15 November 2021: Continuing Covid queries; A paean to paella; Bureaucracy v. novelty; Deadly tractors; (A)GW thoughts; To be ‘trans’ or not to be; & Other stuff.

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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’


Why is Europe returning to the dark days of Covid? asks The Guardian here.

Herd immunity?: Portugal and Spain have the highest vaccination rates in the EU.  While most western European countries are seeing cases climb, Portugal’s and Spain’s case curves look like this: Scroll down.

Cosas de España/Galiza  

Let’s hear it for paella . . .

You’d expect Spain’s bureaucrats to put barriers in the way of  . . . well, anything and everything. So it’s not surprising to read that Remote working in Spain is once again a thing of the future.

I read yesterday that tractors are surprisingly hard to drive – because they don’t drive over things so much as bounce, which means that you’re having a constant battle with gravity. I guess this is why cabs were invented. And why here in Galicia we have so many deaths of drivers of cab-less tractors. Perhaps they shouldn’t be sold here. Or anywhere.

María’s Dawn: An Interesting Hike


I read that COP26 had more than 25,000 attendees, leading me to wonder if the number was 26,000 and that’s why it was called COP26. But this turns out to be wrong; it’s the 26th Conference of the Parties. In contrast, the 16th – in Bangkok – had only 2,500 attendees, of which merely 1,562 were actual participants. The mind boggles at what COP50 will be like. And which country will have to be entirely taken over to accommodate it. 

COP 27, by the way, will be held next year in the ‘luxury Egyptian resort’ of Sharm el-Sheikh. Better food than in Glasgow I guess. And no bloody bagpipes.

(A)GW/Quote of the Day 

We are emotional, not rational, about risk. An irrational fear of nuclear has exacerbated climate change. The green movement has long warned of the risks of climate change but has simultaneously exaggerated the risks of one of the cleanest and safest forms of technology that could have helped us to address it — and still can.

The Way of the World 

Like many, I suspect, I can never remember in which direction a transwoman or transman has gone. So, I’m proposing new words . . . ‘Putative’ is defined as: ‘Generally considered or reputed to be’. So, my suggestions are ‘putative woman’ and ‘putative man’, which better indicate, I think, both what they used to be considered as and what they now want to be considered as. These could be shortened to ‘putman’ and ‘putwoman’. Or even ‘P-man’ and ‘P-woman’. But, in truth, I fear they won’t catch on. And I might well be vilified. Or even cancelled. A longish-standing ambition.


When I was young, the letter H was pronounced ‘haitch’ only by the poorly educated, the ‘correct’ pronunciation being ‘aitch’. But now ‘haitch’ – like eksetera for etc. instead of etsetera – is very much in the ascendancy. And I confess to a degree of, well, discomfort whenever I hear the new versions. Especially if they appear in the same sentence as one of the words – such as hospital – which now come with a semi-glottal stop.

Finally  . . .

A warning . . . The Mediterranean diet is often hailed as the healthiest in the world and is linked with longer life, reduced risk of depression, improving heart health and protecting against dementia. But  . . . It might increase your pesticide intake. Especially soft surface stuff such as strawberries and raspberries, it seems. At least wash them, is the advice. If you can’t afford to go organic.

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