10 September 2021

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

Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza

It’s reported that down south in Andalucia, they’re making much of their Islamic past but little of their prior Tartessos(Greek) and Roman ex-cultures. I’d add that – judging from the number of new museums – recollecting the history of the Jews in Spain is also proving profitable. We even have one, if not two, in Ribadavia here in Galicia.

I think this is Spain’s entry for the next Eurovision extravaganza. I suppose it could win that truly bizarre event, where musicality seems to come a poor second (or third) to other factors.

Galicia – a poor region on the whole – is famous for its feismo, or ‘ugliness. Largely consisting of un- or poorly finished houses. If you buy one of these, you can get a grant to ‘reform’ it. This VdG article contains an example of an improvement. There were several more in the DdP but not in the online version. So here’s a not-very-good foto from its article:-

Good to read that experts say there won’t be a 6th Covid wave here in Pontevedra, just repuntes, or ‘upticks’.


The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was famed for his hardline stance and firm opposition to Britain “cherry-picking” the terms of its departure. Now, hoping to run for the presidency, he appears to have forgotten this episode and is sounding almost Eurosceptic. It’s time, he’s said, for France to “regain” its legal sovereignty and “no longer be subjected to the judgments of the European Court of Justice or to the European Court of Human Rights”. Un volte-face, par excellence?

The Way of the World

A year or ago I listened to a riveting BBC podcast on a Romanian woman who’d got away with conning $16.5bn out of suckers under a phoney bitcoin scam. Much of which was invested even after the scheme was identified as fraudulent. Yesterday, I listened to an almost equally riveting ABC podcast about Elizabeth Holmes – the woman who’s just gone on trial in the USA for various offences in respect of selling the ‘miraculous’ Theranos blood testing machines. Belief-denying.

Quote of the Day

From this article: We must wait to find out the full truth about what happened in Wi Spa. But one thing we know for certain already is that sections of the liberal media have abandoned truth-seeking for virtue-signalling, and that adherents to the cult of gender-fluidity have become so dogmatic that they will respond with unforgiving intolerance to any incident or claim that challenges their holy narrative. Anyone who thinks any of this is ‘progressive’ is living in cloud cuckoo land.


New word for me: Ahijado/a – Godson/daughter. Padrino and madrina are godfather and godmother, which I did already know.

Another one: Rider: Not in the RAE but on the net as: Un repartidor de comida y productos a domicilio que trabaja para plataformas digitales.

David Jackson encounters a word-related problem.

Maria’s advice is needed here . . . If Spanish women are referred to by their surname, is it the 2nd of their 2 surnames which is used – the one inherited from her mother? I ask because the President of Madrid was called both Ísabel Díaz Ayuso and just Ayuso in an article I read yesterday. I thought that Díaz – normally a surname – might just be her second forename but this turns out to be Natividad, or ‘Nativity’. Very Spanish.

Talking of names. I have a friend called Matilda, who’s Mati for short. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that Fatima becomes Fati. Which is a tad unfortunate.

Finally . . .

I’ve added another page to my WordPress site – a dyspeptic view of the Costa del Sol, born of spending some time in Torremolinos back in 2003. Possibly things have improved since back then. But I’ve no intention of going back to check on this.

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