16 June 2022: Bad news; Good news; interesting news; Ugly Spain; Moorish places; & 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 

Here in Spain, you snap the police at your peril. A Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist who was photographing the arrival of migrants in the Canary Islands and their clash with the police was fined €960 for ‘disrespecting’ the cop who tried to stop him. This  was under the infamous ‘Gag law’, of course, which the current government has said it’ll abolish.

Bad news? Pret a Manger: – ‘the popular British sandwich chain’ – might be about to change Spanish lunchtime habits. It’s opening 70 shops across the country. As someone has written: ‘Spain has no tradition of fast-food sandwich shops and until recently it was difficult to find anything more adventurous than a jamón or queso bocadillo for a lunch on the go. Many workers still go out for a menu del dia or take their own meals in to the office in plastic containers.’ 

Even worse news?: Spain’s water-reservoirs are at a historic minimum – indeed, ‘bordering on collapse’, say the experts. Meaning that, come autumn, there could well be ‘several million people with restrictions on access to water’ 

Interesting news . . . We  might soon be making short-haul flights in Spain via hot-air balloons. Air Nostrum has ordered 10 of these from  UK firm, with deliveries expected in 2026.

Also interesting to see that this article on ‘Ugly Spain’ has a special mention of Galicia.

The UK appears not to be alone . . . Public services are collapsing in Spain, says the (right-wing?) author of this article.

This will come as no surprise to anyone living in Spain: ‘Barcelona is to install sound level monitors in a bid to beat noise pollution. Meters will be deployed to confirm ‘acoustically stressed’ areas where ‘action will be taken’.

HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for this list of ‘The best Moorish sites in Spain’.

Another HT to Lenox for the  news that, while El Tráfico is going to make it easier for very young folk to drive (low-powered) cars, it’s going to make life more difficult for those over 70, who’ll be required to take a battery of tests every 2 years, instead of 4 or 5. Which probably looks sensible. Unless you’re 70+

Yesterday my house guest and I travelled to and from Santiago de Compostela by train. We were both amused to hear the on-board pre-arrival annuncement n 5 accents:-

Spanish – 1

Galician – 1

American – 1

British – 2 

The UK 

Understandably, cricket can seem very boring to our American cousins – especially a 5-day match which ends in a draw/tie. But here you can see how exciting it can be, when England are set to chase an almost impossible target to secure victory against New Zealand. I recommend starting from minute 7.30 to get the flavour of some amazing batting. A propos here’s a video of ‘cricket for baseball fans’.

P. S. I’ve watched baseball in the USA. It, too, can be very boring.

Ukraine v Russia 

Richard North today: It is delusional to think that Ukraine can prevail in current circumstances.

Quote of the Day

Aeschylus: Memory is the source of all wisdom. So, only really available to the old . . . .


Reader Anthea has added un nocdoun to un nocaut.


Possibly a growing view: I’ve stopped using the word “transgenderism” as it has no clear boundaries, which makes it useless for communication, and have instead opted for the term SSI(synthetic sex identities), which more clearly defines what some of the Pritzkers and their allies are funding – even as it ignores the biological reality of “male” and “female” and “gay” and “straight.

Finally . . .

To raise a smile . . .

For new 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