27 November 2021: Test tribulations; A 2nd plague; Spanish wines; Winter arrives; & 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’

Travel Notes Travel Notes    

If you need to do a Day 2 lateral for test in the UK, consider a company other than Randox. Perhaps I never needed to view it before I went through the process according to the instructions received with the test materials but they have a video on Youtube which, to say the least, has come in for an enormous amount of criticism. And, as of now, I’ve spent well over 2 hours trying to upload my test results to Randox’s web page so that I can get a certificate and avoid a fine. This has involved me registering at least 5 times and using 3 different devices. Each attempt on my Android phone has ended with a block of garbled text and my daughters’s iPad was said to be an ‘unrecognised device’, despite it having scanned my passport. Grrrrr.

Cosas de España/Galiz

As if you didn’t have enough to worry about – The black rat population is booming across Spain. In urban centres, at least. These (above-ground) rats (rattus rattus) can carry a host of nasty diseases including leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis and hantavirus that can prove serious, even fatal, for humans. Something else that’s down to Covid, it’s said.

All you need to know about how wine is made. Plus a list of Spain’s caldos, including 3 of ours from Galicia – Albariño, Godello and Mencia. But no mention of Ribeiro . . once, I was told, Spain’s largest export to the UK, prior to the War of the Spanish Succession. Which rather did for it. I’ve long thought that Mencia and Cabernet Franc were the same grape variety but maybe not

Spanish police can recognise a hand gesture from a woman which indicates her partner is abusing her. A Canadian idea originally and an excellent one, unless abused itself. And I do wonder if it’s valid for the occasional male victim.

I imagine quite a few of us have used hand gestures when provoked by zealous Spanish police officers.

It seems I was very lucky to sail on Wednesday night, ahead of a severe storm last night. It helps to have a pact with the Devil. Except for eternity.

The UK 

Snow came to at least South Manchester and Sheffield last night and will soon hit parts of Spain.

The EU

France and Italy are coming together to counter German dominance. I had to laugh at their plan to scrap the 3% budget deficit limit. France, inter alia, has been missing this for years, with total impunity. So what difference will scrapping it make? 

Ironically, a German friend has just sent me this . .. 


Don Pedro says, quite correctly, here that: Spanish is a very imaginative, colourful and at times earthy language. So, it’s no surprise to learn that limones, melones and peras are slang words for breasts and that plátano and ciruelo (plum tree) are vernacular for the penis. Though there are many others, I believe. But, as Don Pablo shows, the words for fruits also have less salacious idiomatic usages.

Finally  . . .

I finally succeeded in submitting my test result, using my daughter’s iPhone. Both of my daughters have these. I can’t afford one. Or, rather, I can but won’t lay out that much for a bloody phone. I obviously failed to instil sense into both of them.

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