16 August 2022: Things local; & A lighthouse cartoon.

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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 Spain/Galiza 

There was an accident the other day on the large zebra crossing at the city end of O Burgo bridge, when a car hit a young woman on an e-bike. In itself, this wasn’t surprising, given the several near misses I’ve witnessed there. What was a tad more surprising was the mumber of police officers on the scene – two to encourage the rubberneckers to move on, one to record the details and one just sitting in one of the 3 cars. We have a least 3 police forces operating in the city and I’ve often wondered how underemployed/bored they must be. Apart form the armed ones in the Guardia Civil who regularly raid the 2 gypsy communities at the bottom of my hill.

I had thought the annual Debs’ ball in Pv city was – as in the UK – a thing of the past. But it turns out it’d only been suspended during the pandemic. Last Saturday saw more than 20 young women ‘introduced into society’ and the Diaro de Pontevedra celebrated this with an 8-page special section:-

As you’d expect in a (very)provincial city, all the important family names featured in the text under the numerous fotos of individual women and their ‘sponsors’. All 23 of which also featured one chap trying not to look bored, whom I assumed to be the president of something or other.

Yesterday was el día más festivo del año in Spain, with hundreds of fiestas around the country. So, what did God do in Pv city? After months without a drop of rain, the Cosmic Joker chose to piss on our parade, making it boom time for the Senegalese brolly-sellers down in the fairground on the Alameda. None of the normal haggling around the asking price.  Making hay while the sun shone. Sort of.

Right on topic . . . Here’s Maria’s Beginning Over 23: Bring out the Music. All the vocab you need to understand what’s going on near you.

This is a sign on one of the South American stalls down in the fairground. I confess to a double take on walking past it, my imagination running riot:-

In the nearby town of Cuntis, they had a straw-bale-rolling competition of some sort:-

I was surprised to see these bales called alpacas. Neither the RAE nor its Galician equivalent give ‘straw-bale’ as one of the meanings for this word. Which I guess derives, at least in Cuntis, from the Spanish for ‘bale’, paca.




Back in 1946, George Orwell complained that the cost of his pipe-smoking habit had risen since 1939 from about €15 a year to around €46. He calculated that the average adult was laying out €46 a year for one packet of cheap cigarettes a day and half a pint of cheap beer 6 days a week. In comparison, today in the UK a pack of 20 cigarettes costs around €16. So, not hard to run up a total €46. Less than 3 days, in fact. Without drinking any beer. Making 1946 sound like the Middle Ages.

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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