4 October 2022: Slow solar; Weaker Vox?; Teaching English in Spain; Social media sins; & 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

Why on earth – literally – is Spain behind the Netherlands and Germany when it comes to the generation of electricity via solar power? Perhaps it has something  – quite possibly a lot – to do with the contrary strategies of PP governments of the last 15 years.

Talking of energy  . . . HT to  Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for the good news that : A Spanish invention, aero-generators without blades (the specially-shaped mast vibrates in the wind, providing energy), are now on sale.  

More good news via Lenox: The egregious Vox party might be melting down.

I’ve never done it but I know a lot about teaching English in Spain. And I’m friends with a couple of ‘academy’ owners. This article  – 3rd HT to Lenox – rings very true to me. I would only add that, 15 years ago, my daughter and I managed to find folk willing to pay €25 an hour when the going rate in Pontevedra city was €15. Despite the accumulated inflation – it still is €15. Which says a lot.

Here’s a bit of puffery from the Galician makers of a new ice-cream flavour: It has beef stew with mushrooms, a demi-glace, bones and nuts. Within the same ice cream there are 2 preparations and 3 different textures. There is a combination of sweet and savoury nuances that makes the flavour delicious, but very light. Not sure I’ll be testing their claims.

For those few interested in these things, there’s a bit below on the subject of negotiating roundabouts in the UK, Spain and Portugal.

The Way of the World

An article that will raise your hackles: Teens can’t escape the deluge of disturbing content. Young people have always been drawn to darker material but tech’s crime is to engineer an inescapable craving for more. As with the transgender madness, I thank the fates that my daughters ended their teenage years before this began. I certainly don’t envy today’s parental challenges.

A Comment to the article: Our children have been enrolled into a vast psychological experiment that none of us consented to, the deranging effects of which we’re just beginning to understand. We’ll surely look back and wonder how we let billionaire sociopaths profit from harming children in this way. The social contagion of gender dysphoria is obviously amplified by social media, and who knows what other pathologies are being cultivated in young minds as we speak. Parents need to take more responsibility but there’s only so much we can do (and I say this as a tech-proficient parent). We need better laws to protect children – in fact, all of us – from Silicon Valley’s insatiable greed and boundless amorality

Finally   . . . .   

Nominative determinism? The Director of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service is called Buontempo, Italian for ‘good weather’.

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.


My daughter and I talked about the right way to enter one of these in the UK if you’re  if approaching on a 2-lane road and going straight on. She thought you had to be in the outside lane but I disagreed. The net confirmed you can use either lane. Since anyone leaving at a prior exit would be in the outer lane, anyone in the inner lane going straight on would not be at risk of crashing into such a driver. In Pontevedra city, it’s clear from the 2 straight arrows on the roads that this is permissible, yet hardly anyone does it. Virtually every car funnels into the outside lane, slowing down traffic flow. Worse, many cars going left use the outer lane, as learners are taught by all the 20+ driving schools operating near my house. I think I’ve said that there’s a certain logic in using only the outside lane wherever you are going; in this way, you eliminate the risk arising from someone being in the wrong lane. It’s either that or make sure in your mirrors you’re not going to be hit on the right by one of these crossing your path.

If you’re going to Portugal, note that it’s risky driving ‘Spanish fashion’ there: When you enter a roundabout you can only use the right[outside] lane if you’re taking the first exit. If you don’t do so and occupy the outside lane without taking the first exit, you can be fined up to €300.

That’s it for entering and exiting UK and Spanish roundabouts. Don’t get me onto the subject of signalling – or not – when you’re doing so . . . .


  1. In my experience, Portuguese drivers simply cut through all the lanes in a rotary to get to their exit. A straight line is the shortest trip.

    I earn about five hundred euros less than my husband giving English classes. I work five hours a day. My husband once did the math, and I earn about forty cents more than him per hour. And I don’t charge as much as many academies. (I don’t charge by the hour, I charge by the month according to how many hours a week a student comes, so I’m charging even less than €15 an hour.)

    Doesn’t say much for conditions in the construction industry, either, despite apparently not being able to find many workers.


  2. Wow. Thanks, María.
    My problem is the exchange rate and the impact of a weak pound on my pension. But I doubt I’ll ever be on the bread line. And I can always throw myself on the mercies of my lovely daughters . . . . The Madrid one moved on from teaching English years ago, to work for a US consultancy on a good whack.



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