31 January 2022: Spain’s history; Short-termism; BJ’s hair; Brothels; & 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 

A Times article on the removal of a Francoist memorial statue from the Catalan Abbey of Montserrat  says that this serves as a reminder that Spain’s history is complex. If you aren’t already aware of that, a reading of Paul Preston’s A Country Betrayed will certainly set you straight. Preston’s been writing about it for more than 50 years and I suspect he’d nonetheless admit to a lingering degree of confusion. ‘Bewildering’ might well be a better word than ‘complex’. Unless you think – as some might – that unimaginable corruption is the key to understanding.

Spain and it politicians and business folk have often been accused of short-termism – a failure – in the interests of near-term gain – to look at the longer term consequences of a policy or strategy. One example is the appalling Modelo 720 law of 2012. Says Mark Stücklin here: There can be no doubt that Spain has lost many billions of Euros of foreign investment thanks to this stupid reporting requirement that only really harms expats in Spain. . . .The only thing the Modelo 720 has done is damage Spain’s international reputation and leave the country poorer. To cynics it looked like a deliberate attempt to target the wealth of foreigners living in Spain. Personally I think that, like many Spanish laws, it was just  lazily drafted with no care for unintended consequences, and when it became clear that the biggest group of victims were expats in Spain, lawmakers probably just shrugged their shoulders and thought – as I implied yesterday – “Well, they can’t vote anyway, so who cares?”  Hence the failure to even respond to the strictures of the EU Commission over several years.

On the theme of how (un)important we foreign residents are in Spain, here’s Lenox on some regional elections. I believe Brits are no longer allowed to vote in these, as opposed to municipal/local elections. 

A pretty road trip I did once or twice years ago, before the A8 was completed along the north coast

And a hidden treasure.

The UK

This is a foto of Boris Johnson taken about 6 years ago, establishing the validity of the claim that his current hairstyle – for want of a better word – is an artefact:-

A propos . . . . See below for a definition of the word ‘dishevelled’, plus its many synonyms.

‘Has [‘the greased piglet’] run out of road?’ asks veteran political reporter Andrew Neil here. If you’re in the UK or have a VPN, you should be able to watch it.

So . . . We wait on events. But at least one commentator feels that the immediate pressure on Johnson has eased. And that he is already showing signs of his traditional ‘cockiness’. God forbid.


I wonder how many folk realised the relevance of the foto in Lenox Napier’s article cited yesterday – of a road sign (of a bed) pointing to a Un Club. This is what Spain’s numerous brothels are called these days. Though they might have been called Un bar americano back when the foto was taken.


Dishevelled (of a person’s hair, clothes, or appearance) ‘Untidy; disordered’. Synonyms:-




messy/in a mess/mussed (up)






















Remind you of anyone?

Finally . . .

There’s been several good obits/articles on the genius of Barry Cryer, a hero of mine. This is possible the best.

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