Cosas de España/Galiza
On the Camino from Santiago to Finisterra, in a place called Dumbria, a local artist has created a tree structure of a werewolf – un hombre lobo. This is his representation of a monster – O/El Vákner – which has figured in local folklore for at least 600 years:-
Talking of fear . . The risks I most associate with using zebra crosses here are cars that either don’t stop when I’m about to cross or weave around me when I’m already on the crossing. I’ve yet to face the problem of a driver 5 times over the limit who’s parked on one and fallen asleep. It seems I need to go to Lugo for that.
Pontevedra FC today play a midday match which will determine whether or not they rise to a higher league automatically. If they do – today or after play-offs – I might well (disloyally) transfer my allegiance from Everton, should they suffer what looks like unavoidable descent from the Premier League. Meanwhile, the main consequence for me has been the almost impossible task of parking near where I usually do, 500m from the stadium in the barrio of Lérez.
Meanwhile . . . Good to see that, with the winter over, the lovely terraza of Pontevedra’s Parador is now open. It would be even better if there were newspapers to read and, even more critical, staff to take a coffee order from me. Maybe next Sunday.
P. S. A group of 5 ‘birth bodies’ has now joined me on the terraza. They are very noisy but the good news is that they’ve managed to wake a waitress.
For the nth time in 21 years I wonder if Spaniards are actually taught, when young, how to talk simultaneously. And when it’s polite to shout to get yourself heard above the cacophony. Any time you like, it seems.
Finally on the Parador . . . 5 pilgrims have just walked into the courtyard. ‘Pilgrims’ who can afford to stay in a 4 star hotel! Things have certainly changed in the last 20 years or so. Though I imagine Catholic and political dignitaries have always been able to afford such luxury. Especially in the Hotel de los Reyos Católicos, next to Santiago Cathedral. Neither group is famous for stinting itself. As you can see in the paintings of the wonderful Galician artist Castelao. Who wasn’t fond of either group.
Bit of a shock in the flea market (el rastrillo) this morning . . . The dour German who’s had a stall there every time I’ve been in 21 years wasn’t there and his pitch was occupied by someone else. Perhaps he’s just sick. Or Maybe he got fed up with the slow encroachment of the illegal gypsy stalls from the other end of the street:-
The ugly, rain-stained modern building at the end of the street is our newish museum and art gallery. Possibly designed by Sr Portela.
Those by-election results . . . Rod Liddle this morning might well have called it right: It may just be the worst of all worlds for the Tories: they will continue to be stuck with a leader whose unfathomable electoral magic has evaporated for a great many voters and who will presumably continue to tell fibs with the manic compulsion of a superannuated public school-educated Billy Liar — and yet is still not quite holed below the waterline. But those results also tell you, fairly clearly, that Labour will never win a general election outright again. It has become the party of the affluent metropolitan liberal middle class and a (gently diminishing) section of our ethnic minorities, who constitute a constituency far too small to win an election. The white working and lower-middle class cannot abide the party. . . . The entire party continues to find the fairly simple question “What is a woman?” almost impossible to answer. Do not underestimate the degree to which this matters. The whole shebang of Labour’s once-fashionable, right-on genuflections before the idiotic shibboleths of the intersectional left absolutely alienates most working-class voters.
Near term, the ‘greasy piglet’ seems to have again escaped denestration.
We wait on tenterhooks to see how Putin spins his murderous Ukraine adventure tomorrow at the big parade in Moscow. Where we will apparently see the few working models of the latest-generation tanks that he has. One of which stalled a year or three ago. And none of which have so far appeared on the battlefield.
The Way of the World
This madness was always going to happen. And it has. In Canada – a country I saw recently described as the most woke in the world . . .
Quote of the Day/Social Media
What the Covid era reveals is the shocking decline in the standard and probity of public discourse. It is hardly novel to place the social media at the centre of this malaise, but we perhaps fail to grasp how it has infected other areas of our lives. Think back to how television functioned during the pandemic — the constant attempts to ask “gotcha” questions rather than elicit information. This was not because interviewers were superficial but because they had an eye to how the clip might go viral later in the day.
A political reporter on Sky News this morning used ‘treaded’, as a (logical)English toddler would. So . . is ‘trod’ dying out? Like ‘lighted’. Only not quite the same, in fact.
Or is it American?
Finally . . .
Ronseal is a British producer of wood stain, known for the advertising phrase: “Does exactly what it says on the tin” . So . . . .
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.