5 March 2022: Tardiness; Monarchical mischief; Famous Señoras; Handkerchiefs; & 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 claimed that: Perpetual lateness can denote chronic social anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and a “bizarre compulsion to defeat yourself”.  Not in Spain, it doesn’t. Here it’s a social obligation. Or least a norm. Inherited from the Moors?

One of the reasons for letting the disgraced ex-king – ironically routinely called The Emeritus – off the corruption hook was that he’d reached an accommodation with the nice folk at La Hacienda. During negotiations, it was found a ‘Mexican tycoon’ had paid €114,000 for his rejuvenation treatment in a Barcelona clinic. Well, his mistress was quite a bit younger than him. And none of us likes to find ourselves confronted by one of our parents in the mirror.

Talking of famous women . . . Atocha train station here in Madrid is to be renamed after the novelist Almudena Grandes, as part of a plan to rename all railway stations after celebrated women. Well, the big ones, I guess. 

Talking of Madrid . . . The gap between drink prices here and those in Pontevedra seems to have grown even wider, to 30-50%. Not so for meals, it seems. But, then, it’s less obvious if you reduce quantities with these.

Back in Galicia, plans for a wind farm are threatening the survival of a plant called Centaurea ultreia – ‘the jewel of Galicia’- which only grows between 380 and 540m. Environmental groups are on the case.  This is it. Worth the effort?

The UK/Quote of the Day

There’s only one person on the planet who still takes Liz Truss [the Foreign Secretary] seriously. The bad news is it’s the maniac in Moscow, the haemorrhoid in a badly fitting suit. 

The Way of the World  

The Saudi crown prince has admitted that the murder of a dissident journalist was a mistake but added that accusations he’d ordered it had hurt his feelings and violated his human rights. Not the most obvious candidate for snowflake status.  


In British schools, what used to be called ‘dinner ladies’ are now known as ‘education nourishment consultants’. And elsewhere:-

– Staff at Subway are sandwich artists

– Shop assistants are brand ambassadors

– Paper boys are media distribution workers, and 

– Lifeguards are wet leisure attendants, and

– Train ticket inspectors are now revenue protection inspectors.

Inherited from the Americans?

Finally . . .

Lunching with my elder daughter yesterday, I took out my handkerchief to blow my nose. Rather sniffily(!), she told me that no one of her generation would even possess a handkerchief, never mind blow into one and out it back into their pocket. It seems they’d rather resort to (less ecologically sound) disposable paper tissues. But not wet-wipes, I guess.

Saturday mornings, I listen as I read and write to Sounds of the Sixties, from the BBC. Back then, every song was about love – pining for it, finding it, enjoying it or dealing with the loss of it. I rather doubt today’s songs for the (equally) lovesick and lovelorn young confine themselves to these eternal themes.

To amuse fans of a certain TV series . . .


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.