25 October 2022: Bad & Good economic news; Lovely Oviedo; El Primitivo: The UK farce; & 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    

HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for . . .

The bad news . . . Although not as much as in the UK and the USA, The gap between the rich and the poor increased in Spain in 2021 more than the total of the previous 13 years combined. The pandemic has left the income gap widening, with the poor getting poorer while the wealthier population were barely impacted by the Covid crisis.


The good news. . . .

The recession that’s imminent elsewhere, is not coming for Spain, as our economy will grow by 1.2% in 2023, say the IMF.

Oviedo, the capital of next-door Asturias, is a fine city but its charms are possibly exaggerated in this Times article. Which is not to say it’s not worth a visit. Especially if you like cider. And brass statues. A detail . . . The first Camino mentioned (by Alfonso II) was not on what’s now called El Francés but on El Primitivo, possibly the prettiest but almost certainly the most difficult of Spain’s 40+ camino options. It winds southwards – up and down the mountains of both Asturias and Galicia – before it meets up with El Francés coming from the North East.

If you want to know more about El Primitivo, here and here are 2 posts of mine, which rather upset some humourless camino zealots. But amused others.

The UK

Pretty accurate, I guess . . . Rarely has a new Prime Minister come to office in such infernal circumstances. The foundations of UK economic growth – cheap credit, goods and energy – have collapsed. Working people are to be clobbered with a new round of austerity after a chain of catastrophic elite errors. Brexit boosterism has given way to morose musings that broken Britain has become Italy without the good weather.

Even at my age -and experience – it’s hard to believe that: Women of a certain age and temperament are attracted by what they perceive as Boris Johnson’s zestful roguishness. I say it’s hard but . . . not really. Seen it too often. Which would be fine, if they didn’t then marry the cads.

But this estimable female columnist feels that Covid trauma is the only reason anybody would believe in the Boris Johnson myth. Great article.

I said yesterday that Johnson’s Brexit deal was as bad as one could have got and this is an article stressing it’s time to face up to just how awful it is. 

The Netherlands

Another country which like Portugal, seems to get a free pass as regards its massive involvement in slavery in the 17th century, well before Britain got into the biz

The EU

As ever, AEP  makes some interesting comments here about EU member states that one doesn’t often see in self-flagellating Britain, where ignorance about the EU is rife. Avers AEP: If Mr Sunak can maintain party cohesion and deliver a few months of political calm, global investors are likely to treat the Truss episode as an aberration. They will increasingly turn their attention to other countries in trouble or with unstable governments. A big ‘if’, of course.


María suggests follón for ‘shambles’. An ‘almighty mess’.

I saw this phrase this morning: Cuando el hombre comenzó violentarse . . . and wondered, as it was reflexive, what it really meant. It seems it could be:-

  • When the the man began to violate [someone]
  • When the man started to violate himself, and – most probably –
  • When the the man began to get violent

Finally   . . . .    

UK TV ads are obsessed with short perorations which, objectively, make little sense. For example:-

Healthcare company. It’s what we do

Insurance company: Make the leap

Betting company: Better than entertainment

Supermarket: We’re turning love into lovely

Car company: Unbox yourself

Hard to believe these influence purchasing decisions.

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.