Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 29.8.21

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

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza  

Mark Stücklin reports here on the Spanish Golden Visa scheme and the relatively low demand for it. Possibly because of the bureaucracy involved.

This is one hike I definitely won’t be taking.

As I drive around Spain, I often clock bizarre village and town names. Here’s some of them.

Near Pontevedra’s station, another 10-15 parking spaces have been lost, after they were replaced by (pedestrian) paving which leads, ironically, only to the entrance to a set of ‘boxes’ for the washing and vacuuming of cars. Thereafter a new path would clash with more parking spaces and then the side of a house. It’ll be interesting to see if these are also sacrificed to create a pavement on which nobody but nobody actually walks. It’s been suggested it’ll help the camino ‘pilgrims’ heading into town but these, as they arrive at the city edge, are directed by yellow arrows to the pavement on the other side of the road – the side the first albergue is on and which is more logical for walking into the city. IGIMSTS. Meanwhile, those of us looking to avoid parking costs at the station will have to search further afield and add several minutes to the total it takes to walk back to the station. Life can be tough.

The UK

There is certainly a 3rd Covid wave in progress and deaths per day are now 10 times what they were only a few weeks ago. But still hugely fewer than the peak of over 1,000 a day at the end of January. Will Brits be banned again from the EU when the tourism season ends next month?

There’s a lot of unease at the ‘scandal’ of rip-off charges for PCR tests. These are advertised at as low as £20 but actually cost £91 on average and can reach £400. Some people are doing very well indeed out of Covid. It’s an ill wind, as they say.

The Way of the World

Very hard to believe . . . 

1. Attempts are being made to “cancel” Shakespeare. The usual reasons – he being dead, white and male – are cited. He also held “colonial” views, apparently, although he was born 150 years before anything that could be called the British Empire existed.

2. On a UK radio show last week, caller after caller declared that pets in Afghanistan should be saved even if that meant diverting resources away from rescuing people. I’d always presumed that everyone would agree that a human life is worth more than an animal life. How wrong I was. A poll last week showed 40% of people think an animal life is worth the same as a human life.

Quote of the Day 

A propos that pets-in-Afghanistan story . . . Do you ever feel like you’re going slightly insane? Like the world has shifted so far from your understanding that the only explanation must be that some hitherto undisturbed part of your brain has melted?

Finally  . . .

I mentioned my bird feeder yesterday. Today I read here that it might be doing more harm than good, allowing the aggressive birds to flourish at the expense of the timid ones. The former, in my garden, would be the greenfinches and the latter would be the house sparrows that used to rule the roost.

That article confirms that: Birds will adjust their foraging behaviour around a reliable source of supplementary food. And that some will fly several kilometres to reach a reliably topped-up feeder.

 II need to think about this.

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