15 September 21

 Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

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

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain

Covid

An interesting article here tells us what epidemiologist think they’ve learned about the virus during the last 18 months.

As I ponder my next – much delayed – trip to the UK, I note that Spain and the UK are heading in different directions. While the former’s 5th wave’s curve is falling, the latter’s 3rd wave curve is rising. I also note that the British government is preparing people for a return to restrictions. On the positive side, it’s rumoured that, as of October 1, I won’t need to have a PCR test after I’ve entered the UK. Or even before I go? What a pain in the proverbial.

Cosas de España/Galiza  

More here on the issue of culpability for the stalled judicial-appointments system. BTW: This seems to me to be something originally written in Spanish and then translated into English, possibly by a machine. It might well be easier to understand in Spanish than it is in English. 

The Spanish government has cunning plan to reduce those outrageous energy bills.

See here also.

As all readers know, I’m not at all impressed by Galicia’s 3 small, uncompetitive airports and have long argued for consolidation in Santiago de Compostela. I’ve blamed senseless local politicians in Vigo and La Coruña for this but it’s occurred to me that – as the AVE high speed train will – eventually! – compete with these airports – things might be even more stupid than I ever imagined. Call me cynical but perhaps the 30 year delay in the arrival of the service has something to do with protecting these mini-airports. 

Years ago, I often used a road with metal guardrails. On Sundays, this was used by motorcyclists as a racing track. One day, I noticed that an additional panel was being installed at ground level. It turned out this was to stop riders being decapitated after sliding off the road on sharp bends they’d mishandled. I thought these gruesome deaths were a thing of the past but yesterday’s Voz de Galicia reported a decapitation up near Portomarín. Where there was no low panel. I was going to say ‘heads should roll’ for this negligence but this seemed a tad tasteless . . .

Something on our Albariño wines from a US site: These crisp, refreshing wines have a wonderful, zesty, lemon-rich taste with a mineral-like finish. Imagine a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with its fresh-cut grass flavors combined with an Italian Pinot Grigio with a dash of a Chablis from France’s Burgundy region. I wish I knew what all this meant. And I’m very familiar with NZ Sauvignon Blancs.

There are brown bears in next door Asturias. Will it be long before, as with wolves, they make their way into the Galician mountains?

The UK

Writing today about the UK government’s latest announcement re controls on imports coming from the EU, Richard North opines: Johnson’s band of liars may have got away with it for the time being, by redefining the nature of pragmatism, but – as always – they’re simply stacking up problems for the future. This one is set to come back and bite them.

The EU 

Hmm. It’s alleged that: Lobbyists in Brussels waged a campaign against the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine by claiming it was insufficiently European and, if the EU ordered the vaccine, would mean Europe losing out financially. It’s also claimed that, at least for a while, Brussels favoured vaccines from the French company Sanofi and the German company CureVac. Neither of which, 12 months later, has come to the market.

If you’re really interested in ECB tapering developments – much forecast but yet to happen  – this is an article for you.

Poland

I asked a Polish friend if that rapidly developing, much-EU-financed state suffered from the same unequal development as Spain . She said it didn’t and painted a picture of a very attractive country indeed. Nation-wide, she said, there’s widely available cheap internet; rapid banking; modern infrastructure; and cleanliness. Plus: Access to culture, everything and anything you want, first class (classical music, musicals, opera, theatre, shows, stand-up etc. To my surprise, she said that Catholicism is on the decline, especially among the young. Summing up: I would say Poland is much more developed in all respects than Portugal or Spain or Greece or Italy. Anyone disagree?

The Way of the World 

Woolly mammoth hybrids could be walking the Arctic within 6 years under a groundbreaking genetic engineering project trying to reverse extinction. The extraordinary scheme intends to bring several extinct species back to life to restore lost ecosystems and slow climate change. Not sure how.

Spanish 

Oseznos: Bear cubs.

Finally  . . . 

It’s pleasing to note that, as a member of the Pastafarian church – a priest, in fact – I can get an official letter exempting me from working near an unvaccinated person. In the USA, at least.

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

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