23 October 2022: Life in Spain: Tambo Island; UK madness; Various ‘hens’; & 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    

I wonder how true/exaggerated this is.

The island of Tambo can almost be seen from my house, possibly explaining why my street is named after it. Here’s a reasonably accurate article about it. 

What it doesn’t mention is that in 1589, following up the defeat of the Armada, Francis Drake attacked the island, destroyed several religious buildings and threw the statue of the Virgin Mary into the sea. Whence, of course, it arose of its own accord after he’d gone off to attack Vigo, and placed itself back on the altar. There’s more on the island here.

Our friend Teucro features again, as one explanation for the island’s name related to his dad’s name, Tálamon. Almost certainly nonsense. I must take one of the guided tours one day. 

I recalled the name of the dirgeful ginger chap – Ed Sheeran. Should have go at Fardo.

The UK

A great deal of superficial nonsense is being written about the country and its political system right now – especially in the foreign media, I suspect. Perhaps the best observation I’ve heard is that the measures taken back in the 80s and 90s – first by Labour and then by the Conservatives – to ‘democratise’ the election of their leaders has led to a situation where respective leaders are chosen by a small groupsof people who aren’t representative of the party, its MPs or the electorate at large. Thus proving the validity of the cynical view that: The effect of every major reform is the exact opposite of that which it was intended to produce.

Here’s one Spanish observer on the UK’s ‘broken democracy’, again probably machine-translated from the florid original article – rendering it, at times, incomprehensible.

And here’s a vastly better article by Richard North on the current shenanigans in Westminster:-

It’s impossible to both disagree with his criticisms of all and sundry and to be more optimistic than he is. But miracles do happen, my Catholic friends tell me. 

As we await one, it’s clear that RN is right when he says that ‘the system is terminally broken’, while a leader who could fix it is conspicuous by his/her absence. Which has little to do with Brexit, by the way. Quite possibly nowt. RN is right that much is down to the media. Especially, in my view, to the infernal rolling news and social media, with their ‘ravenous’ appetite for a mixture of drama and trivia*. But – short of a revolution – is there really any going back to more sensible/manageable times? Does any country show us how it can be done? Democratic country I mean, of course. Not, say, China, North Korea, or Saudi Arabia. RN seems to think not. Again, it’s hard to disagree with him. 

*Perhaps an ironic comment from someone who writes a blog post every day of the year  . . . . 

The Way of the World

The way to go  . . .From a university academic: After I was forced to give my pronouns, I entered them as ea/eius/eī/eam/eā*. They now appear on all my correspondence. My woke students don’t know what to do with ’em. My dean is now always careful to avoid pronouns by calling me “professor” or by my full name.

* Just in case** . . .

Ea: Her, subject

Eius: Hers

Eī: To her

Eam: Her, object

Eā: By, with or from her

** Literally . . .

This is an insight into the financial madness of the last 2 or 3 decades, with a particular reference to the UK. Which has to be brought to a halt before the entire global system crashes. Meanwhile . . . There is a sea of hidden debt lurking beneath the surface of the financial system — a series of buried bombs — and no one is sure where the next one will detonate. 

Quote of the Day 

Let’s all agree on one thing: Truss’s tenure was too short to be called “an era”. “An error”, maybe. Or just — ‘Er . . .”


As promised, and you have been warned:-

Polla: Hen or penis

Pollón: Big hen: Well hung

Calientapollas: Hen warmer: Prick-tease

Polla en vinagre: Hens in vinegar. My arse/ass!

Una polla como uno olla: A hen like a cooking pot: Well hung?

Me suda lo Polla: My hen is sweating: I don’t give a fuck

Soplapollas: Blowing hens: Idiot. Cocksucker .  . . 


‘Reaching out’: American English (‘Markelese’) for ‘contacting/writing to/calling/phoning’

Finally   . . . .    

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