16 July 2022: Spanish pronunciation; Spanish challenges; The Gaelic football tournament; Scottish nonsense; A funny shark; A challenge to FB; & 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’

Cosas de España/Galiza 

Here’s this week’s Spanish Shilling from Lenox Napier – on Spanish pronunciation. As ever, there are several amusing observations but, for me, the best is: In French, there are a hundred ways of saying “You know what I mean, Um, At the end of the day” and other useless fillers to ward off actually saying something useful. In Spain, all we have is ‘coño’ – the infamous C word. 

A bonus for me was the citation of a product called BeeBapoRu. Earlier this year, I bought some for my grandson, to be knocked back by a price of more than €12, against €4 in the UK. Are there any poor pharmacists in Spain.   

Talking of amusing articles . . . This is one by an Irish chap who might well have moved from Madrid to Pontevedra, at least temporarily. It’s about what we expats have to learn to accept – in his words, come to terms with – about Spanish culture in order to be happy here. I can think of a few more, possibly because I’ve been here longer than him. Tomorrow I’ll post his 50 reasons for why Spain is the dog’s bollocks, or La hostia, as he puts it.

And talking about things/people Irish  . . . I watched several Gaelic football matches yesterday, ahead of the finals today, and was impressed by the speed of the game and the skills on display. I was surprised to see teams from France, Germany, Luxembourg and Benelux in the mix but less so to be told that membership of the last two was 50-100% Irish expats. Presumably all involved in Finance. There wasn’t actually an Irish team and one explanation given was that this was a Continental European tournament. The other was that the event was possibly below them . . .  Not having seen a mention of the sport in 21 years here, I was staggered to hear there are 29 club teams in Galicia alone. And their ‘national’ male and female teams did well yesterday. Finally on this, it was good to see the rivalry between the teams from France and Brittany. Likewise with the Iberia and Galicia teams. Though I suspect the latter match was more good-natured.

Weather News: The Atlantic Blanket rolled on overnight. . .

At 7.20 this morning it was only 17 degrees outside but still 26 inside my house.

The UK 

Yesterday, I was reading about logical fallacies, one of which is ‘begging the question’ – presuming something you want to exist already does. This morning I happened upon this example. Which won’t appeal to my Scottish friend and reader, Mark.

Incidentally, nationalists in several Spanish regions take much the same approach, conveniently confusing ‘country’ and ‘nation’ with ‘sovereign state’. 


Just in case you didn’t get it, guorsesterechaer is Worcestershire. Not pronounced Worssesstershire, of course, but Wuster. Though not by any Spaniard I know.

Finally  . .

Here is a shark called the Tasselled Wobbegong, more properly – the Tasselled Wobbegong: Eucrossorhinus dasypogon:-

A bit of Spanish history for you, courtesy of Jimmy Jones and his 60s hit Good Timin’ Who in the World would have ever known
What Columbus could do
If Queen Isabella hadn’t hocked her jewels
In 1492?
But she had timin’
A-ticka, ticka, ticka, good timin’
Tocka, tocka, tocka, tocka
Timin’ is the thing
It’s true

Finally, finally . . .  I’m posting this cartoon because 1. It’s funny, and 2. Lenox tells me he can’t get it accepted by FB, with whom he’s having a lot of trouble for being sceptical/cynical. Let’s see if I now get banned for a month:-

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. Some believe that Columbus finally set sail in 1492 after years of delay in getting the finances for the voyage, coincide with the final act of the inquisition.By expelling of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula on the same year. The adventure wasn’t financed by Isabelle jewels more by Isabelle Jews money and property she had confiscated!


  2. Estimado Colin,

    Everyone has a book to sell and it is always prudent to consciously realize this before accepting any argument as the last word on a subject.  It appears that Lily of St. Leonards may herself be begging the question in presuming that an empire is and should be indivisible notwithstanding the sentiments of those whom the empire has absorbed.  She is certainly limiting her argument to terms under which her logic can properly arrive at her conclusion.  However, under her logic, no captive nation or society that has been integrated into an empire would ever be justified in wanting to separate from the empire.  This seems like a very traditional pro-empire narrative that is not supported by the history of empires.

    I don’t believe that people in former Soviet republics would agree with Lily — whether or not the Russians had substantially imposed Russian culture and language upon them.  This is especially true of the Baltics, and particularly Lietuva (Lithuania), which had previously been occupied by Russia, whose language had been made illegal, and that was the first to declare independence from the Soviets.

    To me this raises the question of whether there is a limit of time or some other factor when a group of people are no longer entitled to separate themselves from a government that they did not originally choose.  I have often wondered this about Cataluña and El País Vasco.  Maybe the time for talk of separation is over after they have in their hearts accepted the new order — as when Winston in Orwell’s /1984/ finally loves Big Bother.  Is it possible that the Scots have previously learned to love the UK and are now only complaining that they do not have as much influence as they would like?

    Here is an interesting discussion comparing the Soviet Union and Scotland v. England/UK: https://www.historytoday.com/politics-breakup-uk-and-ussr

    Saludos cordiales,




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