11 June 2022: Pedestrian risks; Spanish traits; News of 3 sorts; Pets v babies; & 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 Spain’

Cosas de España

Spain’s bust-up with Algeria over the Western Sahara risks the loss of €75m worth of business spread over more than 100 Galician companies. Not a happy prospect in these difficult times.

Another 2 near-death experiences on zebra crossings this week. Or near-accident experiences at least. The first took place on the (admittedly confusing) ‘Pelican’ crossing on my side of the river. The driver braked to a halt right in front of me when I was half-way across. I confined myself to shaking my head but the woman behind me resorted to hitting the car with her umbrella. The second happened on the large crossing on the Pv side of the O Burgo bridge. A bus had stopped to let me cross and just as I emerged from behind it, a car sped across in front of me, having presumably ignored or not even noticed that the bus had stopped. I fear someone will get me one day. . .

These experiences reminded me of 2 characteristics of many Spaniards over the years:-

– As identified yesterday, an exceptionally high tolerance of noise, and

– An apparent absence of antennae/radar as regards folk around them.

I have no explanation for these. Just part of the culture that you have to get used to if you want to live happily here. After 21 years, I’m still working on that . . .

Good news for (now non-EU) Brits afeared of long queues at Spain’s airports

Bad news for us Brit residents re voting in local elections. Possibly

And news you really don’t want to hear – A bridge on the A6 autovia near Pedrafita do Cebreiro collapsed this week because it’d been constructed using the wrong materials for our climate . .

I think last night saw the end of school dances for kids of 17 or 18 – when the guys put on suits and the gals dress like Hollywood starlets. Down in Salamanca years ago, I naively thought the group being professionally photographed was of contestants in a beauty contest.

Last year, Pv city was recorded as having 3 times more pets than newborn babies. I imagine most of the latter were better looking than most of the former.

Ukraine v. Russia

Almost certainly true:-

–  The trajectory of the war has shifted from one of Russian failures, tilting in favour of Russia as the stronger force.

– This is an artillery war now – an attritional slugfest. 

– Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate believes Russia will continue the conflict for another year, with the aim of freezing the war in order to convince the West to lift sanctions, but will then continue the aggression.

– Meanwhile . . .  Not without good cause, the Ukrainians seem to be intent on perpetuating a sense of crisis, which may be the only way that long-term support can be assured.

The implications? A lot more destruction and slaughter until Ukraine finally loses the Donbas region to separatists/Russia?

Quote of the Day

Worth noting: ‘Needless to say’ is, needless to say, needless to say.


This might not be the first time I’ve posted this: 10 Spanish phrases that make no sense in English.

Finally . . .

To raise a smile . . .

For passing readers: 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. 

Welcome to a new subscriber – Malachy. 

Finally, finally: Write to me here, if you want to see a FREE memoir of my first 15 months in Spain, 2000-2001, entitled So, you fancy moving to Spain. (I’ve added FREE as the grand total of takers to date is just 1 person . . .