10 February 2022: Picotas; Residencias; Illegal developments; The Gazpacho police: Gen Z; & 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

If you look at the map of the Pontevedra’s medieval walls cited yesterday, you’ll see something called Picota in the bottom right corner, just outside one of the main gates to the city. This means ‘pillory’ and on this spot you’ll now find the 18th century church of the Virgen Peregrina. Presumably, visiting the picota to chuck things at its occupant was a nice day out for the citizens of medieval Pontevedra. There’s a Picota street not so far  away in Redondela and another near Vigo but, sadly, none in Pontevedra city. A friend says there’s a Bar Picota in Pontevedra but, if so, I can’t trace it. On the other hand, there seem to be several places in Galicia called A Picota, and a pilgrims’ albergue with this name on the camino to Finisterra out of Santiago de Compostela.

As the city’s population grows and ages, it’s inevitable that new markets open up. I read yesterday that several old folks’ homes (residencias) are under construction. Including this one at the top of the main shopping street, on the site of the old Guardia Civil barracks. Hence the imposing entrance. It doesn’t bear thinking about what happened on this spot during the Franco era.

Back to today . . . Down in Cáceres, there’s a luxury development of 180 houses, a hotel and a golf course which the The Supreme Court has just sentenced to demolition. But I wonder if this will ever happen or if things will somehow end up being ‘regularised’. Like the 20+ once-illegal houses near mine in Poio. Here in Spain developers seem to have awfully good lawyers. And lots of money.

Maria’s Beginning Over: Day 7.  


The BBC has a 16-part podcast series – c.20 minutes each – on the Nuremberg trials. Fascinating but harrowing. Intro here.

By pure coincidence . . .


Social media erupted in soup jokes yesterday after Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene accused the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, of using the gazpacho police to spy on members of Congress. She meant, of course, the Gestapo. An easy mistake . . .

Quote of the Day/Social Media/The Way of the World

A wise friend of mine once said that we all eventually become caricatures of ourselves. This perception was updated yesterday, when I read that, thanks to social media, We all become voyeuristic caricatures. This was in an article headed: Why Twitter is so awful. Worth a read. Sample: Digital culture embraces an increasingly voyeuristic online dynamic, a “pornography of the self” — a perverse set of incentives, that encourages already fragile personalities to offer themselves up as an ongoing psychiatric spectacle, in exchange for money and attention. 

By coincidence, I also read yesterday this revelatory article on Gen Z – the ‘postmillenials’ – those born from the mid 1990s, so now in their early 20s.


The first of those articles twice uses the phrasal verb ‘To cut through’. Apart from its traditional meanings, this now means: ‘To communicate in a way that grabs people’s attention; often used in business to refer to ways of marketing that will help a company stand out from its competition’. Irritating but it will surely soon die out, to be replaced by some other (US) neologism.

Finally . . .

Yesterday – inspired by the comment that Tinder users always check people who Like them on the net  – I googled my own name. Among the citations I expected there were 2 that were a bit of a surprise:-

1. Back in 2012/2013, some chap simply repeated my blog posts under the URL of colin-davies-blog-blogpsot.com along with the posts of many other bloggers. He referred to himself as, inter alia, a bot. No idea what he gained from this. Perhaps advertising revenue, and

2. A link to something called the Ash Campaign, which I’d never heard of and which turned out to be a link not to this but to an internet brothel. Nice.

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here.   


  1. Besides being a pillory, picota is also a type of cherry that comes out in late June. It’s more expensive, and doesn’t have the stem attached. So, in the countryside, the name might be referring to the fruit, while in the city, to where one throws the fruit.


  2. Thanks, María. I saw that in the dictionary but decided to omit mention as it would reduce the dramatic element . . . . 🙂


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