20 February 2022: Covid super-riches; A Galician tragedy; A Russian fact; 2 US facts; Another Merseyside fact; & 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’


It’s an ill wind . . . Covid created – or further enriched – numerous billionaires around the world. Here’s a list of 40 of these. Mostly in the USA and China but one here in Spain.

Cosas de España/Galiza 

More here from Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas on the PP current leadership saga/imbroglio.

I mentioned the other day that Gallegas are renowned for being strong women and that Galicia, it’s said, is still a matriarchal society. I cited the absence of men at sea. This week we’ve been reminded of latter’s capacity for cruelty, with more than 20 men lost off Canada in a Galician fishing boat – hit, it’s believed, by a monstrous wave. Naturally, it’s a story that has dominated the local media, forcing the PP leadership spat off the first few pages of the papers. All very sad. But is it really any sadder thaan the Galician youths who drive their cars into trees and walls in the early hours of most Saturdays?

In response to requests . . . Here’s a foto of the good people – Leti and Adri – who serve me my coffee and biscuits in Bar Praza:-

I think that’s a victory sign, Adri is making . . .

And, probably unnecessarily, here’s one half of the seafood market below it:-


Talking of wealth  . . . Russia is one of the least equal countries on earth. The top 0.001% of adults owns more wealth than the bottom 99.8%. That’s 500 people with more stuff than 114.6m of their fellow citizens. They are Putin’s electorate — the [only?] people he cares about.

Less seriously . . . That table again:- 


How most Brits see their closest neighbours/traditional enemies:-


Two startling statistics:-

1. Two-thirds of folk were middle class in 1981 but that number is well below half. 

2. 26% of Americans now ’embrace authoritarian leanings’, against 13% in Canada, Italy and Australia, 11% in France, 10% in the UK, 9% in Spain and a mere 7% in Germany. 

The low German and Spanish numbers are no coincidence, of course. Within the lifetime of grandparents, one endured a massive defeat in war and the other an appalling civil war.

Quotes of the Day

With 80,000 types of Starbucks coffee I yearn for a time when life was just black and white.  

– The paradox of choice: limited choice is a good thing, but lots of choice makes people very unhappy indeed.



Pecho: ‘Breast’ in Spanish

Peche: ‘Closure’ in Gallego

Finally . . . 

A childhood friend – an artist – tells me that there’s a second instance of someone locally having a significant influence on the USA. As he writes: My [artists] club is in Oriel Chambers* built by Peter Ellis in 1864 and was the world’s first building featuring a metal framed glass curtained wall. It was seen by American architect, John Root, who was visiting Liverpool and he used Ellis’ ideas to begin building skyscrapers in the USA.

*I love this understated line in Wiki; Initially, it was not well received.

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.


  1. I think the sinking is sadder than young peoples’ accidents. The young people tend to search out their problems by knowingly speeding, drinking, or drugging. These men who died at sea were working to provide for their families. They lost their lives while putting food on the table, and in the case of the immigrants, helping out extended family. No one should have to lose their lives because of their job.


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