27 March 2022: Road rules; Disgraceful Estepona; The Pyramid of I-ties; Dubious Russian sanctions; & 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 

María has answered my query about a 20kph overtaking margin on autovias/autopistas . . . It has never existed, so can’t be cancelled,

The Olive News goes to town on the wealthy Russians down South: Spain has insisted it will put an embargo on real estate and other assets belonging to 893 Russian oligarchs with links to the Putin regime. But so far only 3 superyachts have been impounded and the government insists no homes are owned by a giant group of crooked businessmen. Odd then, that we have published details of a palace closely linked to Putin or, at the very least, owned by one of his close cronies. It’s in in Zagaleta, close to Estepona and Marbella, and is described as a fortress with armed guards. Named ‘The Rock of the King’, it is dripping in as much gold as the besieged city of Mariupol is dripping in blood. Estepona is a rapidly-growing enclave housing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of wealthy Russians and a recently-built gold-plated Russian orthodox church. All in all, it’s time to shine a torch on the shady dealings behind the gates of the upmarket estates in Estepona, Marbella and in Alicante’s Altea Hills. Chances are, Spain will find many other dictators and tyrants hiding their money here.

Less controversially . . .  Among all the wonders that Spain hides, there is a singular building that has been abandoned since 1975. The Pyramid of the Italians is a unique structure in Spain that was built in 1939 to commemorate the combatants  in the Civil War. Today the niches for 300 Italian soldiers are still in the pyramid, with the plaques of the names of the deceased who occupied them, even though they are now empty.


Hmm. Those ‘unprecedented’ sanctions might not do what we’re being told they will do. If so, then what?

The Way of the World  

A shop called Fine Liquids has just opened in Fulham. It sells nothing but bottled water, under the slogan “Hydrate the imagination”. The most expensive bottle from this shop retails at more than £200.

It seems my suggestion of separate events for trans folk is not a new one. Nor a practical one. As I’ve suggested: One day soon this absurd delusion will simply disappear and normal cervix will be resumed. Meanwhile, if you want to write trans in a comment to a Times article, you have to use something like tr@ns or tráns. Which says a lot about fear of the transgender zealots currently, having their time in the sun. Before night falls.


Richard North this morning: During the Cold War, when president Kennedy spoke, one had a sense that history was being made. When Biden speaks, you never know whether it’s a typo in his script that he is mindlessly repeating, or if he’s making an addition that the White House will subsequently deny. Which is what’s happened with his apparently ex-cuffo remark that “Putin cannot remain in power”.


A propos of nothing . . . Wales” and “Welsh” derive from the same Old English root – singular Wealh, plural Wēalas – a descendant of Proto-Germanic Walhaz, which was itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to inhabitants of the Western Roman Empire. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term to refer to the Britons in particular; the plural form Wēalas evolved into the name for their territory, Wales. The modern names for various Romance-speaking people in Continental Europe (e.g. Wallonia, Wallachia, Valais, Vlachs, the German Welsch, and Włochy, the Polish name for Italy) have a similar etymology. Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain (e.g. Cornwall) and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons (e.g. Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire).

Finally . . . 

If you use sugar quite a lot – or even at all – you might find it useful to dip into Pure, White and Deadly. It will surely compel you to reconsider your usage.

To amuse. . . Might be genuine but I suspect not . . .

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.