9 October 2022: Various items . . .

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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

Travel Note: Today my old friend and I are heading for Zaragoza, the capital of the once-mighty Aragón. Stopping in Cervantes’ birthplace – Alcalá de Henares – en route.

Talking of cities  . . .  This is a nice article on Spain’s smallest city, which we might get to see. Also, Teruel.

I wanted some paracetamol yesterday and, being in a bit of a hurry, just asked the pharmacist for it by generic name, to realise later that the tablets were 10 times the price of the brands I normally buy. Lesson learned. You can’t expect a pharmacist to forgo the chance to fleece you.

The UK

Here’s the unvarnished truth; lockdown costs in combination with today’s energy crisis have rendered Britain a whole lot poorer than it was. Yet the voters and large parts of the political class don’t yet recognise this dispiriting predicament, and are therefore still entirely unprepared for the hard yards needed to bring inflated expectations into line with the real world mediocrity to which the nation’s circumstances have been reduced. More here.

The Way of the World/Quote of the Day

Here’s Effie Deans on the spat between JK Rowling and Nicola Sturgeon as to who’s the real feminist.

The estimable John Crace: Damien Hirst last year banged out 10,000 carelessly splodged dot paintings and put them all up for sale at $2,000 each. Even though Hirst had probably spent 10 minutes – if that – on each one, the entire collection soon sold out. Hirst then told everyone who had coughed up that they could either have the painting itself or a non-fungible token[NFT] instead. And 4,851 have taken him up on this offer. To mark this level of gullibility, Hirst is going to burn the 4,851 paintings later this month. It’s unclear whether the half-witted collectors will be presented with their share of the ashes, though they presumably will get a certificate to hang on the wall, saying “I bought a not very good painting for $2,000 and then burnt it”. Knowing the art market, we’ll probably find the NFTs are worth more than the daubs in a few years’ time.


From reader and blogger María: En la Conchinchina comes from the end of the 19th century, when Spain actually collaborated with France and sent troops for them to help conquer Vietnam. The area is still called Cochinchine. So, to go so far away, as to go to the other side of the world.

Finally   . . . .   

My early years were similar . . . My parents lived in a large vicarage and there was no central heating in any of the upstairs rooms. So it was fairly common for us all to wake up with ice on the inside of the window. Getting out of bed first thing in the morning was an ordeal. 

I always left my socks on to get into cold sheets but woke up every morning with them on the floor, and no memory of taking them off.

To amuse . . . Probably accurate . . .

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.