Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 29.7.21

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

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’ 

Cosas de España/Galiza 

There are c.4.8m foreigners in the Spanish population of 47m. The top 3:- 1. Moroccans, 2. Romanians, and 3. Brits. But these are the official figures and there are – or have been – many more retired Brits living here below the (registration/tax) horizon. So, Brits might (even now) outnumber at least the Romanians, who need to go public in order to work.

So, from next week, we double-jabbed Brits will allowed to go to the UK without going into very expensive quarantine. But: Ministers are “getting jumpy” about the number of Beta cases in parts of Spain and are considering placing Spain on a new “amber watchlist”, putting tourists on notice that the country risks being relegated to the red list if cases rise further. Who’d rule out yet another farcical twist in this saga?

Reading about the Challenger and Chernobyl disasters, I was struck by the accounts of how engineers’ concerns were ignored and decisions made on cost-savings grounds. Just as in the case of the safety system on the train which crashed near Santiago 8 years ago, leaving c. 70 people dead. And with fingers pointed mainly at the driver, not at the management which took the fatal decisions.

Possibly more than we need to know about Spain’s disgraced ex-king: His estranged mistress has accused him and the Spanish secret service of spying on her in the UK. She claims that he put her under illegal surveillance as part of a long-running row over an alleged gift of €65 million[sic]. I don’t suppose he’s much concerned about this. His reputation couldn’t get much lower and he’ll financially survive any verdict.

Lenox with a bit of fun on ciggies. [Which my spellcheck turned into ‘piggies’]


Germany plans to tighten the rules for returning holidaymakers amid growing concerns in northern Europe over a sharp rise in infections being brought back by tourists. 

‘Countdown to Surrender – The Last 100 Days’: A WW2 series told from the German perspective. This PBS America documentary series was an excellent, dispassionate programme that left sensationalism at the door. The unusual thing is that the story is told from the German perspective.  

Quote of the Day

The UK: Nothing about the post-Freedom Day situation makes sense. The cost of our newfound “freedom” is overwhelming guilt.

The Way of the World/Social Media

In the UK at least, Facebook turns out to be the least trusted of social media platforms for news, with just 27% of people saying it’s trustworthy, and only 28% saying it’s accurate. But it’s stilll favoured by the young for their information.

Finally  . . . 

I have a niece visiting me. Passing through the process at Stansted airport, she offered her father’s vaccination QR on her phone by mistake but was waved through . . . Things were rather more rigorous at Santiago airport, with document-examiners all in full PPE.

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