23 December 2022: The usual

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

In the societal vanguard once again . . . A bill allowing anyone aged 16 or over to change their gender without parental consent has passed the lower house of parliament and will go to the Senate for final approval. It’s expected to become law within weeks. Children aged 14 and 15 will be allowed to legally change their gender without a medical evaluation but will still need their parents’ consent. Those aged 12 and 13 will need permission from the courts. Even the Scottish plans which London has said it’ll veto don’t go this far. Most Spanish women are unhappy about this, of course, and the next PP government will probably annul the law.

In the UK, deaths from e-scooter crashes have more than doubled since the police stopped confiscating them last year. Here in Spain – or at least in Pv city – I don’t get the impression the police are doing anything at all about illegal use of these, including speeding through the narrow streets of the old quarter. But I might be wrong. If not, the first death will surely result in at least greater media attention and perhaps some police action.

Yesterday morning, Spain was on tenterhooks, as citizens wait to see who’ll win the staggering €2.5bn of prize money of El Gordo – the nation’s annual festive lottery. Well, here’s today’s news . . . Such is the widespread mathematical illiteracy, I confidently predict that the outlet in Jerez cited in that article will be besieged the morning tickets for next year’s El Gordo go on sale. And that buyer disappointment won’t feature in the media next December. Astonishingly, this year’s winning ticket – 05490 – was ‘hard to sell because it’s an ugly number’. No idea why. But, in the mad world of Spanish lotteries, ‘pretty numbers’ must be seen to have a better chance of winning. Against all the odds, you might say.

Here’s that controversial stamp – on a nice postcard sent to the far-right association of lawyers who went to law over it. Unsuccessfully:-

The UK 

Something on the Scottish plans mentioned above.


The Western view . . . President Putin has weakened the Russian economy and military to such an extent that it may take up to 30 years for the country to recover its superpower status, western officials believe. More here.


A once-in-a-generation storm. An over-white Xmas . . .

The headline: Inside the fentanyl factories churning out death and misery across America. The article.

The World Cup

Strange to see Spain so low in the FIFA world rankings. Even stranger to see Belgium still at 4th. Stranger yet not to see Germany in the top 10.
1: Brazil
2: Argentina
3: France
4: Belgium
5: England
6: Netherlands
7: Croatia
8: Italy
9: Portugal
10: Spain


Chapter 4 . . .

The Spanish partner of my elder daughter gives me these pronunciations:-

Brillar: BreeYar.

Brillibrilli: BreeJeebreeJee, as with my 2 neighbours.

My daughter claims that the J is a cross between an English J and an English Z. More Portuguese than Spanish?

Did you know?

My old German friend tells me that the suitcase I featured yesterday is made in Germany and costs around €1,000. He thinks that the woman was merely protecting her investment. Stopping it from walking off the train.

Finally . . .

To amuse . . .

Ahead of your January resolution:-

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.