Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 27.7.21

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

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’ 


The UK: the case rate has fallen for several days now but no one really seems to know why. As one headline put it: The fall in Covid cases is great news (but a bit baffling). And fears remain that last week’s Freedom Day will soon reverse the trend.

Spain: An impressive achievement.

Cosas de España/Galiza 

All our (many) local newspapers carry large announcements – ‘tombstones’ – about very recent deaths. I’ve often wondered why people incur the expense of these but, in a country where the law obliges burial or incineration within 24-48 hours, it’s one way to publicise funeral details. I assume that, as one ages, one increasingly goes through the morbid process of checking if any of your contemporaries has just passed away and you need to clear your diary for an evening engagement.

There is, by the way, a huge Death Insurance business here – allied with the funeral director business – to deal with the complicated implications of the rapid-burial obligation. You can initiate the process at any time of the day or night. Impressive, if not cheap.

The wheels of Spanish justice 2: Up in Cataluña: The corruption case against ex president Pujol is still without a trial date 7 years after his admitting he had a fortune in a bank account in Andorra. I wonder if they’re waiting for all the other folk he can implicate to die. Or at least Pujol himself, as he’s already his 90s. Or maybe the objective is to let the statute of limitations work its magic. Either way, it’s doubtful that the truth will out. Or that any of the implicated family will end up in clink.

I’m not clear why but – under our new pricing system – we’re now paying more for electricity than in both Germany and France, both of which are rather richer. The cost of a MW/h rose from €28.49 in February to €91.31 in July, or by more than 200%. If that’s the consolidated price, the new peak time rate will be even higher. 

The UK and the EU post Brexit

Richard North: As regards resolution of the Northern Ireland Protocol dispute, it’s evident that nothing rational is going to come from the present cast of actors. . . It’s hardly surprising that this issue is heading towards a collision.

Quote of the Day

We’re in this weird sort of cuddly capitalist thing where companies pretend they’re our friend. I’m perfectly happy to pay my money without entering a co-dependent relationship with them or being told to “give us a call on the banana phone”. 

Finally  . . . 

In Pontevedra’s Tapas Alley on Sunday, this chap’s choice of clothing caused a bit of a stir, especially when – the first time he walked past – he was wearing a jacket in the same style. Which you could characterise in one of two ways. One of which would be pyjamas but the other would be more provocative.

A shaggy cat story?

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