24 December 2022: Noche Buena 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

Some pretty hefty Xmas price increases here.

An Xmas tradition that Spain could possibly well do without.

Yesterday, we visited the delightful Museo de Las Ilusiones and, then, the very impressive Matadero complex. Not a great day to travel on the metro but at least I got to see for the first time top mantas in the corridors of the stations.

I was hoping to buy some clothes during sales next week but my daughter has reminded me we live in Spain, not the UK, and these won’t start on 26 December but after Reyes(The Epiphany) on 6 January. Damn.

Something that probably will be of nil interest to Spanish readers: “The Armada: the definitive history”. This grand history of the Spanish invasion reminds us that loot and regional geopolitics was as important as religious fervour. There can be no spoilers in this story. Its interest to the historian lies instead in the detail of the campaign: the foibles of the leaders, the experiences of the tens of thousands of troops committed on both sides, the mistakes and strokes of genius during the weeks of feinting and fighting, and the skeletal relics of Spanish warships that can still be glimpsed by divers off the Scottish and Irish coasts.

The UK 

Something on the Scottish pro-transgender plans here. Which might well prove that Mrs Sturgeon – previously known as ‘the most impressive British politician of the last decade’ – is power-mad. And stupid. Cue Lord Acton’s famous observation. As the writer says: Some suggest that Ms Sturgeon is deliberately causing a row that can again be portrayed as London trying to bully Scotland. Others think she is herself being bullied by her government colleagues, the fanatical Greens. Here in Spain, the latter claim is made about the PM and his further-Left partners in a coalition ‘socialist’ government.


Thanks – in part – to all that EU largesse . . . Why tax-cutting Poland is leaving Britain’s work-shy economy in the dust.


Few might have found this credible but Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russia’s goal in Ukraine is not “to keep stoking the conflict but, on the contrary, to stop this war”. As a result, a St Petersburg lawmaker has (unwisely?) said Putin should be punished for breaking his own law by referring to the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”. For which more than 5, 000Russians have been prosecuted since last February. Which would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

Saudi Arabia

Nice . . . The UK Government has been warned that Saudi Arabia is planning a Christmas execution spree while the West is distracted with festivities in a cynical attempt to avoid diplomatic “blowback”. In 2016 nearly 50 people, including children, were put to death in late December.

Roll on the day when oil no longer makes this dreadful place powerful.


Reader Aleksandras has kindly sent me this article on the Spanish double L.

Finally . . . 

How to avoid Christmas . . . Here.

For new readers:-

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