16 January 2022: Nice places in Spain; Hapless Prince Andrew; National values; New Spanish words; & Sachets.

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 Times gives us today 2 (sponsored?) articles on Spain:-

1. Madrid: Spain’s new style capital: A string of new luxury hotels is revitalising the Spanish capital. . . “The traditional leisure traveller wouldn’t necessarily have put Madrid on their itinerary. They’d have San Sebastian for the food, Barcelona for Gaudí and then perhaps Granada or the Balearics. Now, with the combination of three new ‘destination’ hotels, Madrid is on the map.”   Perfect for rich Vox voters?

2. Sanlucar de Barrameda: Spain’s foodiest city. This Andalusian city’s vibrant food scene is finally putting it in the spotlight. It was voted Spanish city of gastronomy for 2022. The crown has been a long time coming for this salt-stained, baroque town of churches and wineries at the mouth of the Guadalquivir — a sultry, sensual place in the far southwest of the country. It’s not Barcelona, Girona or San Sebastian, so don’t come expecting foams and gels garnished with Michelin stars. What you’ll find instead is a town with a passionate gastronomic ecosystem, and ingredients so good that it’s near impossible to eat badly. So, possibly not for pijo Vox voters.

The UK

How true: Prince Andrew has turned the royals into a cross between a soap opera and a circus act.  . . . In America, the punters are loving it. The royals are regarded as entertainment somewhere between the Kennedys and Siegfried and Roy[Me neither]. I think this is partly jealousy — there is no one in America who comes close to embodying the spirit of a nation. But it’s also rightly baffling to Americans that anyone should get into a position of power or wealth without having earned it.

The USA 

Siegfried & Roy.

The Way of the World

My younger daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD, so I’ve naturally been reading up on it and listening to relevant podcasts. In one of the latter, these were given as the national values of 3 countries. In 2 of these, it would be hard to fit in, if you have ADHD. So . . . which countries are they? Answers at the end of this post.




Know your role

Respect your elders

Work within the group









Hard work

Risk taking



All from this week:-

Rali: As in El rali de la Luz. Not in the RAE dictionary. Rapid increase, in this case in electricity prices.

Fluorine: A double dose of corona and flu viruses. Also not in the RAE dictionary.

Gripalizar: Again not in the RAE dictionary. The movement of the corona virus to endemic status, I guess.

Una start-up. Guess. Didn’t even bother to check the dictionary.


FBPE: This acronym – often used as the hashtag #FBPE –  stands for ‘follow back, Pro-European Union’. It’s the label used by a campaign to cultivate a strong pro-European voice online.

Finally . . .

In the UK, yhere’s a move to  ban single-use ketchup and mayonnaise sachets. I seem to recall that, not so long ago, they became compulsory in Spain. Along with olive oil and vinegar sachets. AGW is ‘blamed’ in both cases. Or maybe it was for health reason in Spain.

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1. Japan

2. Switzerland

3. The USA