22 February 2022: UK Covid Retrospective; Spanish democracy; PP travails; Postal probs; Transgender zealots; & 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’


I’m reading Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle with Coronavirus. So far, it’s jaw-dropping litany of negligence and incompetence born of several things, not least of all the nonchalance of Boris Johnson. I’m reminded of the claim that a fish stinks from the head. If he remains in power, I imagine all sorts of tricks will be pulled to avoid or at least limit a serious official inquiry.   

Cosas de España/Galiza 

Is Spanish democracy ‘slipping backwards’? This columnist thinks so.

Pablo Casado probably thinks there’s too much democracy in his PP party, as several ‘barons’ seek to defenestrate him as leader of it. Presumably in favour of Sra Ayuso, the party’s pin-up, currently ruling Madrid from a closer-to-Vox position. Not to mention ‘3,500’ Ayusistas shouting for the sacking of their own party leader outside its Madrid HQ. [The Spanish do like to shout, if only to make their opinion heard in a multi-voice chat in a café, bar or restaurant. Oh, and to bang saucepans when they’re upset with the authorities. Quaint Spanish custom that achieves nothing.] But, anyway, the wiser money is not on Ayuso but on Galicia’s own, Feijóo – President of our Xunta. We punch above our weight . . .

Post Brexit, there are growing complaints about postal delays – not to mention disappearances – with parcels and even letters. My latest letters to the UK took 10-12 days, against maybe 3 or 4 pre-Brexit. There are even louder complaints about ‘illegal’ duties and (unspecified) charges on small packets coming to Spain. It certainly seems that advantage is being taken of the change in the UK’s status. Not really very surprising. What true bureaucrat wouldn’t do that?

There’s a Viking/Norse chapel in what’s said to be a beautiful village – Covarrubia – near Burgos. Dedicated to St Olav, the patron saint of Princess Kristina of Norway, who came to Spain in the 13th century to marry Prince Felipe of Castilla. Must take a look at it, even if it was only built in 2011. If that disappoints, I suspect the village almost certainly won’t.

I’ve mentioned Pontevedra city’s deteriorating retail scene a few times. You should be able to see at least the headline here. 260 shops closed in Pontevedra and 35 in much smaller Poio, across the river. But the good news is that new businesses are said to be booming in the city. As I’ve noted before, one booming sector seems to be high-street dental surgeries, with yet another new one mentioned in that article. These surely can’t be money-laundering fronts, I’d have thought. Unlike the ever-growing number of jewellery outlets.


Fallowing overnight developments in the Ukraine, M Macron might well now have egg on his face. Again. Didn’t he tell us a day or so ago he’d prevented Russian aggression by getting a promise from Mr Putin?

Quote of the Day

Twitter means nothing, unless you give it the power to mean something. People should really stop giving it so much power, because this is making them bad at their jobs.

The Way of the (Anglo)World 

The transgender zealots and their pusillanimous acolytes.


The above article on democracy in Spain contains the following sentence:  What has happened in recent days proves that Casado’s leadership is weak, and that Ayuso’s is worrying, as he is indulging in a populism with few explanations. I suspect it should be as she is indulging, demonstrating a machine’s (understandable) inability to decide what ‘su’ really means.

Finally . . . 

Well, the number of emails re a settlement cheque for ¢25,000 eventually rose from 3 to 14 yesterday. I get richer by the hour.

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. Saved you a trip to Ermita de San Olav. No, don’t rush to thank me. It looks like a shack, Covarrubias (covered) with rusty corrugated metal. Do you like the play on words; Covarrubias – covered- corrugated?
    OTOH, it’s probably Falu Rödfärg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4ox71bxeiI


    St Augustine’s church in Brookland church near Brenzett, is the only other church that I know of, which has a grounded spire. The popular story is that one day a virgin presented herself to be married & the church spire fell off at the unusual occurrence.


    Pusillanimous – a word to conjure with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynuDsfeZ6kQ


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