25 January 2022: Covid & Kids; The Best City in the Word; The Far-Right returns; Global madness; & 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’

Cosas de España/Galiza 

Relief over the Covid slowdown is being tempered by a spike among kids.

Madrid has just had its annual tourism extravaganza – Fitur. Taking its chance to boast, Pontevedra promoted itself there as The Best City in the World In Which to Live. No poverty of ambition here. But, despite this (understandable but dubious) claim, the city lost 700 of its 80,000 residents last year. All down to Covid, says the D de P.

Politics: The far right party, Vox, continues to grow, cannibalising voters of the PP right-of-centre party. How many slumbering Francoists can there be? And their progeny, like the execrable young woman featured here and here . .  Indoctrinated by her even more egregious father, a pre-Vox PP official.

A couple of nice items from Lenox Napier’s Business Over Tapas:  

– La Razón discovers how the Alhambra has managed to survive various earthquakes over the centuries. The famous complex began as a castle in the 9th century, called Al Hamra (‘the Red’ in Arabic), this being the colour of the earth used in its construction. It’s all down  to the foundations together with sound architectural design. 

– BBC Travel has an interesting article about Spain’s least-known language: Aranese – a distinct dialect Occitan. From which – Languedoc.

The Way of the World 

Couples these days don’t separate because one of them is having an affair. They reach a mutual agreement to interrupt their marital relationship. Or, at least, that’s what the ex king’s daughter and her husband say they’ve done. This husband, by the way, was the chap jailed for corruption a couple of years. As the ex-king would be if he weren’t the ex-king. So, the Spanish royal family hasn’t changed its ways much since the days of Alfonso XIII, a hundred years ago.

Meanwhile – getting closer to the world in which most of us live  . . Celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, now employers an  “offence adviser”(OE). As one observer writes: This new breed of professionals is trained like sniffer dogs to detect even the faintest whiff of explosively un-woke material in anything that might be publicly shared, from company reports and social media posts to university lectures, early drafts of books, songs, screenplays and art works. But JO doesn’t just have one OE; he has teams of “cultural appropriation specialists” who go through his recipes with a fine-toothed comb. As: He is only too aware of the woke minefield we’re now forced to navigate daily.

Quote: If “inspiration” had been a problematic concept throughout history, then the OEs would have shut down Thomas Gainsborough (for being inspired by Rubens), and Rubens (for being inspired by Caravaggio), along with Charles Dickens (for being inspired by Victor Hugo). Most importantly (and ironically), Britain’s favourite dish – chicken tikka masala – would not exist.

As someone else once said. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. Modern perspectives and priorities are not what they’ve ever been in human history. Progress?

Finally . . .

I watched the film Holiday with my 2 neighbours last night and found it – as one critic put it – ‘Lightweight but Enjoyable’. As is my wont, I looked at the best and worst reviews – there are always both – and was taken aback to read:  Without describing every single scene – which I could absolutely do, since I’ve seen this movie close to a hundred times – I’ll get to the main plot. . . .

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  1. Hi Colin,

    It’s not clear from your blog today whether you know that “Langedoc” means “the language of yes”, “oc” being “occitan” for “yes”. The Languedoc or Occitan region used “oc” for yes, while the rest of France used “oil” – hence the name “Langue d’Oil” – from which the French gets “oui”. Italy was the Area for the language of si. In the Occitan Valleys of Piedmont and Liguria in Italy they also speak Occitan. All these Romance languages are interconnected through Latin but differentiated by their word for yes.


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