11 November 2022: Ayuso speaks out, again; Madrid travails; A Camino nuisance; Trump now; & 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 of Business Over Tapas for the news that: Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the eccentric far-right President of the Madrid region, says that the climate-change emergency goes against science and is a fiendish communist plot. But who can prove her wrong? 

Yesterday for me was a day of trial and error – especially error – in the quest for the best bus and metro combination to get from my daughter’s SW barrio to central Madrid. The challenge wasn’t helped by there being 2 metro stations with the name Carabanchel in them. Naturally, I got off the bus at the wrong one. As I did with the metro on the way back.

I went into the centre to see an exhibition on Las Hijas del Nilo, which was very good. After which I went to a nearby Sichuan restaurant, where I ignored the waiter’s advice to avoid the hottest stuff. I mean, why have it if you’re going to tell people not to eat it. But maybe this doesn’t happen with Chinese diners. It did give me ‘tingly’ lips for the first time in my life, and I write this as someone whose mouth was once anaesthetised by a tiny sliver of a pepper in Surabaya in Indonesia.

Back in Galicia, it’s reported that a factory in Arcade making pipas was illegally storing combustible materials, leading to a fatal fire there. No one will be surprised, I suspect.

It’s become ‘the camino thing’ to go on from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterra and burn your clothes- or at least your boots – when you get there. This reflects the myth that this what medieval pilgrims – real ones – did. But the locals are not pleased with the (ecologically unsound) consequences of this. I suspect the albergue and bar owners between SdC and Finisterra will take a different view. For them, attracting spenders is what the camino is really all about. And if a stupid myth helps, it’s to be encouraged. Rather like the (best) one about the bones of St James being in a silver casket in SdC cathedral. Though my favourite is the crew-less stone boat which rocked up in Padrón with his headless body in it.


Does Germany have a China problem? Probably.


The Way of the World

This is the first World Cup since 1934 to be hosted by a nation that has not previously played in it; why is Qatar so keen to be involved that it has spent an estimated 220 billion dollars on staging the event? The answer is timeless: hosting the World Cup has always been a political act. 

Social Media

Headline: The exodus continues at Twitter as Elon Musk hints at possible bankruptcy.

And another one: Elon Musk is not a national security threat – TikTok is: Joe Biden is focusing on the wrong social media giant.

Quotes of the Day

That sex chair from Goop . . . The estimable Caitlin Moran: It will actually be the foundation for something else. Like all other items of a similar size – Pelotons, cross-trainers, largely immobile relatives — it will end up draped with damp washing, then used as a scratching post by the cat.

HL Mencken: The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence – just simple competence – in any field, from adultery to zoology.


The letters P and T are pronounced differently in English and Spanish. They’re ‘plosive’ in the former but not in the latter, I read. That said, my experience suggests they’re ‘harder'[my term] in Spanish. If they’re spoken softly, as in English, Spaniards won’t hear them. The latest example for me came yesterday, when I said palabra but the person I was talking to heard only labra. And so was confused. I’ll get it right one day

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.