30 November 2021: Cheap but great wines; A monumental achievement; Odd municipal laws; Naughty Mormons; & 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’


Apart from the insurance industry, the other ‘community’ for which the never-ending virus is an absolute boon is that of the 27/7 news channels. 

Cosas de España/Galiza

Some ludicrously cheap wines that have been highly rated.

One takes one’s hat off, even in the absence of a passing coffin . . . It began on a hillside in a sleepy village 60 years ago: unloved, unwanted and regarded as the fantasy of a mad former Trappist monk, despoiling a plot of land handed down by his family. In the decades that followed, Justo Gallego Martínez used discarded bricks, bags of cement, empty paint cans and spare bicycle parts to build his own “Cathedral of Faith”, which today soars 30m above a nondescript Madrid suburb. Its Byzantine towers, turrets, Mozarabic arch and cupola have turned a building with no planning permission and no architect’s plans into Spain’s unlikeliest tourist attraction. But it is also an orphan. Gallego died on Sunday, aged 96, his life’s work incomplete, its future in limbo. His dying wish was to be buried in the crypt, just as Antoni Gaudí reposes in Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia.

More mundanely, below is a Voz de Galicia article on the odd laws of towns along our Coast of Death, in respect of bad smells, audio guides or photographers’ chairs in the street.

The UK 

Face masks: As of today, the do-as-you-see-fit attitude that followed “Freedom Day” on July 19 was replaced by an order to mask up in shops and on public transport. . . There are a host of so-called non-pharmaceutical interventions able to dent Covid, from hand-washing and work-from-home directives to full national lockdown. But, of all the options on the menu, none is so divisive in Britain as the wearing of masks. None polarises us more, setting very British attitudes at odds with each other: the deferential queue observer against the authority questioner; the selfless, polite personality against the robust, self-reliant individual. It is as though our island’s character has been resolved into contradictions. 


In case you’re interested . . . How sex workers operate in the Mormon capital. Not terribly surprising. Much like elsewhere.


Pato: Duck

Pagar el pato alguien: The RAE: Padecer o llevar pena o castigo no merecido, o que ha merecido otro. 

As in: Los hogares humildes pagan el pato energético 


The strangest penalties on the Coast of Death –  for bad smells, audio guides or photographers’ chairs in the street.

There are councils that regulate what to do if you see a child under 16 years alone and how a pedestrian must go past a roundabout.

Municipal laws can regulate even the smell that’s produced in a house. Those that come from “domestic operations” are not forbidden but it is necessary to ensure you carry these out trying “the maximum ventilation facing the street and do your utmost to ensure possible smells don’t reach common areas such as staircases, and patios of small dimension”. 

It’s in A Laracha where they go in search of the best coexistence, while in Cerceda they have put a price on the annoyances to your pituitary[sic]. It is not established how the bad smell is measured nor the origin of it, but the one who causes it will have to pay 61.90 euros if it does not exceed an hour. If it is more than 4, the bill will be 1,238.06 euros per day.

This is probably a way to charge the garbage managers installed in the municipality, like putting a fee for CO2 and SO2 emissions, without specifying their origin.

Weddings. What is common to almost all the councils are weddings, which can cost twice as much in Laxe (120 euros) as in Vimianzo (60), Cerceda being in the middle (90), although with the characteristic that they cannot be celebrated in August, with some exceptions, nor on Saturday afternoons, and if the bride and groom arrive late they can be surcharged.

Everything at 5 euros. Any business on the street in Cee is expensive. A photographer, cartoonist or caricaturist will have to pay the Council 5 euros per day, but if you put a chair so that the subject can sit down, you must get another ticket, so the day will cost 10 euros.

The same will be paid by a seller of balloons or any standing article. If he/she is accompanied by a table or wheelbarrow, the thing put on the ground will pay the same as he does. And for beverage or food trucks must pay 8 euros per square meter, but they will also be charged for the space occupied by the public that comes to buy.

Exemplary citizens. Cee is by far the most expensive council in which to set up anything on the street, but not the one that demands the most from the citizen. In the ordinance of “promotion of civil ” you have to be aware of others.  “Whenever a child under the age of 16 is found on the street, without the company of parents or guardians, during school hours, the municipal police or social services must be notified so that they can take the appropriate information measures for parents and guardians.”

The objective is to avoid annoying other people, so in the same ordinance it is indicated that ” Vehicles cannot stay parked more than 5 minutes with their engines running if they are less than 10 meters from residential buildings”. Nor may slurry or manure be spread on weekends, public holidays or the evenings before these, although in this case only in the parish of the fiesta,.

Safety on the pavement. The councils also try to make citizens better, and safer, in Carballo. The new traffic ordinance establishes that pedestrians should walk on the sidewalks “preferably on their right”. When these spaces do not allow the passage of 2 people at the same time they must walk “close to the facades of the buildings”. It’s also clarified that pedestrian must cross via the zebra crossings and, when they reach a roundabout, they must go around it “unless a crossing is in place”. It also makes things very clear for cyclists who in no case “may circulate standing up on a roundabout, move forward releasing the handlebars with both hands at the same time, hold on to a vehicle to be towed or go forward in a zigzag”.

The regulation determines the speed of scooters and the age at which a child can ride a bike on the sidewalk with an adult next to him. In this case, he/she can only go at 10kph.

Other Rules. There are several characteristic regulations. That of Galician in Carballo is a case in point. The Council obliges the use of this language even for letters sent  outside the community, although it allows a translation to be attached. There are also those related to needs and services. In Cabana there is one to charge for the use of the hostel, and in Fisterra, a tourist town, what is regulated is the rental of audio guides, although, for the moment, there are none. In Cerceda, you can also get a municipal Internet connection, at home or in the street, for 8 euros per month, VAT included, which is 90 euros a year.

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