13 December 2022: Smoking here and there; Electricity prices; Pv city’s beggars; EU corruption; Valuable Portuguese visas; & Other stuff

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

This is an insight into smoking around the world. I’d take issue with the ‘global’ Spanish numbers, at least as they relate to female smokers in Pv city. For, here, young women significantly outnumber young men. I regularly see the female partner smoking while the male one isn’t. I confess I wouldn’t myself be able to tolerate this. I guess older male smokers skew the percentage for that section of the population.

Here’s Lenox Napier on the current state of Spanish politics.

In theory, electricity charges are cheapest here between midnight and 8am. But when I looked at this site at 8 this morning, I discovered that the 6-8am cost had been far higher than during the previous 6 hours. Better to put your machine on at midnight, then. Or it would have been.

As I’ve said more than once, beggars are a blight in Pv city. And in Vigo, as they move between the cities. Every week brings new ones and last week saw 2 who were pretty well-dressed. But the ‘star turn’ was a gypsy lady, all in black and carrying a basket of wares. Seeing her reminded me that it’s years since I was cursed by an old crone – very possibly this one’s mother – for declining to buy something or just give her money. One reason was that I used to see her getting a taxi up to the settlement near my house. Anyway, I think I was cursed again this time round.


Five or six years ago – tempted by the chance to have a 10 year tax holiday on my pension income – I looked at moving not much southwards into central Portugal, Viseu in particular. In the end, I decided to stay in Spain, in part because my daughters insisted I should, despite the potential benefit to their inheritance. A couple of years later, the Portuguese reduced the 10 years to 5 and now it seems the jackboots of the EU are going to force an end to the parallel Golden Visa scheme, under which wealthy folk – such as Madonna – can achieve significant tax savings. Leading, of course, to a mad rush to get a Visa before the bounty evaporates. It you’ve been toying with the idea, you’d better get your skates on.

The EU

Corruption, it seems, isn’t confined to the higher reaches of Spanish politics . . . . Nor to the lower ones, of course.

The Way of the World

EasyJet’s chief executive was handed a pay package worth almost £3m this year even after the airline made a substantial loss and was forced to cancel thousands of flights because of a lack of staff. He has been given an annual bonus of £1.2m on top of his fixed pay of £833k, as well as shares worth £925k. You wonder how bad results have to be for him to forfeit his bonus . . .

Quote of the Day/The World Cup

A view with which there will be a lot of sympathy . . . Jürgen Klinsmann, the [well-respected]former Tottenham Hotspur and Germany forward now working for Fifa’s technical studies group, believes that the delay in taking penalties because of VAR intensifies the pressure on the taker. Those who work for Fifa are usually loath to criticise VAR, which has not enjoyed the best of tournaments, but Klinsmann took the player’s view, the striker’s view. It is, of course, not only technology that delays the kick. The defending side complain to the referee, wanting to make the taker’s wait as long as possible.


When I asked for a pair of silk gloves, the shopkeeper offered me instead what she said were a pair made of espuma. As this usually means ‘foam’, I was confused. Especially after I’d seen the label said they were 100% nylon. Research threw up ‘honeycomb of nylon’. Which might be right.


‘Nylon’ comes from New York(Dupont) and London(ICI)

Did You Know?

ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) not so long ago was Britain’s largest company but it was broken up into its 9 or 10 divisions and has now disappeared as a corporate entity.

Finally . . .

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.