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 roasts her menfolk for inequality at Christmas, here.
It’s 6 degrees here in Madrid but 10 in Pontevedra city. My daughter hasn’t yet put her central heating on but the inside temperature is 19.5. In my house in Poio – where the heating was put on in early December but turned off when I came here 5 days ago – it’s very probably down to near the external temperature. So, what explains the better internal temperature in Madrid? My daughter thinks it’s because of vastly greater insulation in their modern flat, compared with that of my house built 36 years ago. But can this really be the only factor? For example, do wall-sharing flats benefit from the heating of one’s neighbours? And is my daughter’s flat more protected from the cold North winds which assault my house when it isn’t raining? And does every flat benefit from being, well, flat, so that the heat doesn’t disappear up the staircase from an open-plan dining area/sitting room? It’d be nice to know so that I can at least consider doing something.
The euro is forecast to be worth less than a dollar after Christine Lagarde’s ‘kamikaze’ rate rises. The currency is widely expected to fall below parity within the first months of 2023. And the pound??
Another claim from Vlad the Self-Impaler: Russia is ready to negotiate over Ukraine but the West is preventing talks. No mention of East Ukraine, it seems.
Even more dubiously: Russia’s forces are acting in the right direction in Ukraine because the West, led by the United States, is trying to cleave Russia apart. I guess that rings true in Moscow if you define ‘Russia’ to include all or even just part of Ukraine. Which most of the world doesn’t. Tellingly, Putin uses the term ‘historical Russia’. According to his particular choice of date, I guess. Does he really want, say, bits of Poland back? Probably not. But bits of Ukraine other than the Crimea??
Looking at its success over the centuries, it’s good to know the Pope is praying for peace. Can’t be far away now.
Was the World Cup worth £180bn? One answer here.
The Way of the World
The perils of easy money and low interest rates . . .
Some Spanish name diminutives seem to defy logic. I mean, how do you get Charo from Rosario?
Finally . . .
As I was saying . . . Wallasey ain’t in Liverpool. In fact, it was never even in the same (ex)county – Cheshire v Lancashire. But it is now in the metropolitan area of Merseyside. That said, it’s quite hard to forgive this Times headline of this morning, which lazily – and geographically ignorantly – plays to Liverpool’s negative reputation as a crime-ridden place: Liverpool shooting: Woman, 26, is killed as man opens fire on pub. Of course Merseyside is, as they say, north of Watford, so the London-based reporter is unlikely to have ever been near it.
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.