The number of people who have died from Covid in Britain is impossible to determine because of the inconsistent definitions of what is meant by a coronavirus death. Experts from Oxford University discovered that public health and statistics organisations across the UK are operating under 14 different definitions to classify a death from Covid.
Could well be true elsewhere also.
Cosas de España/Galiza
The employees of small transport companies – unsupported, it seems, by anyone at all – are adding to supply problems caused by Covid and the Ukraine war. A major threat to the entire economy, it says here
Those caterpillars. Don’t let you dog sniff them:-
I’ve mentioned that Spain’s Los Leones are through to the finals of the rugby World Cup. What I hadn’t realised that, along with Georgia, Spain could soon be vying for inclusion in the annual Six [big] Nations competition, which ended last night, with France as – deserved – champions. For Georgia or Spain to be involved, they’d have to push out Italy. Which would be a shame. Especially as last night – after 36 consecutive defeats in the competition – they played brilliantly to beat Wales.
My friend Eamon up in La Coruña tells me they did get the orange dust there:-
Checking my own car, I noted evidence of slight yellowish dust. But I think this is the pollen we get every year, and to which my elder daughter is allergic. But not when she’s in Madrid.
There’s a café in town – Piada Romagnola – which serves pricey coffee but gives not even a tiny biscuit with it. And has no wifi. I wasn’t surprised it was almost empty. Money-laundering?? By an Italian gang of drug smugglers?
Talking of cafés in town . . . We have a lovely Art Nouveau one – Café Moderno – which used to be in the premises of a bank and have banking hours. The bank has moved elsewhere but the cafe remains on its odd hours. So, not open yesterday or today for example. Perhaps the staff are on old contracts which can’t be changed. Unlikely but I can’t think of another reason for forgoing peak business. Other than money-laundering, of course.
Richard North thinks that mainstream reporting has been very poor. Does it really matter? He asks. And then answers: Well, Putin could very easily resort to the use of tactical nuclear weapons against the West if Ukraine’s resistance to the war continues. If we are getting to the point where the Russians are suffering severe setbacks , then this is something we all need to know, if it is bringing us close to the point of nuclear warfare. I would expect then for people to be making their views known as to the appropriate policy lines, which might be very different to those of a populace fed solely on a diet of human experiences of war. The media, we are told, plays a basic role as the provider of information necessary for rational debate, thereby fostering a healthy, functioning democracy. It is about time the media remembered what it was for.
Camilla Long has written nicely on Bono’s role in the war. See the article below.
The Way of the World
Ms Long again.What does any rational person think upon seeing a hulking man-bodied swimmer winning a women’s race? Do they think: What a great victory for trans people? Because that is precisely what it isn’t.
More recognisable Old English words below, plus one or two nice words/phrases we’ve lost. The penultimate list . . .
Finally . . .
A comment from a reader of Camilla Long’s article:-
Here’s a poem I wrote about said U2 singer:-
This is a funny ad which I’d have to pay to upload here . . .
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.
RECOGNISABLE OLD ENGLISH WORDS: PART 12
Pronunciation in brackets
From Hana Videen’s ‘The Wordhord’
ān-būend, noun (ahn-boo-end): Hermit (one-dweller). (One being?)
ælmes-georn, adjective (al-mez-yeh-orn): Diligent in giving alms, benevolent. (Alms giving?)
cristen-dōm, noun (kris-ten-doam): Christianity, the Christian faith.
dēaþ-scūa, noun (day-ath-shoo-ah): Shadow of death, death.
dēofol, noun (day-oh-voll): Devil, demon; Satan, the Devil.
dūst, noun (doost): Dust (of the earth); dust or ashes; what anything is reduced to by disintegration or decay; material out of which the human body is made (to which it returns and from which it will arise again).
dūst-scēawung, noun (doost-shay-ah-wung): ‘Dust-viewing’, observation or contemplation of dust (visiting a grave or considering one’s mortality). (Dust showing)
engel, noun (eng-gell: Angel.
fǣge, adjective (fae-yuh): About to die; doomed. (Fated?)
for-legnes, noun (for-ley-ness): Fornication, adultery. f
gāst-cyning, noun (gahst-kue-ning¡): Spirit-king, God. Ghost king
lof-georn, adjective (lov-yeh-orn ): Desirous of praise; (in a good sense) eager to deserve praise; (in a bad sense) ostentatious, boastful. (Lovelorn)
miht, noun (mi’ht): Power, might.
sanct, noun (sahnkt): Saint.
sāwel, noun (sah-well): Soul.
slǣwþ, noun (slaewth): Sloth, laziness.
un-fǣge, adjective (un-fae-yuh): Not doomed or fated to die. Unfated.
wēamōdness, noun (way-ah-moad-ness): Anger.
wuldor-cyning, noun (wul-dor-kue-ning): Glory-king, God.
wyrd, noun (wuerd ): Fate, fortune, chance; event, occurrence, circumstance; what happens (to a person), lot, condition.
wyrd-writere, noun (wuerd-wri-teh-ruh): One who writes an account of events, historian, historiographer.
Amid the death and destruction in Ukraine, a ray of hope — Bono has written a poem: Camilla Long, The Times
Imagine, for a moment, that you are a Ukrainian tank operator, hiding next to a pile of dead comrades’ burnt limbs. Or a tear-stained Ukrainian woman trapped in Mariupol, watching people bleed to death on the streets. Or an orphan at the Polish border, alone, crying and frightened, in some bone-cold, friendless makeshift camp.
What do you need right now?
The answer, I hardly need tell you, is not a poem from Bono. No one ever needs anything from Bono, not even if the world is exploding in the furnace of a thousand nuclear bombs and Vladimir Putin is riding around his dacha naked except for a $10,000 Loro Piana puffer.
That didn’t, obviously, stop the Irish singer supplying his “poem for Ukraine” to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, who read it out at a St Patrick’s Day lunch in Washington. One look at the video and you just think: what remote purpose does any of this serve? It was amazing to see how greedy, uninterested, apathetic, boorish and inward-looking liberal America has become.
It wasn’t even the poem that was the problem, you see, although its jaunty, semi-rhyming, limerick-like vibe didn’t feel right (“for the snake symbolises/ An evil that rises”). It was everything else.
For a start, no one bothered to stop eating. On and on the pigs troffled, sometimes openly talking over Pelosi, as she mugged her way through the poem, which cannot have taken more than five minutes to write. After she read the final three lines, “Ireland’s sorrow and pain/ Is now the Ukraine/ And St Patrick’s name, now Zelensky”, she actually laughed, and then everyone else began laughing and clapping as well, before she shouted “Riverdance!”, and a load of skimpily dressed Irish dancers appeared and suddenly everyone perked up.
I watched the video, wondering how you might feel if you were a Ukrainian soldier seeing these safe, rich people laughing their way through a poem about your dying friends? Or watching these gross old men lifting their bored cameras the moment the poem stops and the tits pitch up?
How might they feel watching another extraordinary appearance by Pelosi, in which she talked about how she would really like to “take out those tanks”, she said last week, referring to Russia’s 40-mile convoy, but they just couldn’t. Couldn’t or wouldn’t? To people such as Pelosi, the war in Ukraine isn’t actually that interesting. It’s only useful as a way of gathering intelligence or explaining away other domestic problems, like rising prices and falling jobs: the “Pootin price hike”, for example, at gas stations.
I don’t think this is senility; it is worse. It is a kind of apathy mixed up with the sense that nothing really matters if you’re an old smug guy at a Capitol buffet. Sainting Zelensky is as politically lazy as saying all Russians are demons. It’s breathlessly trivialising — like Amy Schumer saying she wanted the Ukrainian president to “satellite in” to the Oscars, which she is presenting, because there are “so many eyes and ears” on the ceremony. Imagine being so self-obsessed that you think Zelensky needs the Oscars, and that the profile he desires is yours, Amy Schumer’s.
Deliverance came from an unlikely corner: Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator released a wonderful ten-minute message for the Russian people. Sitting in his office, looking rugged and worldly wise, he got the tone, message and delivery perfect. It was measured and intelligent and, above all, spoke directly to Russians as fellow humans and equals.
Among the film’s many tiny glories was a half-naked picture in the background of him flexing his muscles as a young man. Next to him was a liddle blue koffee kup given to him by the famed Soviet weightlifter Yuri Petrovich Vlasov, a great man whom Schwarzenegger met when he was 14. He said he still had a “boy’s hand” when he met him. A clever, humble touch, recognising Russia’s historic greatness.
It is such a long time since I saw a leader actually being a leader that Arnie’s film came as an intense shock. Who was this strange, confident, intellectually engaging person who could communicate so effortlessly without trying to second-guess his audience? Who was this commanding figure who spoke with genuine compassion about the Russian people while weaving in his wide range of first-hand experiences, including conversations with his father, who was injured fighting for the Nazis at Leningrad? Who else could then say he’d also filmed the first American movie in Red Square?
It made all other gestures seem empty and self-seeking. Bono’s poem, Schumer’s Oscars, Pelosi’s giggles; even the picture David Cameron posted on Friday of himself “driving to Poland”. Just why? Does the former prime minister really have a trucker’s licence? And why, exactly, do Ukrainian refugees need a mercy mission from the Cotswolds? Are they short of artisanal mustard and excellent ham around Krakow? As a friend darkly put it: “Is George Osborne driving to Russia with an empty truck to collect some cash as well?”