9 December 2021: Odd Covid data; Cheap brothels. Pretty places in Cataluña; The revolting British?; Mormons and Merverts; & A Spanish pain in the neck.

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’


Strange to read that most of the 68(now 80?) – fully vaccinated – medical staff who tested positive after an Xmas meal, are asymptomatic. What does it really mean and portend? 

Cosas de España/Galiza 

I cited Gerald Brenan’s South from Granada yesterday. I read it 20 years ago and the bit I recall  best is his tale of a brothel where the price was a couple of pesetas. Or 1.2 centimos in today’s money. But a lot of Spaniards were a lot poorer back in the 1930s. Especially down in Andalucia.

A nice article on places to visit in Barcelona province of Cataluña.

Apologies if I’ve already cited this nostalgic piece from Lenox Napier, entitled Whatever happened to the Schrodingers?

The UK 

Given the row about last Xmas’s party in Downing Street and the government’s latest U-turn(s), it’s very hard to believe that the resignation of Boris Johnson isn’t getting closer by the hour. I suspect we’ll see yet another example of famous Tory ruthlessness within 6 months.

Meanwhile, the risk of rebellion against restored Covid restrictions appears to be rising rapidly. A very significant percentage of folk already fail to comply with mask regulations in shops and on public transport.

The English(British?) are well known for indulging in excessive/unnecessary apologising – even saying Sorry if you tread on their foot. Yesterday, a fellow customer and I met in the doorway of a supermarket. She said Sorry! and retreated. When I insisted she go first, she did so and then said Sorry! for a 2nd time. Better than being rude, of course, but it’s not surprising that the Spanish, inter alia, find it a tad OTT. In Spain, we’d have either bumped into each other or performed a pas-de-deux. Without exchanging a word.

No one knows whether the current – post Covid – inflation rate will continue to rise or fall. But I can say the jacket I bought in the John Lewis store 2 years ago is now 20% more than it was then. Ditto the pullovers.

The Way of the World  

Headline: Racist, disgusting, lucrative: inside the hateful, empty world of NFT art. Some text: They’re the investment of the moment, and their creators are art-world darlings. But NFTs are making fools of us all. Well, not quite all of us.

Quote of the Day 

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. No  worse for being said by a Mormon. More correctly, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


A new word for me: Mervert  – ‘A person who gets leerily overexcited about half-fish women in flipper costumes’.

Finally  . . . 

Looking at the books on my daughter’s shelves last night, I noted that all the titles on the spines face the same way, making it easy to scan them. This isn’t so in Spain, where you can get severe neck pain from going along a shelf. You’d think the publishing industry would regularise this and wonder why it doesn’t. But, then, as I’ve noted before, in a thousand years the adjacent regions of Asturias and Galicia haven’t been able to agree in which way the Camino’s scallop-shell signs indicate the way. Spanish localism at work

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