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/Galiza
Lenox Napier is back from his hols with family in the US. Here he is on current Spanish politics. I’ve wondered why there were so many fotos of Yolanda Díaz in the media. She heads up the Sumar party. So, now I know.
It’s certainly not that unusual for Galicians to be blonde and fair-skinned and/or to have blue eyes. The Galicians thinks it’s because of their Irish/Celtic connections but I put it down to the consequence of British naval visits – friendly as well as unfriendly – to this coast. I was reminded of these when I saw a very ginger-haired young man in Pv city last night, which is rather less common.
Talking of visitors to Galicia . . . Francis Drake, as you might know, is despised along this coast because of his depredations of it. One of the stories told about him is that he destroyed a monastery on the Isla de Tambo and threw the statue of the Virgin Mary into the river. The funny thing is that, although there’s a tiny ruined chapel on the island, no one can find any trace of a monastery or even a church there. So, a scurrilous myth?
The latest pedestrian death on our roads involved a 92 year old. No, he wan’t the pedestrian; he was the driver who veered off the tarmac onto the pavement. Hard to believe he could pass the regular mental and physical tests imposed on drivers here. Perhaps he has influence. Or runs the company doing them. Or has a son who does.
The Telegraph editorial view, possibly shared by many: The Government needs to move to a war footing suited to the scale of the problems facing the nation. It must focus relentlessly on our core services – health, transport and energy supreme among them – and ensure they are delivered better.
The World Cup
Some nice aperçus from a UK club manager.
In cup competitions, it is not always the best team that wins. Sometimes luck of the draw, refereeing decisions or the rub of the green plays its part.
Brazil can be anything at any time. They can reach levels of performance probably better than any other team’s, yet flaws mean they won’t always be the best side. if they get put under severe defensive pressure, will they be able to see things through?
[As I said recently] Messi sees things quicker than anyone else on the pitch and got even better with age. You see him being tackled and don’t see him having 3 or 4 belly flops before he goes down. When you think how many people try and kick him, that attitude is really refreshing and part of why he is in the hearts of people who genuinely love the game. He has had almost 20 years of incredible performances, of evolving and always conducting himself the right way. Football is in awe of him.
In an era where we don’t see as much width or as many brilliant wingers as there once were in the game, maybe the French are bringing wide play back.
Only 11 out of 148 goals (7%) have been scored from outside the box in this World Cup. This is [far] lower than 15% in Russia.
The Way of the World/Quote of the Day
1. Harry and Meghan’s whingeing is obscene when so many are struggling this winter. At the height of a cost of living crisis, the Sussexes are on TV, moaning about how hard it is to be rich, famous and Royal . . . Thank goodness the couple have been able to supplement the £10m he got from his mother with their £88m Netflix deal, his £35m book deal, and her £15m podcast deal. Otherwise, I dread to think how they would get by. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on them. Because, in a sense, the Duke and Duchess really are victims. Victims of victimhood itself. We live in a culture that prizes victimhood. A culture that equates victimhood with virtue, goodness, moral superiority. We no longer just feel sorry for victims; we admire, even venerate them. To be seen as a victim gives you social status, at least among the young and progressive.
2. Apple is being sued by two women who allege that its AirTag devices were used to stalk and harass them. The device can be used to track personal items such as keys and wallets. Domestic violence campaigners have warned it can easily be used for covert surveillance.
Una zasca: A witty put-down, says Lenox.
I’ve seen that Twitter is now called Musk Twitter. Mutter?
Finally . . .
I attended a lovely choral performance in Pv city’s Baroque (Jesuit) church last night. Speaking as an atheist . . . Thank god for the union of faith and (evolved) human creativity.
Apparently there’s a difference between Italian Baroque and Galician Baroque but I’ve no idea what it is. The one I attended is Italian, ‘designed in Rome’.
To amuse . . .
For new readers:-
1. 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.
2. Should you want to, the easiest way to to get my post routinely is to sign up for email subscription. As opposed to using a Bookmark or entering the URL in your browser.