25 August 2022: Energy puzzles; PPE fraud?; Looming road tolls; A curious relief; A very different social network; & 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

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Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’



1. Canadian consumers pay 10p/kWh for their electricity, the Norwegians 11p, Americans 13p, and the French 15p, while Brits are paying 26p, despite producing 50% of their own gas used for generating electricity, and getting most of the rest from Norway, while not buying any directly from Russia.

2. Electricity costs 4 times more in Germany and France than it does in Spain’ says El Economista here. (HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for that)

3. Richard North today: So complex is the UK’s energy market and its regulation that it’s probably fair to say there’s no-one who fully understands how it works. 

Cosas de Spain/Galiza 

Oops . . .  The European Public Prosecutor’s Office will investigate whether Spain’s Health Ministry grossly overpaid for Chinese disposable PPE gowns during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. 500,000 disposable gowns were bought at 60 times the market value using EU funds given to Spain, while much cheaper local options were rejected. Will heads ever roll? No.

The good old EU . . . Madrid has commissioned studies on the options for a nationwide road toll system from 2024. This is in return for receiving EU Covid recovery grants worth €70 billion. Spain has been under pressure to fall in line with other EU member states like France, Germany and Portugal, where widespread toll road charging is the norm.

This – from The Olive News – will be of interest to some: Archaeologists are excited to have found in Córdoba a giant penis carving dating from Roman times. It’s made of stone, of course and the ON adds that: Although depictions of the penis were a common theme used to represent fertility, bring luck and ward off the evil eye, the team believe this relief carving is something more unusual. “It was common to place them on house facades or on small amulets worn by soldiers as a symbol of virility, but not of such as a size this,” said the professor leading the project. The relief carved on a limestone block is close to half a metre in length. Needless to say, Guardia Civil officers are protecting the site from curious onlookers and looters.

The good news for those in the Galician hospitality trade is that numbers are up this summer. The bad news is that spending per capita is down, as belts are tightened.

On this theme . . Judging from the absence of newspapers in more and more cafés, I get the impression economies are being made wherever they can be.

If you’re anywhere near Lalín with kids, you might like to know there’s a toy museum there. Sadly, a bit too far for me to take my 3 year old grandson to it. This is its web page and this report provides more detail and pix.

The UK 

Richard North has no doubt there’ll be mobs in the street of Britain this winter but that: By the time the mobs gather, Johnson will be long gone from Downing Street, but his legacy will be measured in terms of his contribution to the wreckage of the Tory energy policy, matched by the physical wreckage on the streets of our major cities, as people express their views on this most egregious failure of government.

Social Media  

Lenox Napier advises of a new-ish social media option – Tribel – which is said to be the only social network that isn’t riddled with bigotry and fake news. Trible says of itself: We are an innovative new social network that nurtures intelligence and kindness. Good luck with that.


A widespread view around the world, I’d guess:-

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.

One comment

  1. Further to an earlier comment:

    Ukrenergo National Power Company expects that the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) will endorse a decision to increase Ukraine’s electricity export capacities from September 2, 2022.
    The relevant statement was made by Ukrenergo National Power Company Board Chairman Volodymyr Kudrytskyi during a discussion regarding the August economic survey, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    According to Kudrytskyi, Ukrenergo is planning to generate UAH 2 billion from the sale of access to interstate interconnections. That’s over 54.5 billion Euros.


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