20 December 2021: The Kovid Kriminal King; The AVE arrives. Sort of; Xmas in the UK – to be or not to be; Corking news; & 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’

Cosas de España/Galiza

The ex-king has caught Covid in Abu Dhabi. Well, he always did associate with the wrong people.

So, the first AVE high-speed train service to Galicia has finally happened, almost 30 years late. Except that it hasn’t really. For a number of years it’ll only go at full speed to Ourense. And we have no idea when it’ll finally reach Santiago de Compostela and the coastal cities of Pontevedra and Vigo. Not to mention the narco-capital of Villagarcia.

The UK   

Two or three weeks ago, it was hoped that the low death rate of Omicron would lead to relaxation of the regulations. But now we wait to see which of these Xmas (panic?) measures will be announced on Wednesday:-

1. The lowest level: A limit on indoor contacts, without legal enforcement.

2. Mandated curbs on household mixing, the return of social distancing and an 8pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.  

3. A return to a full lockdown.

Will my elder daughter be allowed to enter the UK on Friday from Spain?

Meanwhile, hard as it is to believe, anti-vaxxers are reported to be making block   appointments to prevent people getting the Covid booster jab. Happily, this madness is being offset by walk-in centres. Though I very much doubt that the government is hitting its target of 1 million jabs a day.

In the New World, wine these days rarely comes in corked bottles. Much preferred are screw caps. I knew that this isn’t yet the case in Spain – and that I might not live to see any shift from cork – but now I’ve seen that Italian wines also still come in harder-to-open corked bottles. Traditionalist Southerners, then.

At which point, it’s appropriate to point out that it’s nice to go into a supermarket and see wines from 10 countries and not just the one you’re living in. Fine though these may be. 

Finally  . . . 

The Good Old Days, when present-buying was so much easier and you had a future US president to guide you . . .

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