An RAF pilot, he’d been based for a while in Alabama. Or maybe it was when my aunt brought me some from Canada. Flashbacks can be rather vague on details . . .

I hear there’s a big football match tonight . . .

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