20 April 2022; Mask freedom!; Wise Spaniards; Nudist beaches; Russian defeat? & 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 Spai


As of today, I can legally refuse to wear a mask in many indoor places here in Spain. Menudo relevo!

Cosas de España/Galiza

I didn’t know that it was to some Spanish wise men that Pope Gregory, back in the 16th century, turned to for the invention of the Gregorian calendar. The estimable Mac75 has the story here.

Lenox Napier writes again here on the theme of the different treatment handed out to foreign tourists and foreign residents such as him and me.

The mayor of Cádiz has announced that all beaches down there will permit nudism this summer. Responding to critics, he had this to say: Yes, that’s right, we want to impose total nudism on the beaches of Cadiz, and we are also going to force you to go out in a flamenco dress on Sundays, to wear a cardigan for the cold on winter nights, and we will prohibit foreigners from wearing socks under their sandals. It’s all part of our evil plan to take over the world.

Where there’s a will (and huge profits) there’s a way . . . Those high speed launches used by our narcotraficantes . . . The shell is built in O Salnés in Southern Galicia, the circuits and engines are assembled in Salamanca or Valença (Portugal) and the narco-launches travel by road to the Netherlands or southern Portugal to be hidden for months. Once the “danger” has passed, they return to Spain to be launched in Catalonia, Murcia or in the Algarve, ending up in the hands of Moroccan drug traffickers off Nador.

Three odd things on my return train trip last night:-

  1. The taped British voice for the recorded announcements had a Geordie accent
  2. The lady in question pronounced ‘varied’ not as ver-reed but var-ride. Not a native speaker?
  3. In contrast with the station TV, the onboard TV on the 2nd leg from Santiago to Vigo advised that the next station would be Ourense, which I’d just come from. Quite worrying for about 10 minutes . . .

The UK 

This is a Left-ish review of Boris Johnson’s 1,000 days, from The Guardian: His premiership has exceeded even the gloomiest, most doom-laden fears of his doubters and detractors. That said, it might not seem more than a row of beans to Spaniards familiar with even greater corruption and malfeasance at national, regional and local levers of government. But, anyway, you’ll find here a list of some of Johnson’s most notable scandals, U-turns and examples of law breaking.¡

The Labour Party is, of course, very critical of Johnson but the obvious question is – and has has been for some time – If he is such an electoral liability, would Labour not be shrewder trying to keep him in place?

The good news is that: Sahara solar could soon rescue Britain’s broken energy system. Within 5 years, the world’s longest undersea cable will link Devon to a vast territory of solar panels in the Sahara Desert, supplying electricity directly into Britain’s grid at a fraction of today’s power prices.


Possibly true . . . Vladimir Putin now faces a 1905-style national humiliation. The Russo-Japanese war marked the beginning of the end of the Tsar. Ukraine may do the same for today’s Russian leader. The parallels between Ukraine and the Russo-Japanese war are not perfect. But if I were Vladimir Putin, I would find enough in the story to worry me. His forces face a similar humiliation and, though it could again be years in the making, defeat may yet mark the beginning of the end for this modern Tsar’s hideous reign.

BUT MEANWHILE . . . For as long as Europe pays for Russian energy, Vladimir Putin is winning. The defenders will continue to fight and deserve to be supported, yet there are signs that arms shipments are drying up. 

The Way of the World

As predicted, it’s got longer . . . LGBTQIAPK (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual/polyamorous, kink). Others add 2SA (two-spirited and allies) or BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism). So, a European war hasn’t yet changed perspectives.

Quote of the Day

A new energy order based on cheap desert solar will undercut and replace Opec and Russia’s oil hegemony

Social Media/Quote of the Day

Progressives are in a funk about Musk taking control of Twitter. Meaning that: Censorship has become a core part of liberal-elite ideology. Politicians, think-tankers and commentators have got it into their heads that the threat to democracy comes not from censorship, but from an excess of freedom of speech – and that the state, Big Tech and corporate media must all do their bit to censor and protect civilisation. That this is the precise opposite of what liberal thinkers used to say doesn’t seem to bother them. . . .  The notion that free speech is somehow at odds with democracy is perverse. The two go hand in hand. And the primary threat to democracy today comes not from those fighting for free speech, but from those trying to institutionalise censorship. 

Finally . .

On this wonderful site, you can identify what song was top of the US charts on the day you were born. Mine was Rumors Are Flying, with Frankie Carle on piano and (the gorgeous)Marjorie Hughes on vocals. Of whom I recall nowt, of course.

To amuse . . . 

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.


  1. Grazas. I did check ‘Menudo relevo’ with Google translate and it gave me ‘What a relief’ but I now know this is wrong!

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