7 July 2022: San Fermín; British Menorca; Energy rip-offs; Octopi; The UK’s Greek tragedy; & Other stuff.

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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’

I wonder how many regular readers have noticed that the first caption has been changed from Shakespeare to Omar Khayám. Well, Edward Fitzgerald.

Cosas de España/Galiza  

Today saw the start of a week of bull-running in Pamplona. Here and here are where you can see the next 6, the first with commentary in the Basque language, Euskara.

A HT to Lenox Napier of Business over Tapas for this article on ‘The vestiges of British Menorca’.

Another HT to  Lenox  for this ABC article on the Alcazaba in Badajoz,  the largest citadel of its type in Europe. I visited it back in 2018 and wrote this in my blog the day after: Badajoz was delightful and the natives as friendly as they’re reputed to be. In the narrow streets of the upper part of the old quarter – near the remains of the Moors’ Alcazaba – there were very few people about and we were possibly the only tourists in the place. Certainly the only foreign tourists. One resident told us that a good deal of money had been spent on restoring attractions but tourists were so few that owners took a relaxed/pragmatic approach to opening hours. The city’s culinary reputation was endorsed by an excellent lunch with decent wine in La Taberna La Nueva Santina in Plaza La Soledad. One aspect of the city confused me for a short while – Information panels sometimes gave names in 2 languages, as in A Galera and La Galera. My initial reaction was to wonder why they were giving the Gallego alternative, and then it dawned on me it was Portuguese. I was reminded of a panel back in the bones place in Évora, where there was Portuguese, English and French, but no Spanish. I’ve noticed this before and wondered whether it indicated a certain apathy towards their richer, ‘arrogant’ neighbours.

Food for thought/action:-

Energy 1: Electricity: It’s said that almost 80%  of Spanish homes have a higher contracted power than they need and that the standard 4.2kW limit is unnecessarily high for the average home. I don’t recall getting letter from my supplier on this . . .

Energy 2: Gas: It’s also reported that the consumers’ organisation, Facua, claims that gas users too could be paying far more than they need to. Facua says that the free gas rate is almost 3 times more expensive than the regulated one. After checking offers from Endesa, Naturgy, Iberdrola, Repsol, CHC Energía and Total Energies and found them to be anything up to 175% more expensive than the ‘TUR’ rate’. Iberdrola takes the laurels of being the most expensive.

My thanks to reader Aleksandras for this article on octopuses. Which shouldn’t be farmed.

Maria’s Beginning Over: 20. The Death of a Dream

The UK  

What to say about the unfolding farce?

Well, for one thing, it seems that Boris Johnson has recognised his plight is so serious he needed to finally cut and comb his ludicrous mop of hair. Wow!

Looking back . .

I told you so 1: Former employer, Max Hasting in 2019: Johnson’s premiership will almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability. Johnson will surely come to regret securing the prize for which he has struggled so long. Because the experience of the premiership will lay bare his absolute unfitness for it.

I told you so 2: Brexit ultra Simon Heffer, before the 2017 general election: Tory party members will soon tire of his indolence, casualness, monstrous selfishness, lack of attention to detail, incompetence and monumental dishonesty. And even if he  wins the election,  no one should bet on him shaping the destiny of Britain and her people for much more than a brief, and possibly deeply troubling, interlude.

Best headline: Get Exit Done, Boris!

Finally, here’s Richard North, never the biggest fan of ‘The Oaf’. If this man thinks he can sit tight for a while and everything will revert to normal, he is even more stupid than I took him for. He may be gifted with a certain animal cunning and been educated far beyond his ability, but anyone who thinks this political train-wreck is survivable isn’t really on this planet. More here.

Quote of the Day

This must be the first ever example of sinking ships leaving the rat:  Keir Starmer on the Tory imbroglio

Finally  . . .

To amuse . . .

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.

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