17 December 2022: Seasonal 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

Spain’s inflation rate of c.7% is said to be the lowest in the EU, thanks largely to the state’s energy subsidies. Galicia’s is bit higher – at 8% – but sugar has increased 66% in the last year. I’ve recently started to sprinkle a bit on my porridge of a morning but that’ll now have to stop. . .

There can’t be anyone in the UK unaware – from the TV ads – that every British family is of mixed race. I got to wondering if Spanish TV ads are similar, though my recollection from 20 years ago was that Spanish TV families all haves kids blessed with blond hair and blue eyes. I guess that most Spanish mixed families would involve South American partners, meaning that the differences would be less noticeable. Truth to tell, this would be the case even if one of the partners was Moroccan. I say this because years ago I asked all my Spanish friends to guess at the (Spanish city) origin of 5 smiling young ladies on the front page of the DdP. The answer invariably was that they could be from any city here. Whereas, in fact, they were all Moroccan Berbers.

Yesterday. I received a form-letter addressed to foreign residents and asking me to confirm my details ahead of a municipal elections next spring. I might have paid taxes both to the regional and national governments over the last 22 years – and many contributions to the financial well-being of El Tráfico along the way – but these are the only ones I’m allowed to vote in. Anyway, the text was in 3 languages, Spanish, Gallego and English. Which was impressive but I wondered how many foreigners would be served by the Gallego paragraphs.

On this issue, I’ve said that there’s much more Gallego in the local media now than 20 years ago. Likewise, all announcements at public events in Pv city now seem to be only in Gallego. I’ve been to 3 in the last week where this was certainly the case. This, of course, is a ‘price’ one pays for living in a region with its own language and ‘nationalist tendencies’. And I can’t and don’t object to it. But I would like things to also be in the language of the country I came to live in and whose language I’ve taken the trouble to learn. A pious hope now, I fear. Unless Pv city eventually gets a PP mayor, to replace the current long-in-office one of the Galician nationalist BNG party. Who says he only ever speaks Spanish to me. Which can’t be true.

Last night’s event was a concert by the pupils at Pv city’s Conservatory of Music and it was very impressive to see so many talented young people. I wondered how many British cities of comparable size – 83,000 souls – could put on such a fine show.

From the extensive lights adorning their house facades, I’d guess that some of my neighbours aren’t too concerned about the rises in energy costs. Fotos tomorrow, as I forgot to take them last night.

In compensation, here’s my attempt to get O Burgo bridge’s blue period . . .

Pv city’s Xmas lights finally come on this evening, to the relief of the shopkeepers.

The UK 

It pains me to cite this US article on the UK, seen by Richard North as far more relevant/accurate than anything appearing in the British media. I’d like to think it’s exaggerated but fear it isn’t.

The EU

Says a Times columnist: There was shock but little surprise in Brussels when the Qatar corruption scandal engulfed the European parliament. While overt criminality is rare, the EU assembly’s reputation for venality and sleaze removed any factor of surprise. As Transparency International — which has long highlighted the excesses of MEPs — noted, the case was “egregious” but not an isolated incident in an institution marked by a “culture of impunity”. Much the same could be said about many parliaments, I suspect. Including the Spanish one. As for the Brussels model: MEPs are known for a strong sense of entitlement combined with a striking absence of accountability when it comes to lobbying and the huge sums of public money they receive in salaries and allowances.


Definitely not what you want to hear . . . In the heart of Siberia, a team of scientists is working to reawaken ancient viruses, sparking concerns that a mishap could trigger a new pandemic.

The Way of the World

Nietzsche is said to have believed that ‘war is a metaphor for the fundamental nature of life, which is a ceaseless conflict between contradictory forces.’ I heard on a podcast something to the effect that both he and Freud believed that, if men ceased to kill each other because global peace had broken out, their natural tendency towards aggression would lead them to fight over increasingly crazy ideologies. Other than ancient religions, I guess. Maybe they had a point. And that’s why we have Culture wars. Specifically, the War on Woke. No wonder many believe the world should be run by women. Of the non-trans variety, of course. Without testosterone.


Topically . . . Something on ’the languages of Spain’ here.

Lo gordo . . . The main/most important thing

Finally . . 

To amuse . . . Coming soon to Netflix: Ginge and Whinge.

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.

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