12 September 2022: The naughty ex king; Spanish glories; Pv and flour; & 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 Spain/Galiza

I don’t have HBO so can’t watch its documentary, Saving the King, on the currently self-exiled ex-King of Spain, Juan Carlos. In this, it’s revealed the priapic monarch used to meet his lovers in a van down a road at the back of the palace in Madrid. I don’t suppose folk were allowed to walk past it at the time. Least of all, the queen.

HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for:

1. Ten destinations in Spain from the Roman empire.

2. Toledo’s Catedral Primada.  

I trust that those who viewed the video I cited yesterday enjoyed the (dis)honourable mention of Pontevedra . . .  

Which reminds me . . . The film mentioned there – Fariña or ‘flour’in Gallego  – is called The Cocaine Coast on Netflix.


A few things I’ve learned about Portugal in the last week:-

– It attacked Ceuta in 1415, killing hundreds, if not thousands, of Muslims there.

– It started sending ships down the west coast of Africa in 1419, 73 years before the Genoese Cristofero Colombo, vaingloriously set sail westwards for India

– Its mariners first rounded the Cape of Good Hope – originally called The Cape of Chickens – in 1488.

– Its ships first reached India in 1498.

– These were followed by ever-larger – and well armed – fleets each year after that.

– Its mariners were brilliant navigators and sailors but not very nice people. Indeed, some of them appear to have been psychopaths, responsible for unbelievable atrocities in both Africa and India. Vasco de Gama stands out in this respect.

– Its mariner Pedro Álvares Cabral discovered Brazil in 1500, very probably by accident en route to India.

– Its entry into the Indian Ocean massively – and violently – disrupted trade which had been carried out peacefully there for a thousand years and, of course, significantly changed the world. The least impressed by this were the Venetians and the Egyptians whose monopolistic fortunes had been built on the overland route of spices, via Muslim middlemen, further East. Who also weren’t too happy about the creation of a cheaper sea route which cut them out.

The UK 

These are the UK’s leading politicians:-

Hard to accuse the country of misandry. Even though the monarch is now male.


Italy’s right turn is a hard lesson for liberals.

Quote of the Day


Whatever happened to Rudy Giuliani? Self-destruction, it seems.


I’ve now discovered that the very odd slang verb Shippear comes from ‘relationship’ and refers to the aspiración de que dos personas se emparejen. OK, but why 2 Ps? Possibly the only word in Spanish featuring these.

Finally   . . . .

Some Anglo ad campaigns that didn’t go down well in Hispanic countries:-

– Coors beer. ‘Turn it loose’ became ‘Suffer from diarrhoea’.

– General Motors’ Nova car became ‘No va’.

– Parker pens’ ‘It won’t leak and embarrass you’ became ‘It won’t make you pregnant’.

– Perdue’s ‘It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken’ came out as ‘It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate’.

– Braniff’s ‘Fly in leather’ became ‘Fly naked’.[Piel, I guess]

Welcome to new subscriber: TheStars. Another reader with his/her/their own   blog.

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.