19 October 2022: An impressive village; Depressing stats; An important date; Whither Ms Truss?; & 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/Galicia

A wise village, swimming against a destructive tide. Hopefully successfully.

Depressing to read that: Dozens of ships carrying LNG are circling off the coasts unable to secure slots to unload. Throughout Europe, there’s a structural shortage of re-gasification plants, needed to handle the highly compressed cargo. And, if the backlog is not cleared soon, ships might start looking for alternative ports outside Europe to offload. There are said to be more than 35 LNG vessels off Spain and around the Mediterranean, with at least 8 vessels anchored off Cadiz alone. Yet Spain is offering just 6 slots at its re-gasification terminals for cargoes this week.

More depressing news, assuming it’s accurate:- One in ten young(18-24) Spaniards have no plans to study or work. These are called nininis here. And 20%  are merely ninis, neither working nor studying, but presumably are thinking of doing so. This compares with an OECD average of 15% per cent and an EU average of 13%. In the worst years of the last recession, youth unemployment here was above 50%. Probably now rather less, ahead of the next one.

The Galician Xunta and Madrid are fighting over who controls the coast and construction along it. Current laws about not building less than 20/50/150 metres from the sea appear to have been observed more in the breach than in the observance, including by at least one central government Minister of Galician origin. So: Several residents of Santa Mariña de Esteiro, in the municipality of Muros, have received letters indicating that land owned by them “became the property of the Ministry for Ecological Transition”, as part of the maritime-terrestrial public domain. These included orchards, gardens and the terrace of a hotel. The Galician Xunta says that the law gives it competence on this matter but Madrid is insisting that the law must be changed to effect this transfer.  So, if you’re thinking of buying a nice coastal property, ask me for the name of an excellent lawyer, skilled in these matters. The other party you might have difficulties with is the Ministry or Defence. Or a close relation of this.

21 October is Trafalgar Day. And the birthday of my first grandson. The vast majority of Brits won’t even be aware of the former. And I suspect no one will be celebrating it in Spain. Or France.

Yesterday saw our first autumn/winter ‘weather front’ arrive, with lots of wind and some much-needed rain. This morning saw my first umbrella v. the wind battle of the season, as I walked to my Pilates class. A bit of a shock after 17 days of sun. But, this being Galicia, I was roasted by the latter as I walked back, wearing a now-unnecessary jacket.         

The UK

Liz Truss: Her past and (what remains of) her future . . . What can one say? Well, this article is as on-point as any other, I suspect. 

I’m very surprised not to have read that Ms Truss lacks support.*

Ukraine v Russia 

Oh,dear . . .I saw Putin’s new commander up close in Syria. Worse is to come With Russia’s conventional war machine failing, Putin is deploying his unconventional playbook which kept Assad in power. The full article here, if you can bear it.


What English owes to the Celts, from this estimable chap.

Pre-loved: Second-hand. The ‘pre-loved economy’ is, naturally, growing apace.


Finally   . . . .   

Galician bars, I find, are rather over fond of Bonnie Tyler. Or perhaps it’s only the ones I patronise .

To amuse . . .  Hardly topical but nice . . .

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.

*Truss: A framework that supports something