27 August 2022: Car hire at SdC; Spanish positives; Meghan again; Interesting Spanish words; Fawlty Towers; & 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’

Life in Spain

My daughter’s visiting friend was due to land at Santiago de C airport at 10 last night but was delayed until 11, just as the car hire company was closing. But she called them from the plane and begged them to stay open for her. Which they did and then treated her very pleasantly. So here’s the company for those flying into SdC. They claim No hidden extras, which would be a huge boon, if true. I’ll let you know.

Cosas de Spain/Galiza

Four bits of good news;-

1. The 60,000 year old skull of a Neanderthal has been found in Cataluña. Of course, he/she didn’t actually know they were a Neanderthal. And probably didn’t care.

2. The 2 healthiest cities in the world are Valencia and Madrid. Possibly contentiously.

3. There’s a Galician place in a list of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

4. Best of all . . . Spain catches up with the rest of the developed world as regards ‘consent’.

Quote of the Day

Continuing the theme of this week . . . The more Meghan Markle speaks, the less anyone wants to listen.

But, that said . . . . Meghan’s 60-minute me-fest is currently top of the Spotify charts.

It takes all sorts.


I heard Me has cortado la meada last night. Literally, ‘You’ve stopped me pissing’. Meaning?? ‘You’ve interrupted my enjoyment of something?’ María? Paideleo? Anyone else? ‘To piss on my parade’?

Vilipendiar: To vilify/malign. As in: Un pastor envangélico puede ir al carcel por vilipendiar a su hijo per ser homosexual. So, a dangerous thing to do in Spain.


I didn’t know the Basil Fawlty and his wife were base on a areal couple. Details below.

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.


Donald Sinclair and his formidable wife Beatrice. Sinclair was an irascible and eccentric former naval officer who had been torpedoed three times in the war. He was very brave, stuffy and permanently enraged. If guests asked for hot water to heat a baby’s bottle, a morning wake-up call or a taxi, his immediate response was: “Why?” He did not want the Pythons in his hotel. Cleese later described him as “the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met”.

When the American Terry Gilliam left his knife and fork at an angle on the plate, in the American manner, Sinclair leant over and rearranged them, muttering: “This is how we do it in England.” He confiscated Eric Idle’s briefcase and placed it behind a wall in the garden, claiming it might contain a bomb. “Why would anyone want to bomb your hotel?” Idle asked. “We’ve had a lot of staff problems lately,” Sinclair replied.

Michael Palin recalled: “That man Sinclair ran it like a high-security prison [and] seemed to view us as a colossal inconvenience. It’s funny now, but it really did seem like the worst hotel in the world. Everything we asked for seemed to be the most unforgivable imposition.”

The other Pythons soon moved into another hotel, one that actually welcomed guests, but Cleese and Booth stayed on for another two weeks, cheerfully gathering material. The resulting sitcom brilliantly lampooned the old-fashioned attitudes of people like Sinclair and Fawlty, men marooned by modernity — which is what makes the modern accusations of political incorrectness made against Fawlty Towers so absurd.

Donald Sinclair died in 1981, having achieved immortality as Basil Fawlty. Even his passing had the hallmark of black comedy. He is said to have succumbed to a heart attack when some workmen, with whom he had inevitably fallen out, crept on to the hotel grounds at night and painted his car and patio furniture gunmetal grey.


  1. Me has cortado la meada probably refers to a shock the person received. After all, while answering nature’s call, if one gets a shock, the body’s immediate response is to stop what it’s doing. And answering the call is pretty instinctual, so, a big shock.

    It’s hard to believe someone like Basil Fawlty existed. I loved that series for the sheer, improbable hilarity of it!


  2. A couple of years ago, and seeing how absurd the world is becoming I ensured I had copies of Fawlty Towers, The Office (not the truly awful American copy), Little Britain, League of Gentleman and several more. I also still enjoy Morecambe & Wise, Dad’s Army & Only Fools and Horses. The PC brigade can’t cancel me though, I am not on Farcebook, Twatter, Snotchat or Instascam.

    When I see comedians apologising in 2022 for something they did in 2002, my conclusion is they do it to keep their followers on Twatter (not a spelling mistake) happy.
    Drops mic.


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