8 March 2022: The War party at war; Vox madness; Mudéjar surprises; To roost or to roast; & Other stuff.

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  

Spain is currently governed by a left-of-centre coalition. Being of the Left, the parties  – Podemos and the PSOE – are always falling out with each other over who’s more pure than the other. At the moment, the ‘far left’ Podemos party is loudly denying support to the PSOE’s belated decision to send arms to Ukraine. In fact, Podemos’s pacifist faction has denounced the PSOE as “a party of war”. Its spokesperson is said to be promoting a European peace movement that includes Jeremy Corbyn. Some see this is raising the prospect of early election.

Over on the Far Right, a Vox MP has upset a lot of folk by claiming that the Ukrainians coming to Spain are ‘real refugees’ because they’re ‘white and Christian’. And ‘aren’t being brought here by the mafia’. It’s worth noting that Vox is on course for 20% of votes in the next general election. Franco would be proud.

Showing more discretion than he has in the past, the disgraced former king, Juan Carlos, has said that, despite being let off the legal hook [surprise, surprise!], he’ll stay in exile… for now.

Madrid always surprises with its Mudéjar style buildings. This one is opposite the HQ of the architects, naturally a rather more modern building:-

The sign on the wall suggests it is, or was, the offices of the UGT trades union. 

And this is the church at one entrance to Plaza de Dos de Mayo:-

Another Madrid surprise – a restaurant called Roost Chicken. As to why, I’m not sure. But this is its web page, claiming it offers the best fried chicken in the city.

A foreign friend  – whom I’d better not name – claims the Spanish are poor at washing their hands. Or were before Covid, at least. I wonder how true this is.


Portuguese is often taken for an East European or even Slavic tongue. I wonder how many unfortunate Portuguese folk outside their own country are being mistaken for Russians at the moment. Such a nice people as well.

The EU

A view on why dependence on Russian gas wasn’t reduced.


The Russia that’s now gone, for quite some time.  . . . Russia has gone through the looking glass. In truth, it possibly never existed.

The Way of the World

Needless to say, the very worst of humanity is on display both in Ukraine and on its borders. Sex traffickers are exploiting Ukrainian refugees. Gangs are taking advantage of vulnerable women and children by luring them with promise of a lift and somewhere to live

I’ve long said that only war would change modern perspectives and priorities, especially among the young. Very sadly, it seems I was right.

Finally . . .

To amuse. Sorry if I’ve already posted this; I get confused about what I’ve posted and what I’ve sent to friends . . . And can’t be bothered to check.

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.