7 November 2022: Iberian road charges; An odd Poio place; Avoiding death; Moribund France; The lunacy of Net Zero; & 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   

The concession for our Vigo-Pv AP9 toll road – one of the most expensive in the country – has been bought by a Dutch investment/pensions company. The same one which now owns all of Portugal’s toll roads. Given how tightfisted the Dutch are said to be, I guess we can expect price increases to be part of our current/future cost-of-living challenge.

Walking to my car from the Pilates class this morning, I noticed that the door of a roadside house had been left open. Peering inside, I clocked what looked like an ex-bar – or even a shrine. Possibly dedicated to Real Madrid. Or more likely Deportivo de La Coruña:-

There were no bar staff visible but there was a chap eating alone to the right of the entrance. If the place is open next time I go past, I’ll chat to him about it..

Sadly, I can aver without fear of conviction that my fluorescent armbands aren’t enough to stop drivers (illegally) passing a metre in from to me on a pedestrian crossing. Or, at least, not on the one by the petrol station at the Lérez end of O Burgo bridge. Perhaps the driver last night was concentrating on turning into this, as indeed he did. But at least I got the peremptory wave of a hand suggesting an apology. Small comfort, if you’re dead of a heart-attack, of course.

Portugal

Next week a big (obligatory) trial of a 4-day week takes place there. Not every company is happy, giving that salaries won’t reduce

France

Blimey!. If you thought the UK was going south, read this on: How France became trapped in a spiral of chaos and decline. Having had a French partner who’d lived in one of them, I know a bit about thethe lawless anarchy of the banlieues. Frankly, they’re beyond belief as elements of a rich, developed nation. Kindling needing only a spark

The Way of the World/Social Media

From a fascinating book – Humankind: A Hopeful History – by Rutger Bregman: Imagine for a moment a new drug comes onto the market. It’s super-addictive and in no time everyone’s hooked. Scientists investigate and soon conclude that the drug causes a misperception of risk, anxiety, lower mood levels, learned helplessness, contempt and hostility towards others and desensitisation. Would we use this drug? Would we allow our kids to try it? Would government’s legalise it? To all of the above: Yes. Because what I’m talking about is already one of the biggest addictions of our times. A drug we use daily that’s heavily subsidised and distributed to our children on a massive scale. That drug is the news. And in this digital age the news we’re getting fed is even more extreme.  

A propos . . .  I’ve never been aa Twitter user, though I do publish my blog there, for folk who prefer this medium, So, I don’t really know what it’s like. But I know enough to suspect it’s become a malevolent creature. As Donald Trump has amply demonstrated, I guess. This is an extract from an article – Elon Musk must destroy Twitter – which essentially says the world would be far better off without it: Amid all the fighting round Twitter’s blue tick, a more pertinent point has been missed: the “free social media” model is dying. . . Twitter has become the precise opposite of its original stated intention, as a decentralised platform for the instantaneous dissemination of information. Instead, Twitter is a centralised platform for the creation and enforcement of ideological narratives. Twitter is, at heart, nothing more or less than a tool by which commentators measure their social capital – a social credit system for insecure writers.

(A)GW 

Richard north – who does accept that global warming is taking place, of course – casts a sceptical on on Net Zero, stressing that the antidote to suicide is not to commit suicide. He ends with a good question. 

Spanish 

An interesting inversion: Sooner or later: Tarde o temprano.

English

I have to keep reminding myself:-

Cave-dwellers: Born before 1945: Now aged at least 78

Boomers: Born 1945-64. Now aged  58-77

Gen Xers: Born1965-81. Now aged 41-57

Gen Yers/Millenials: Born 1981-1996. Now aged 26 to 41

Gen Zers: Born 1997-2012. Now aged 10 to 25

Did you know?  

People first moved from what is now the Continent to the British Isles c. 800,000 years again and then moved back and forth during several Ice Ages. Finally, c.10,000 years ago, visitors became permanent residents, as the last Ice Age ended. The first written mention of the islands was by a Greek chap – Pytheas – who sailed there and then on to Iceland around 330 BC . But no one believed his tales of white bears and the sun setting at midnight, nor those of the large island he’d circumnavigated.

Finally . . .

To amuse.-

Welcome to new subscriber:  Stephanie, who has a blog here.

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.

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