Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 12.7.21

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

Some Eurostat figures here, showing where Spain comes as regards the cost of living . . . Just below the EU average overall, but one of the most expensive for telecoms. I guess this data doesn’t reflect the recent increase in electricity prices.

Faced with a rapidly increasing number of Covid cases – though not deaths – the president of the Galician Xunta is reported to be preparing the re-imposition of some restrictions. Very probably selectively, to specific cities/towns/villages or barrios.

Pontevedra’s dog pound has seen a large rise in the number of guest there. Maybe because folk have discovered the benefit of having a dog to walk with during lockdowns.

Pontevedra’s university – a branch of Vigo’s I think – doesn’t offer the full range of courses but, for those it does, these are the required mark in the entrance exam. These are always given as out of 14 – to 3 decimal places! – but I’ve changed them to percentages. As ever, the top ones are a bit of a surprise:-

Nursing: 82%


The Sciences of Physical Activity and Sport:[?]76%

AV Communication: 74%

Primary teaching: 71%

Publicity/Advertising and PR: 68%

Infant education: 66%

Fine Arts: 60%

Forestry: 37%

Public sector Direction and Management: 36%

A Covid cartoon with a few Spanglish slang terms for you:-

The UK

I wonder how many Brits still consider Gareth Southgate a strategic genius. A Spanish friend, knowledgable in these things, has just told me that GS is a cagón. I’ll have to look that up, though I have an inkling as to its meaning,


As the Delta variant spreads rapidly – especially in areas of low vaccination – daily Covid cases have been above the 20,000 level for 3 days in a row – a level not seen since May. The 7-day average of daily new cases is up by 47% from 2 weeks ago and hospital cases have risen by 11%.

At 1,870, the USA’s deaths per million number is about to overtake the UK’s total of 1,882


1. Swag es una palabra del inglés que hace referencia a un estilo o moda particular del ámbito del rap y del hip-hop. En este sentido, alude a una manera de vestir y de comportarse, con un énfasis especial en el modo de caminar.

2. Flow: Tener flow se empezó a usar para decir que alguien tenía estilo; que tenía rollo, en la jerga de los 80. Ese algo indescriptible que hace a alguien distinguido, único, original. A ese tener flow pronto le salió una expresión hermana. Una locución con más flow, con más garra: tener swag.

3. Una Kelly: A person – usually female – who cleans hotel rooms or your house

4. Cagón: A wimp; pussy; chicken; nappy/diaper fouler. From the verb cagar.

Quote of the week

Camilla Long: It turns out that when women get in power, we’re just as lusty and aggressive as men. The question is: Is that, really, a bad thing? Perhaps we should just stop claiming moral superiority.

Finally  . . .

It would be very nice to have this said about one’s book . . . ‘The Four Continents [Osbert Sitwell, 1955] . . . Subtitled Discursions on Travel, Art, and Life, this is much more than an account of journeys undertaken or places seen, for these are merely the starting points for reflections, digressions, and discussions which encompass not only the present but also the past and the future, and penetrate, too, into the timeless realms of value and beauty.

The word ‘discursion’ isn’t recognised by my spellcheck. But it means: A running or rambling about: Rambling or desultory talk; expatiation. The act of discoursing or reasoning. And Google’s Ngram shows that, although its use peaked in 1840, it’s been on the rise in the last few decades.