21 October 2022: Enclaves v Colonies; Pretty Spain: Ugly Spain: The British wasteland; Britaly; & 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’

Trafalgar Day!

Cosas de España/Galicia    

Spain as you’ll know, has 2 bits of land in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla. These are enclaves and, so, definitely not the colonies that Morocco regards them as. And not to be compared in any way with Gibraltar, which Spain – in its turn – regards as an anachronistic British colony in Europe. Anyway, in response to recent mutterings from Morocco and threats to reduce energy exports and comments from an opposition MP, the Spanish PM has said: Melilla and Ceuta are Spanish. Full stop! So, that’s that. At least for a while.

Here’s an article on Spain’s most beautiful villages. Included are 2 – Anso and Ujué – that I never got to see this time round in Aragón and Navarra.

In  contrast, here’s Lenox Napier on some ugly bits of Spain.

And here’s an example of ugliness from Peseta in SW Madrid:-

The external boxes  – lavaderos? –  remind me of toilets(garderobes) on the walls of medieval castles, above the moat . . .

The architect was probably given a prize, when he/she should have been garroted.

After yet another near-death experience, I’ve returned to wearing fluorescent armbands when I walk to my car in the evening. This time it was a woman who – from the look in her face – was clearly astonished to see a pedestrian on a zebra crossing.

Another singer that I’m coming to hate is the ginger-haired chap who favours dirges. In one café/bar I favour, he seems to be on the same loop as bloody Bonnie Tyler and Adele. I guess it could be worse; it could be the techno-crap favoured by a café for younger folk that I also frequent. Pretty waitresses . . .

The UK 

British politics, says this commentator, is: A wasteland. An ideological void. A dustbowl of ideas. With a horrifying lack of even the faintest glimmer of leadership material.

Why on earth would anyone except a lunatic want to succeed Liz Truss? All aspirants should be disqualified on the grounds that they do. Astonishingly, 11 imbeciles have already put themselves forward for election, including one – Rehman Chishti – who’s hardly a known quantity in his own constituency, never mind the country at large. A jokester?

Perhaps Putin will be the 12th.

Or, worse, Boris Johnson . . . .


The Italians are said to be rather peeved at The Economist calling the UK ‘Britaly’ – a country of political instability, low growth and subordination to markets.

The EU

Brussels is unhappy with Madrid over the latter’s plan to hit the banks with a second extraordinary tax/levy. Which, of course, the banks would usually simply pass on to their enchained customers. Even if the government tells them not to.

The Way of the World

In France the naughty step has become the subject of an anguished debate over claims that it represents a “violent” punishment. A French educational charity has begun a campaign to persuade the Council of Europe to stop recommending that parents send children to steps, bedrooms, corners or anywhere else where they will be alone. They argue that misbehaviour is a sign of inner turmoil and that children need company in such moments. Indeed, some suggest that if anyone is to sit on the naughty step, it should be the mother or father.

Why not go the whole hog and ban (imperfect) adults from having children in the first place?

Quote of the Day

He was abusing my country, my leader. I think it’s my duty: The Chinese consul-general after he’d been filmed dragging a demonstrator into the Manchester consulate grounds. By his hair. I guess he was doing what’s expected of him in Beijing. At the risk of being at least fired, if he didn’t.


Phrase of the moment: Dejar el partido hecho trizas: To leave the party in tatters

Finally   . . . .    

A real bargain . . .


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.