Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 22.7.21

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain


It’s said to be good thing that the Delta variant can outmuscle the (‘worse’) Beta variant. Which is claimed to be what has happened in the UK but isn’t happening in France. This, it seems, is the song sung by those trying to explain the bizarre decision of the UK government to put France in an Amber+ box all of its own.

Cosas de España/Galiza 

According to the Spanish Statistical Office, 50,000 Brits have disappeared from official registers since Brexit – though this might also reflect the fear of the dreadful Modelo 720 law of 2012. This total is 17% of the official number of 300,000 Brits in Spain. Applying this to the unofficial total of 1,000,000 would mean 170,000 Brits have gone back to Blighty. Or maybe somewhere else. 

Another development in the wake of the Civil War . . . Apologising for Francoism and glorifying the Spanish Civil War are to be banned under a new law intended to stamp out the last vestiges of the fascist dictator’s grip on the nation. More on this here and here.

In the UK, A young girl has been seriously injured by an e-scooterist. I’ll think of her every time I see someone here (illegally) weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic at speeds of 20kph or more. Ignored by the same police who are officious when it comes to car drivers where there are no pedestrians.

For history buffs . . . This is a nice podcast on The Spanish Century.

Here in Galicia, nightbirds must now present a negative test result or a vaccination certificate at the door of a nightlife venue. So, an enterprising local firm is now offering an antigen test on site – plus a glass of wine – for €20.

After a few hours of sun yesterday afternoon/evening, the bloody advection fog has returned this morning. And, to add injury to insult, as we luxuriate in temperatures of 19-20 degrees, we learn that the skyrocketing price of electricity – now the highest in Europe – is in large part due to folk further south having their ACs on 24/7 . . .

The UK

Simon Jenkins: Boris Johnson’s leadership was never suited to collective government. It is egomaniacal, based on charm, fumbling, humour and an addiction to publicity – all handicapped by his relationship with truth which is as dysfunctional as his relationships with women. Sounds about right.

Quote of the Day

Tom Stoppard: Eternity’s a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it all going to end?


According to the writer and critic Jonathan Meades: Although Received Pronunciation[RP]  has been derided as the accent of southern elites, social climbers and stuffy Radio 4 announcers, it doesn’t deserve its snobby reputation and should be celebrated as a tool of social mobility. The decline of RP, also known as the Queen’s English, will make it harder for Brits from diverse backgrounds to suppress “accentual tics” and build careers in which they were assessed on skills rather than upbringing. In other words, speak proper and you’ll be judged proper. . . .

Finally  . . . 

Oh, dear . . . Liverpool has been stripped of its coveted world heritage status after Unesco blamed years of development for an “irreversible loss” to the historic value of its Victorian docks. But, as someone has correctly opined: Who cares? The city was popular for visitors long before Unesco arrived and it will remain so after it has gone. This won’t take the gleam off a fine city. 

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