19 September 2021   

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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

Energy prices

All the talk on British TV this morning is of gas price increases, while here in Spain it’s all about electricity (luz) prices. Odd. But the cause might/must be the same.

Cosas de España

If you’re looking to be a digital nomad, this is one of (very probably) a lot of articles you need to read, to avoid being surprised by your tax liabilities.

I noticed in the supermarket yesterday that plátanos cost twice as much as bananas. At lunch, my Spanish friends told me – I think – that the former come from the Las Canarias and are superior to the latter, which come from South America. But, if you search this question in English, you get the opposite view – Plantains are usually larger and tougher than bananas, with much thicker skin. They may be green, yellow or very dark brown. Plantains are starchy, tough and not very sweet. They require cooking, as they are not enjoyable to eat raw. Anyone know who’s right? [BTW: I suspect heavy protective EU duties on las bananas. And possibly a Spanish myth].

The (excellent) lunch, by the way, was very Spanish, starting at 2 and finishing after 9, when I had to leave to catch a train back to Pontevedra. And some guests arrived well after the nominated (and clearly nominal) hour of 14.00. As ever, it pays in Spain to be a flexible host . . . But the latecomers added much to the jollity. So, we didn’t have to shoot them.

Know your nasty Spanish spiders.

The UK

Click here if you want to know why Richard North alleges the government spokesperson on gas supplies and prices is not just mistaken but a lying – in line with his earlier claim that: Ministers in the Johnson administration couldn’t even tell the truth if they were ringing up the fire brigade to report themselves on fire and ask for assistance. As he puts it: When [the Minister] tells us, “Don’t panic”, there’s every reason to run screaming for the exit. With a government headed by a congenital liar, we would be unwise to trust his minions.

Be warned, RN is even worse than me in detecting his tipos.

Sweden

Why does no one talk about Sweden?An article which raises some nice, pertinent questions.

France

M Macron has been rudely acquainted with the international consequences of his outrageous policies and comments in respect of his allies. Quelle dommage/damage. Possibly a shame that the Aukus strategy agreement wasn’t signed in Waterloo . . . 

More positively . . . An admirable French invention.

The Way of the World/Social Media

Found out: Facebook’s week of shame. The social-media giant damages girls’ health, spreads antivax hoaxes, disrupts democracy and lets VIPs break the rules — and it’s all in their own files, leaked to a whistleblower. Even worse, it has failed to act. You might be able to see the full article here.

English

MacGuffin: ’An object or device in a film or a book which serves merely as a trigger for the plot’. Alfred Hitchcock explained in 1939: It’s taken from a story about 2 men on a train. One said: ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answered: ‘Oh, that’s a MacGuffin’.

Spanish 

Rácano: Take your pick . . . 1. Devious 2. Stingy, miserly. 3. Lazy.

Finally  . . . 

I have a wine-bottle cap which is supposed to keep the stuff fresh. During my lunch on Friday, it shot several centimetres into the air, when there was only a small amount of wine in the bottle. A tad worrying and I’ll have to wait for reader Perry to give an explanation which doesn’t include poltergeists.

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

Did you spot the irony?

3 comments

  1. Plátano de Canarias and “bananas” are the same fruit. The difference is that the Spanish fruit is smaller and is cut later, which makes it sweeter. Bananas are cut earlier for transport, so the starch doesn’t have enough time to create as much sugar.

    Plantains, or frying bananas, are similar, but don’t have much sugar and are starchier. In Spanish these are called “plátano verde” or “plátano macho.” They are not as common in Spain, so, if you ask for plantains simply by saying “plátano”, they’ll give you the sweet fruit from Canarias.

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