11 November 2021: Covid in the EU; A Guiri Guide; A cheap fast train, for some; AGW via farting livestock; Moroccan wines; & Other stuff.

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


1. My thanks to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for some of today’s items.  

2. My apologies for failing to realise until late afternoon yesterday that I’d neglected to publish my post on WordPress. Though I had on Twitter and Facebook.


Here’s one answer to one of the questions posed yesterday: Europe is experiencing two very different pandemics. With complacency in the West and vaccine hesitancy in the East.

Cosas de España/Galiza 

The Spanish government has shown it can pull out all the stops when it wants to, by bringing in a new capital gains(plusvalía) tax in only a few days, after a court decision had invalidated the one many of us have paid aa high percentage of the sales value under.

The insurance company, Mapfre, has published this ‘Guide for Foreign Nationals in Spain’. Can’t comment on it as I’ve yet to read it . . .

It’s reported that the net worth of Spain’s wealthiest 100 people has risen by 20% since the start of the pandemic. But I suspect there’s nothing unique to Spain about this

Spain’s cheapo high-speed rail service between Madrid and Valencia – the  AVLO – will start in March, with advance tickets at as little as €7 one-way. On past performance, we should see the AVLO here in Galicia around 2050, Net Zero permitting.

The UK

Thanks to the media overkill of the last weeks, people are even more bored with climate change than they were with Brexit. Quite possibly true.  


Suddenly cows are everywhere . . . The cow in the room: why is no one talking about farming at Cop26?

But pigs are not to be left out . . . Pig-farms in Spain account for 45% of all the methane gas emitted from pigs world-wide.  

The Way of the World

During a discussion I heard this morning on ‘masculinity’, a university professor who specialises in gender and sexual diversities, social and political theory, queer theory, whiteness and feminisms said she looked forward to a world where there’s no distinctions of gender or sex. So, no ‘men’ or women’ labels, and no singular personal pronouns. She described herself as ‘a utopian realist’. I could see where ‘utopian’ came in but wasn’t too sure about ‘realist’.


I keep getting confused between ahondar (to deepen, delve into) and ahogar (to drown).

And Spanish friends continue to confuse me by using the multipurpose verb quedar to mean ‘to remain’, ’to stay’; ‘to meet’; ‘to finish’; ‘to complete; ‘to agree on something’; ‘to make an appointment’; ‘to be situated’; and even just ‘to be’.

Finally  . . .

Well, I did find a glossary of wine terms. But I don’t see ‘poise’ or ‘precision’ in it.

Which reminds me . . . I was persuaded yesterday to try a Moroccan red wine and it was surprisingly good. What’s not surprising is that it’s said to go well with tajines.

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