25 February 2022: The price of warmth; Bloody banks; Blood-soaked Putin; Imbecilic Boris; & 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 

It’s been a warm, dry year so far. Even up here in the ‘damp, misty, Celtic’ NW. But not everyone is happy. Flora throughout Spain will suffer. And possibly crops.

Banks 1: I read that the shysters who run these are targeting the young now. Maybe because they can actually use all the compulsory internet links on their phones.

Banks 2: Who’d have thought it? The Spanish system lends itself to great confusion. 

A classic conjunction – a chapel and a bullring. Pontevedra’s:-

The city used to host 2 corridas a year but now only 2. Covid permitting.

And this is a Pontevedra character, engaging in his morning activity of reading the previous day’s local papers obtained from a bin.

He then returns – with all his plastic bags – to a corner of the city’s main square, where he  stands all day with his hand outstretched, jangling coins. He’s been doing this for at least 21 years and I’m not sure he’s changed his clothes much during the period. But I’m probably wrong on that.


This might explain a few things – Putin’s favoured philosopher.

Excellent question: How much economic pain are we prepared to suffer for Ukraine?

See below for a dose of realism from AEP: Greater Russia is now a full-spectrum commodity superpower, less vulnerable to sanctions than Europe itself. The West’s pain threshold is about to be tested – Fortress Russia will endure this contest of self-reliance more stoically than Europe. . . . Ukraine turns Putin’s neo-Tsarist empire into the Saudi Arabia of food, controlling 30% of global wheat exports and 20% of corn exports. . .  One watches the western pantomime over sanctions with a jaundiced eye.

The UK  

The estimable Caitlin Moran today: So, it looks like a third world war will now be added to the terrifyingly long list of things — alongside “a deadly global pandemic”, “negotiating a favourable exit deal with the EU”, “preserving the Union”, “telling the truth in parliament”, “actually building the various mad bridges he’s wanged on about” and “brushing his hair” — that Boris Johnson is singularly unsuited to dealing with. This can’t go on . . .

These sentiments echo my own comments over the years about Pontevedra’s retail and dining scenes: Anyone who has recently walked around the West End of London will have asked the question: How can all those garish shops possibly survive? They peddle low-margin stock from high-rent retail spaces to, judging from the routine absence of customers, an entirely indifferent public. Anyone who has ever asked this question on the internet will have been provided with an intriguing if not provable hypothesis: money laundering. I must add, though, that our stuff is of a higher class than tourist tat. Though we certainly do have some of that. 


Surprise, surprise! China is blaming the US and Nato for Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and censoring social media to remove criticism of Russia. It has also announced plans to buy more wheat, one of Russia’s largest exports.

Worrying . . .


Two new words for me:-

1. A wonderful one I must try to use: Rocambolesco. Bizarre,fanciful

2. Cainita. Which I finally realised meant: Perteneciente o relativo a Caín. Cainite.


This is a favourite song, the composer of which died this week . This (justifiable) mockery is probably no coincidence:-

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.


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