Cosas de España/Galiza
I read last night a Times article on the Portuguese camino. It was sponsored by a company offering a guide service, so was naturally full of the sort of effusions indulged in by writers of this sort of fluff. But this bit, at least, is correct: Pontevedra – Galicia’s finest town – stuffs tapas bars between granite colonnades and dangles heraldic balconies over squares of camellia trees. That said, I don’t know of any dangling heraldic balconies – whatever they are. And there’s only one such camellia tree, admittedly huge and imposing. There are around 200 heraldic shields on the facades of old houses but they’re stuck to the walls and aren’t dangling from balconies.
The writer also favours this sort of fanciful stuff, as well as the usual nonsense about Galicia’s ‘Celtic-ness’:-
A Coruña: Growing up so far from authority has given it a rebellious air. Really?
Oviedo: This cider-soaked city is said [by whom?] to be the country’s most romantic. Elegance, wit and a certain smugness (born of the fact that Asturias was the one part of Spain the Moors couldn’t take) characterise the city. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed this during my several visits.
Santiago de Compostela: The granite streets are so lean you’ll feel you’ve wandered into a film set. I have no idea what a ‘lean’ street is – as opposed to a ‘mean’ street.
I guess it’s one way to make a nice living, at someone else’s expense. Wish I could do it.
A warning from Mark Stücklin about buying property here. I’ve certainly come across this conflict-of-interest factor in more than one context. No one in Spain seems to care about something which is illegal in other countries.
I don’t know what it was like elsewhere in Spain but here in Pontevedra city there was chaos at petrol stations on Friday when a government/taxpayer discount scheme began. Fortunately, I have a quarter of a tank in my car so can wait for things to settle down.
Assuming the reports of the appalling atrocities are true: This must represent another of Putin’s misjudgements. He might have been able to get away with his brand of savagery in Grozny and Aleppo where, bluntly, no-one much cared what happened to the inhabitants. But to unleash his thuggery on a European city in the full glare of the Western media, was not the most inspired of strategies. And yet, the man who is capable of permitting such things is one who might not be deterred from even greater savagery. We have not heard the last of this. So writes Richard North this morning. I fear he’s right. And I’m not sure it’s wise – though understandable – to corner Putin with threats of war crime judgements.
The Way of the World
Fighting back against the transgender bigots/fascists.
#MaskFishing – described by the Urban Dictionary as ‘Where a person appears to be more attractive because they are wearing a face mask’ – has racked up videos with 332 million views on Tik Tok. Mask-fishing is particularly prominent among teenagers who have acne and rogue facial hair to contend with. Those were the days.
Finally . . .
Reminiscing about her childhood in a house with no central heating, a columnist wrote about the days when net curtains froze stiff. I was instantly whisked back to the mornings when I had to scrape frost off the inside of the windows of the bedroom I shared with my brother. And when I’d wake up without the socks I’d put on the night before, prior to getting into freezing cold sheets. How did we survive??
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.