3 January 2023

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

NB: This post is later than usual for 4 reasons today, one of which is that the café I often use doesn’t have the internet. Since this also was the case on 21 December, before I went to Madrid, I’m beginning to suspect it’s not a temporary problem but that the owners have decided to stop offering it.

Cosas de España/Galiza

Politics: In what might be an unusual development, the Council of State has expressed concern about how Spain is being governed by the current coalition of ‘Left’ and ‘Far Left’ parties. The Council of State is the supreme advisory body of the Government. It is a State body at the service of the concept of the social and democratic State of Law. Its main function is to rule on consultations made by the Government, so as to ensure, firstly, compliance with both the Constitution and the rest of the legal system and, secondly, the proper functioning of the Public Administration and Public Services, as an expression of the rights of citizens. It is composed of “jurists of recognized prestige and experience in State affairs” . More here.

From today’s VdG: What are the bad health habits of Galicians: Several decades ago, it was established that the health of a community is conditioned by 4 groups of factors that interact: the environment, human biology, the health system and lifestyles and habits. Within this last determinant, behaviors and customs that negatively affect health are considered, emphasizing that such behaviors are formed by personal decisions and by influences from our social group. Thus, we can ask, what are the unhealthy lifestyles and habits of Galicians? Probably, although with different prevalences, they will be similar to those of other populations in our environment.

Undoubtedly, the factor with the greatest impact is tobacco, since it is directly related to multiple cancers and serious diseases.

Alcohol consumption is also important, which should not exceed two units a day and even less in women.

Eating habits have an extraordinary impact, we eat too much, the energy balance between intake and expenditure is tremendously weighted towards the former and, furthermore, the quality of what we eat is not adequate: too much salt, excessive animal fats and red meat, as well as refined carbohydrates – sweets, cakes, sugary drinks – along with a poor consumption of oily fish, fruits, legumes and other vegetable

Despite the fact that regular physical exercise is one of the best habits to increase the quality and quantity of life, the epidemic of a sedentary lifestyle is growing, which, together with overeating, leads to excess weight, which often already begins in early ages of life, and is tremendously harmful to health.

In addition to eating a lot, we eat very late, which has a negative influence on the quality of sleep, thus a significant percentage of Galicians use sleeping pills, tranquilizers and other psychoactive drugs.

Certain social habits are also unfavorable, including competitiveness, extreme ambition, aggressiveness or isolation, and other negative emotions.

Ultimately, health resources are not the main determinants of health. This depends to a large extent on us. It’s our responsibility.

The headline in the Voz de Galicia today is that the IVA/VAT reductions announced by the government on 1 January appear to have made no appreciable difference to prices in our supermarkets. Which rather contrasts with yesterday’s news that the supermarkets were furiously relabelling relevant products. Perhaps it was just to show a different IVA element in the total – increased – base price.

At the cost of some bungs from the state, the Galician government has opted out of the new ban on the hunting of wolves. We have a lot of farmers.

A nice article on a famous magician here in Spain.

And here’s another of the sort of articles cited by Lenox Napier yesterday, kindly supplied by him, in fact. On Pv city, though the petrogliphs park is well outside it.

The UK

A terrifying headline: Brace yourselves for a Boris Johnson comeback.


You might be surprised to learn that – as regards the recent cold and warm extremes of North American and European weather, respectively – There’s no sound foundation for asserting that these have any causal relationship with climate change. At least that’s the view expressed here.

Social Media

The online world is full of “junk info”. Gossip, clickbait, babble. “Like real fast food, junk info is cheap to produce and pleasing to consume, but also high in additives and low in nutritional value.” We go to Twitter to waste time. We are distracted by nonsense. It can turn the wonderful gift of curiosity into a stunted muscle. Hungering for insight and wisdom, we become obese on useless tidbits. It can completely desensitise our imagination. Why learn about Byzantine architecture or Renaissance poetry when you can enjoy Greta Thunberg being rude to Andrew Tate? But the internet is not a complete hellscape. Amid the Babylon of inanity there are still many spots of fine intelligence. The Cultural Tutor is one of them.

As I’ve done, you can sign up for the Cultural Tutor – FOC – here.


Spanish can be so wordy – or should that by syllaby?

Una pelea a cuchilladas – A knife-fight. 10 v. 3.


In the final round of the recent World Cup of Words, ‘shenanigans’ beat ‘codswallop’ to the laurels. More here.

Finally . . .

This is, I think, the intro to a series of slightly scurrilous cartoons on Galicia and Galicians. I have no idea if the artist is Spanish or Galician. More to follow this week:-

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.


  1. At our riding school: Arriba, abajo. Arriba, abajo… In English: Up, down. Up, down. 6 v 2.
    Say that a few dozen times…


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