16 February 2022: Covid retrospection; Lingering (non)restrictions; Papel mojado; Annoying English; & 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’


The Great Retrospective . . . The response to the pandemic has entailed a series of unscientific overreactions that have whipped the public into a dangerously susceptible state.  . . . The response to Covid in countries with strict policies illustrates how people can be brought into a collective trance that makes them easy to manipulate and prone to acting in ways that are contrary to reason and evidence. More here.

Cosas de España/Galiza

Valencia and Galicia are said to be the only regions in Spains still insisting on a show of a vaccination certificate. In our case, this is despite the Covid infection rate here being the lowest on the Spanish mainland. Actually, I’ve not been asked to show my certificate in any café, bar or restaurant for months now.

On the Pontevedra city streets, mask-wearing has reduced to maybe 79.376% of those outside. But 100% inside, of course. Except when eating or drinking. A reader in Barcelona has advised that hardly anyone there wears a mask in the streets. Less conservative/afeared than the Gallegos, then.

Here and here are the Guardian and Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas on the unplanned consequences of Sunday’s elections in Castilla y León. Lenox’s is less dry.

Life in Spain: When putting wet cardboard from my basement into the blue bin for paper yesterday, I was reprimanded by a woman who told me I wasn’t allowed to do this – neither with wet cardboard/paper nor stained stuff such as pizza boxes. This seems to be true but, from a quick survey of friends and neighbours, it’s clear I’m far from the only person in Spain who didn’t know this.


The current severe drought is having an even worse impact in Portugal than in Spain. Here ’only’ 10% of agriculture has been hard hit by it, against 45% in that benighted country.


Presidential candidate Éric Zemmour must be desperate. After a long phone call with him, he claims Donald Trump supports him on immigration, law and order and the economy. Zemmour’s next chat is slated to be with the Devil, even though, being Jewish, he doesn’t believe in Old Nick’s existence.


Life there gets worse; there’s going to be a homegrown version of Eurovision ,  ,

Quote of the Day

Denying British expats the vote is so last century: Forget the ‘wealthy wastrel’ stereotype: those of us living abroad deserve the right to a ballot. 


Complains the Académie Française: The “massive and uncontrolled” use of English by officials and businesses is threatening the national language, sowing discord and fuelling extremism. Well, maybe. But the English have felt this way about the French language since the Norman invasion of the 11th century. It’s just revenge, being eaten cold.

TBH, I do have some sympathy with both the French and the Spanish on this issue. Especially when I find myself saying ‘a parking’ instead of ‘a car park’. I mean, what’s to like about Peugeot’s advertising slogan Unboring the future?

On the other hand, what’s not to like about: The logic of thought is affected; the analytical structure of the French sentence is being supplanted by the concise structure of English.? Spanish could do with some to that as well. . . .

Finally . . . 

Well, the huge stains on my basement wall weren’t caused by humidity but by a water leak from behind said wall. Worse, the leak is coming from some sort of tank (arqueta) below the dining room wall shared with my neighbours. Even worse, the water is, shall we say, ‘dirty’. Hey ho. Onwards and downwards to wall destruction and replacement in my basement, once the cause has been dealt with.

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.