December 2 2021: The new travel rules; Package penalties; Spain and drugs; Xmas in Spain; Majoring on Manga; & 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’

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

Cosas de España/Galiza

Everything you need to know – as of today – for travelling between the UK and Spain.

A post-Brexit negative development, just in time for Xmas.

No huge surprise if you live in western Galicia or southern Andalucia . . . A German newspaper reports on: Spain – A Drug Paradise in the stranglehold of narcotráficos. Europe, it says,is supplied via Spain with all its hashish and cocaine and dealers are becoming increasingly brazen, settling especially where Germans like to go on vacation. A couple of facts:-

1. Trainee pilots down south were being paid €50,000 a flight to bring drugs from Morocco.

2. In Málaga, the police discovered a drone with a wingspan of 4.5m, capable of transporting 150 kilos of narcotics at a time, taking off like a helicopter and flying for 7 hours.

Here’s Lenox Napier’s Xmas round-robin. I’m with him on Xmas cake and I endorse his comment re the traffic police and their seasonal campaigns, always absent seasonal cheer. As Lenox says, ‘a crib’ in Spanish is un belén. Which is also Spanish for ‘Bethlehem’.

The UK 

My Madrid-based daughter is planning to be with me and her sister over Xmas. Unless things change, she’ll need to get a PCR test within 2 days of arriving and then self-isolate until she gets a result. Problem is . . . it’s proving impossible to find out with whom she can book a test on Xmas Eve, preferably at Manchester airport. And very preferably with a very quick result. Per ardua ad astra. Doubtless handing someone a handsome profit along the (Milky?) way.

Driving through one of the Mersey tunnels to Liverpool last night, I endured the worst traffic jams I’ve seen in more than 20 years. At both the entrance to the tunnel and along The Strand in front of the famous Three Graces, progress was extremely slow. At the 8-10 pay booths for the former, the express lines didn’t move at all for quite some time, leaving me wondering – as I had done when exiting the Portsmouth ferry port – whether there’d been some sort of electrical failure. Or a Spanish-style coffee/tea break. En masse.


I guess most folk know that we get the word ‘bedlam’ from Bethlehem, because of the old Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane in the north of London.

Finally  . . .

The French government recently gave every 18-year-old €300 to spend on cultural things. An astonishingly high percentage blew it all on Manga comics.

For those who didn’t read Lenox’s Newsletter home . . . The Spanish celebrate their version of April Fools Day on December 28th, the ‘Saints of Innocence Day’ . 

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