22 July 2022: Energy wars; Galician fires; Water wastage; Summer concerts; New Spanish & Spanglish words; & 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 

Energy: Trouble is brewing in the EU. Spain is said to be among member states who’ve adamantly rejected the Brussels proposal to cut gas use by 15%. The Minister for Ecological Transition has insisted; “Whatever happens, Spanish families won’t suffer gas or electricity cuts in their homes and the government will defend the position of Spanish industry, which has paid a special price to guarantee the security of supply.” She stressed that Spain’s energy consumption has been within reasonable limits and that she wanted this to be respected, adding that “A disproportionate sacrifice cannot be imposed on us,” especially when “we have not been asked for an opinion”. Tough words. And surely a harbinger of stresses and strains to come as Russia tightens the screws. Or, rather, closes the taps.

The tiny village of La Asunción de Barrio, in Rubiá made Sky News this morning, as a result of being one of the victims of the dreadful fires up in the Galician mountains. I was surprised that the ‘muy triste’ woman interviewed spoke in Castellano, not Galego, as did other residents. But perhaps this was for the benefit of the English reporter.

Despite the threats of a draught and water rationing, at 15.00 yesterday – and under a hot sun – I had to weave between several jets of water hitting the path out of Pv city to O Burgo bridge. Surely not the best time of time of day to be doing this, even if saving the grass is a real priority. Which I rather doubt.

This week – after an hiatus of 2 years – we again have 5 nights of a (free) festival of jazz and blues in Pv city  Last night, I attended a concert given by a Portuguese group comprising 6 electric guitars and a set of drums. Of course, it didn’t start until 10.30 and I confess to leaving shortly after 11, having had enough of the level of noise generated. And not withstanding their virtuosity on the guitars.

Talking of concerts . . . I see that Bonnie Tyler will soon be performing in Ferrol, possibly in celebration of her centenary. Not fair; she’s only 71. But has been performing for 53 yers and can still belt out a song, I’m sure.

This foto was taken at one of my favourite watering holes. It’s a slightly uncomfortable table to occupy because of the Menu list at the end of it. Which means there are regularly people standing next to you, apparently staring at or through you. Oh, and also because pigeons sit on a strut that juts out above the Menu and do what pigeons do:-

The UK 

The Guardian’s John Crace writes again on Liz Truss here. He’s clearly not a fan: The ultimate shapeshifter. Not so much a set of ideas looking for their natural home as vaulting ambition in search of some ideas. I’d have thought the UK had had enough of vaulting ambition but, as she’s the front-runner among Conservative party members, apparently not. I very much doubt she’ll lead the Tories to election victory in 2024.


Is Putin taking us into a very serious  – and real – economic war, demanding that countries effectively be put on a war footing? A worrying possibility bordering on probability, I believe.


A bumper week – 6 new words/phrases already:-

La Nimiedad: Pequeñez, insignificancia; Exceso, demasía; Prolijidad, minuciosidad.

Un zócalo: Plinth

El/La linier: Linesman/woman in a football game

Un caño: The RAE dictionary gives 14 meanings for this but none of them explain this phrase in the report of a football match: Ese impulso llegó con un caño de Athenea que cambió el encuentro. I thought maybe ‘shot or ‘pass’ but the answer has just from from my friend, Fran – a nutmeg. A ball through the legs of an opponent. And Fran has added: Cuando te hacen un caño, la gente dice “compra una sotana”.

– Una sotana: A talar vestment, sometimes buttoned from top to bottom, worn by clergymen and laymen serving at church functions. It was also worn by students at universities. A soutane/cassock.

Talar: Reaching down to the heels. Full length.


Onboarding: Noted when I tried to register on my house insurance company’s site. Logging in? Registering?

Hacer click: To click; to come together: to get it together, as might a football team 

Finally . . .

A question put to a 17th century English ‘agony aunt’ . . . Why does love generally turn to coldness and neglect after marriage?

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.