2 October 2021

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

Good news this morning re an antiviral – molnupiravir – which, if taken early enough, drastically cuts the chances of hospitalisation and death.  

This book claims to provide irrefutable proof of the allegations levied against China in respect of the Wuhan lab. You can see there Amazon write-up below. And the second one is a summary of it.

This is the thought-provoking blog of a reader who questions a lot of the claims made about the virus, its treatment and the government actions necessary to mitigate its impact.

Energy

Spain gets a lot of its gas from Algeria through a pipeline passeing through Morocco. As if things weren’t serious enough, this supply is being threatened by a spat between these 2 North African countries.

Cosas de España/Galiza

I’ve cited articles from the estimable Marinero before. Here he is on a badly-treated hero of the War of Independence against the French – Juan Martin Díez, nicknamed El Empecinado, The Perseverer. Given that he was executed by the post-war Spanish government, I guess ‘badly-treated’ is a bit of an understatement,

Great white sharks, wolves and now killer whales. Never a dull moment up here in Galicia. Maybe they all like rain.

Talking of local shocks . . . A friend told me this week that she and her friends felt there was something of a plague of indecent exposure – and even public masturbation – on or close to a nearby beach. On British TV this morning, it was reported that this is an international problem. As someone asked: What on earth is going on? Have nutters become emboldened somehow? The good news is that the police this week arrested one persistent offender.

A personal complaint . . . Twice yesterday a car passed right in front of me on the pedestrian crossing I use 4 times a day. The first driver was a gentleman who raised his hand in apology. But the second was a lady(?) who stared straight ahead, while flicking ash from a cigarette at the end of an arm dangling from the open window. Since both smoking and having your arm off the steering wheel are regarded by the police here as examples of conducción temeraria, this means she was committing a total of 3 offences. Not that she much cared about that. 

Italy

While it’s true that Italy has a higher death per million number than both the UK and the USA, current Covid cases are low. Despite this, as of October 15, Italy will become the first country in Europe where you will need a “Covid passport”, or “green pass”, to access not only most public spaces but all workplaces as well, public or private. This is way beyond the requirement – in France and Portugal, for example – to show proof of Covid status to gain access to indoor restaurants, museums, theatres and cultural events, or to work in certain sectors such as healthcare. But nothing, it’s claimed here, comes close to Italy’s scheme in terms of range and scope. The question thus arises of whether Draghi isembellishing a crisis to sidestep democracy, in pursuit of that state of things which came up in the context of the US political scene – oligarchisation. Leading to an unprecedented concentration of power in the executive and technocratic apparatuses of the state and the growing influence of the [‘undemocratic’] EU over national policymaking. A good question.+

The Way of the World

Historical note: Many medieval monks, hermits and saints saw washing as a sign of vanity and sexual corruption; filth was synonymous with piety and humility. Early Christian militants emphasised spiritual cleanliness over physical cleanliness, even viewing the two as inversely proportional; you could literally stink to high heaven. St Godric (c.1065–1170), for example, walked from England to Jerusalem without ever washing or changing his clothes. Benedictine monks were only permitted to bathe 3 times a year. Of course, just because a saintly squad of hardcore soap dodgers shunned the shower, does not mean that every medieval citizen felt the same; but whatever the early medieval washing rota was, by the ninth century, the Roman bath infrastructure had fallen to rack and ruin throughout Christendom.  While the Christians were busy working up a stench that could be weaponised, bathing rituals were widely practised among Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, who believed a holy body was a clean body. From Kate Lister’s fascinating – and very funny – A Curious History of Sex. As is this item . . .

English

Medieval English bathhouses were notorious for the sex which took place there. As you could immerse yourself in hot water, these were known as ’stews’. So, ‘stews’ became synonymous with ‘brothels’. Southwark, south of the Thames, was notorious for these. And for The Globe theatre, of course.  

Spanish

Movidito  Bumpy; Fidgety; Hectic.

Maybe.  . . . The RAE: La palabra movidito no está en el Diccionario.

Finally  . . .

A strange thing happened last evening . . . I was asked to justify my application to join the FB group Viajes Culturales por toda España. Thing is . . . I didn’t know I’d applied and have no idea now this happened. But I wrote something and within a couple of seconds I was accepted. By a machine, I guess. On the basis that I’m not a robot.

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

CHINA AND THE WUHAN LAB

The origins of Covid-19 are shrouded in mystery. Scientists and government officials insisted, for a year and a half, that the virus had a natural origin, ridiculing anyone who dared contradict this view. Tech giants swept the internet, censoring and silencing debate in the most extreme fashion. Yet it is undeniable that a secretive facility in Wuhan was immersed in genetically manipulating bat-coronaviruses in perilous experiments. And as soon as the news of an outbreak in Wuhan leaked, the Chinese military took control and gagged all laboratory insiders.

Part-thriller, part-expose, What Really Happened in Wuhan is a ground-breaking investigation from leading journalist Sharri Markson into the origins of Covid-19, the cover-ups, the conspiracies and the classified research. It features never-before-seen primary documents exposing China’s concealment of the virus, fresh interviews with whistleblower doctors in Wuhan and crucial eyewitness accounts that dismantle what we thought we knew about when the outbreak hit.

With unprecedented access to Washington insiders, Markson takes you inside the White House, with senior Trump lieutenants revealing first-hand accounts of fiery Oval Office clashes and new stories of compromised government advisors and censored scientists.

Bravely reported and chillingly laid out, Markson brings to light the stories of the pandemic from the people on the ground: the scientists and national security officials who raised uncomfortable truths and were labelled conspiracy theorists, until government agencies began to suspect they might have been right all along. These brave individuals persisted through bruising battles and played a crucial role in investigating the origins of Covid-19 to finally, in this book, bring us closer to the truth of what really happened in Wuhan.

3 comments

  1. The thought-provoking blog link leads to an article about nini’s in La Voz de Galicia.

    Yesterday’s video was definitely in castrapo.

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    • Se o que falan as dúas mulleres no vídeo non é galego entón ninguén fala galego (agás algúns profesores de galego) Certo que ten algúns castelanismos pero a fonética e os rasgos dialectais do discurso mostran un galego común do norte de Lugo.

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