5 July 2022: Water use: 3 cheers for Galiza; Cougar/Kuga; & A nice foto.

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza

After a very dry spring and ahead of forecasts for a very hot summer, there are fears of a serious drought in Spain. I’ve long thought per capita use of water here was among the highest in Europe but looking at stats for the the last 10 years results in a degree of confusion. Back in 2012. Spain – at 265L/day – was near the top of European countries as regards water use but more recent stats have Spain just below the UK at c. 140L/day, against a European average of 150. This compares with 300L/day in Italy. Spain’s lower figure is for tap-water usage, so I’m left wondering if 2012’s high number reflects massive agricultural use down South. What is true is that Spain ranks very lows as regards the cost of water for us consumers. But perhaps this is going to change, with the aim of bringing use down to the level of East European countries.

Here in Galicia ‘spring’ saw a level of rainfall significantly less than usual but my daughter says it rained heavily in March in Madrid, which is probably not considered spring in Spain. At least not until the 21st of that month. In the same way, summer doesn’t officially start here until 21st June, regardless of the temperatures. These dates seem to be important to the Spanish in telling them what clothes they should wear, so was to avoid looking prematurely ‘summery’ even if it’s hot. But you might be allowed to look ‘wintery’ if there’s a cold snap.

This guide to the best river cruises in Europe includes one from Oporto along the Douro to the Spanish border which includes a visit to the wonderful Spanish city of Salamanca. As this lies more than 100km east of said border, I guess you have to leave the boat and take a coach in order to enjoy its many delights. 

Three bits of good news for Galicia:-

1. Contrary to ‘rumour and myths’, the inclusion of a ‘hard’ exam in Gallego in the pre-uni Selectividad exam, this is not dragging down the mark for Spanish.

2. The local Pescanova company is introducing surimi de salmon to the market. Surimi is said to be ‘minced fish paste’.

3. The Galician invention of yoghurt for dogs and cats is being rolled out to the national market. And about time too.

As I was passing the driver testing-centre yesterday morning, a car pulled out right in front of me and then drove very slowly ahead of me before I turned off to park. This gave me plenty of time to note it was a Ford and called, I thought, Kuca. But a check revealed its real name was Kuga. Or cougar. But the word for cougar in Spanish is puma. The name Cougar was used by Ford in both the USA and Europe more 20 years ago and seems to have been reintroduced phonetically at least, as the Kuga, way back in 2008. Leaving me wondering why I’ve only just noticed one of them,

The Way of the World 

I made a dig at AI yesterday so was interested to read that: Wokeness is just one modern mania that has a distinctly religious quality. Arguably, there are two other modern religions that eclipse wokeness in their scope and ambition: environmentalism and ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI).  . . .  Artificial intelligence and apocalyptic environmentalism are two of the most powerful religions of the 21st century. More here.


Un punching:  This word doesn’t appear in the RAE dictionary but it did on this label for things bought yesterday for my 3 year old grandson. 

The origin seems to be the US version of the British word ‘punchbag’.


As sometime happens, I saw the same unusual phrase twice in a couple of days. This was ‘two cheeks of the same backside’. Though one version used ‘arse’ rather than the polite ‘backside’.

Finally  . . .

The Man from Delmonte take his stylish grandson for a walk . . .

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.


  1. Gracias, Aleksandras.

    SI, hace décadas, solía nadar entre pulpos en las islas de Seychelles. Hoy día, entiendo qui son may inteligentes.



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