8 November 2022: Camino thoughts; A fatal wedding; Obsolete philanthropy; AGW ‘science’; Una duda; & 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   

One reason, I’ve read, for why there are some very right-wing judges here in Spain is that there was no replacement of Franco-appointed judges during the Transition (to democracy) in the 1980s. Given that in Spain one can become a judge in one’s late 20s, this is quite possible. In contrast, any very experienced lawyer made a judge in the UK in the 1980s would be long dead by now.

Gypsy gatherings can get violent, especially if some or all of the attendees are engaged in the drug business. This was the case in a wedding the Madrid region a couple of days ago, when some uninvited Portuguese folk were chucked out but returned to gatecrash the event. In a car. Aimed at 12 guests. Killing 4 of them in the process. One wonders how this will be avenged.

I might have mentioned before that it saddens me to see so many `pilgrims’ passing through the old quarter of Pv city without taking even a quick look at one of Spain’s gems. I’m also saddened to see that, even in the one street they traverse on the edge of the quarter, many of them are glued to their phones, as if they have to check every 10 metres if they’re still on the camino. I’m reminded of the old poem:-

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

The camino through the old quarter is rather over-marked by yellow arrows on the ground and walls, plus brass scallop shells in the paving stones, plus little blue lights in the  latter. I’d wondered what use these were, as no one is daft enough to leave Pv city in the dark. But a friend pointed out that many pilgrims leave very early in the morning, to be sure of arriving at the opening time of the albergue they want to get a bed in. And, whatever the time of year, it’s dark in Galicia at 5 or 6 in the morning. But things will change, of course, when the EU alters European time zones in 2024. Or on the 12th of Never.


I have very fond memories of my years in Iran in my 20s. And a strong desire to return before I shuffle off. So this sort of article saddens me more than most, I guess. Apart from everything else, young Iranian women are too beautiful to be covered up.

The Way of the World


Richard North returns to the climate change ‘religion’ here, with a novel suggestion. We are not dealing with science, he claims but a belief system which has captured the senses of otherwise intelligent people, to the extent that climate change doctrine has a stronger grip on the collective mind than any new religion ever did, even if it shares the same characteristics. To endorse his claims, RN revisits the great egg scare of 1988 and its consequences. And a later Listeria ‘epidemic’. And, of course, BSE. RN’s is not a lone voice and he’s persuasive but not everyone will be convinced, of course. As will all religions, some Faithful remain faithful no matter what. 


Rocambolesco; Bizarre; Far-fetched.

Finally   . . . .  .

To amuse . . .

I’ve checked and the RAE definition of masturbar gives no clue as to the reason for this (mis)usage in English. It says what you’d expect it to say. Can anyone Spanish help me out 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.