6 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’


More thought-provoking stuff re excess deaths. 

Cosas de España/Galiza

They say the mini skirt is back in fashion. I’m not sure it ever left it in Spain. As with figure-hugging jeans.

My bougainvillea is a strange plant/bush/tree; while most of the blooms are clearly dead, there are new shoots, flowers and suckers constantly emerging. It seems confused. Possibly by the very variable climate along this Galician coast. 

Talking of which . . . Here’s the English chef Rick Stein on our seafood. Not his first visit, as I recall. If you’re outside the UK, you’ll need a VPN to watch it, but don’t tell anyone I said this.

I noticed this car last evening, blocking the exit from a petrol station and, with its arse out in the road, forcing traffic to drive round it. 

At first, I though it might be a classic case of Spanish thoughtlessness/lack of consideration for others. But, in the end, decided it had probably broken down. But this still left the question of why it wasn’t pushed off the road and away from the exit. 


Portugal has vaccinated virtually every adult, giving the rest of Europe a glimpse of what a post-pandemic world might look like. The country recently achieved the milestone of fully vaccinating 84% of its population, leaving children under 12 years old as the largest remaining unprotected cohort. So . .  Case and death rates are now low, a massive turnaround from the situation at the start of 2021, when the country looked like a basket-case.

The UK

How unique is the truck problem there


Theranos, founded in 2003, promised to revolutionise healthcare with technology which it said needed a few drops of blood from a pinprick on a finger to conduct hundreds of tests. At its peak, it was valued at more than $9bn. It closed down – [worhtless] – in 2018 amid one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent memory. Its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is now being prosecuted for various offences and faces possibly 20 years in jail. You can follow this fascinating case on the ABC podcast – ‘The Dropout’.

Social Media/The Way of the World

I’ve been trying Tinder. What a weird world that is. People match with you and then unmatch you almost immediately after contact. Am I doing something very wrong or do they just swipe right after seeing my handsome fotos and then then click Unmatch once they’ve taken the trouble to read my profile? 

Quote of the Day

A Daily Mail headline: Buckets of beers and lobster-pink sun worshippers reappear on Costa Blanca strip as travel restrictions are eased and UK tourists return to Spain. Excellent news for some, I guess. I’ve spared you the fotos, which are mostly – shall we say – unflattering. Whether this is deliberate or not, I leave to your judgement. It’s hard to believe the Daily Mail really intended to mock and upset its core readers. 


I ask again: Why? . . . The Spanish title of the Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ is Sin Tiempo Para Morir. The English means ‘This is not the time/moment to die’. But the Spanish means Bond doesn’t have the time to go about dying. As someone has said, perhaps he had more important things to do. Did they ask someone bilingual, such as my friend David? Or just leave it to someone’s cousin? David tells me it should be: No es Hora de Morir. But I knew that . . .

Finally  . . .

From Osbert Sitwell’s 1955 book: The Four Continents:- 

1. I have always hated seagulls, alive or dead: they are a greedy, predatory, bitter-billed bird tribe. Who’d disagree?

2. So many persons died while engaged in the making of the Great Wall of China that their bodies were just casually thrown into the earth that filled the middle of it or into the embankment under which it stood and, in consequence, the Chinese people invented the saying: ‘The wall is the longest cemetery in the world’. This matchless barrier – or parts of it – found a use that had never been intended: Chinese doctors maintained that its glittering white mortar possessed valuable therapeutic properties. They possibly still do.

3. I have watched the golden towers of Santiago de Compostela change their aspect as they are captured by the sweet Galician rain. Yes, well, it’s possible, I guess, that they were golden in 1955 but they were certainly black by 2015. Happily, several years of cleaning have restored them to their original beauty.

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