9 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

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’ 

Cosas de España/Galiza

At least the Guardian is excited about this development in Spain. Others might be a tad more reserved as this stage.

And here’s The Guardian on a nice political development in a small town near Valencia. The paper rightly refers to the political polarisation that dominates Spanish news headlines.

According to La Cope, Spaniards have a high opinion of Asturias, Galicia and the Basque Country. At the other end, they have a poor opinion of Ceuta, Melilla and (non-African)Murcia. All that plastic sheeting? Or is that Almería? One wonders about the criteria. Greenness? Cooler weather? Far from Africa?

The UK

The NHS is caught in a perfect storm of morally inadequate politicians and now medical professionals who seek to emulate them.  More here.

I’ve commented – like others – on this aspect of life in the UK but I do wonder if it’s true that: Many white people no longer watch TV ads because of the extraordinary preponderance of “people of colour” in leading roles, to the extent that one could get the impression that white people had become the minority.

If there any Californian readers of this blog, they might like to see an article which is pretty representative of how H (of H&M) is seen by the great majority of folk in the UK. Possibly all Brits older than 25.

The EU


Cold comfort for Brits?


After the shooting of a teacher by a 6 year old, the town’s mayor has said: I do think that after this event there is going to be a nationwide discussion on how these sorts of things can be prevented. Does he live in a cave, d’you think?


But for a grainy VHS tape of a man cavorting with 2 Moscow prostitutes, Putin would never have made it to power. Or at least not in 1999. At a time of indescribable corruption and politicking as Yeltsin faded, the tape was used by the man who hoped to take over from him, when ousted. But Plan A failed, so the KGB put Plan B into action and shoved the relatively unknown Putin into line for when they’d finally toppled Yeltsin. And he’s still there, displaying the qualities that made him the 2nd best candidate of that time. I wonder if they thought they could control Putin, as the German right wing had done as regards Hitler, when they agreed to him becoming Chancellor in 1933.

Way of the World

How feminism evolved into a brutal war on men: Fay Weldon rightly sought to liberate women, but could only watch in horror as that cause was hijacked.


1. A good question.

2. Nobody sane disputes that climate change produces negative effects that ruin agriculture and lives. What is insane is the climate messianism of the Extinction Rebellions Rebellions and the Thunbergs and the Ehrlichs of the world – and yet it is this that is increasingly taken as respectable, obvious and true. . . . The mass extinction thesis is as faulty as it is popular. Any mess humans get themselves into they can get out of, as long as they decline to fall down the rabbit hole of human-hating greenism. More here.


Brits are the 2nd largest users of Babbel and Duolingo, it says here. Possibly because they’re competing for jobs with foreigners who can now speak ‘stripped-down’ English – Globish? – better than the Brits can. The most popular language is, naturally, Spanish. As I told my daughters decades ago, with these 2 languages you can go anywhere in the world. And who now wants to learn Frog or Mark Twain’s ‘Awful German Language’?

Did you know?

The first international sports fixture was between Canada and the USA. And the sport involved was . . . . Cricket.

So, the world’s smartest dog breed is not the border collie but, it’s claimed, the Belgian Malinois.

Followed by the Border Collie, the Hoavawart and then the Spanish Water Dog, of which I’d never heard but looks like this.

Rather different from the Irish water dog.

Talking of Spanish dogs . . . Every single one I saw in Pv city last night was sheathed in a raincoat or overcoat – in a temperature of 11 degrees. I doubt that more than a few percent of UK canines are this protected in an equally wet but colder climate. Possibly because they have fur coats. But, then, a wet dog in a flat is more of a problem than it is in a house with a garden.

Finally . . .

I wasted quite some time last night downloading Skype onto my phone and then trying to use it. I kept being asked for a password but it wasn’t clear whether this was a Google Play password, my Gmail password or my Skype password. I eventually succeeded but only having been barred and then changing all 3 of those passwords to the same one so that I could get to Skype. Which involved several messages to my phone. Does it need to be this difficult? Or is it only me?

While I’m moaning . . Why does it sometimes take up to 10 tries to get past the bloody Captcha images? Are my eyes failing to see what others see?

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. Hi Colin,

    Spanish Water Dogs are smart cookies and can be trained for many tasks including earthquake recovery work. One of the oldest breeds around. Ours started puppy life in rural Galicia but now she’s a city dog in BCN. Fully adaptable but prone to reactivity if not socialised extensively at a young age. Ours became reactive in the countryside outside Santiago – perhaps due partially to the many un-socialised rural Galician dogs she was exposed to at the beginning. The reactivity is slowly disappearing in the Catalan capital.


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