11 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

I’ve said many times over the years that there’s a big difference between the indicators for the macro Spanish economy and the micro. The former include better GDP growth than many other EU members and lower inflation. The latter include an unemployment rate well above most others and the highest in the EU for young folk. As elsewhere, the rich are getting richer while the not-rich aren’t. UK unemployment is 3.6%, I believe, in a post-Brexit ‘failing’ economy. I know where I’d prefer to live if I were even younger than I am. As opposed to where I’d take my holidays . . .

You want Spanish gourmet chocolate? We now have the means to make it. Or a little bit anyway, until we solve the problem of little insecticidal pollination.

María confirms that those small – sin carnécars can’t be driven on motorways because they’ve legally got the engine of a scooter.

A nice article on the Spanish lynx. As I recall it was the only animal in Madrid Zoo a few months ago which actually seemed to delight in coming up to the glass and strutting before humans.

It struck me yesterday that the Spanish essentially take off both the last week of one year and the first week of the next. Hence all the visitors to my street and also the arrival yesterday of a Private Eye magazine of 16 December. But then I recalled that the British postal workers have been on strike recently. So maybe it’s down to them. I’ll check next year . . .

Reader Daniel tells me that Spanish Water Dogs are smart cookies and can be trained for many tasks including earthquake recovery work. One of the oldest breeds around.

From Water Dogs to an (in)famous Sea Dog . . . . I give you 2 articles on Francis Drake, or La Pirata Draké, as he’s known in these parts. A British view and a Spanish view. Both are valid, of course . . .

The UK

Harry: The majority UK view in graphic form:-

See an article on the unhappy and vengeful prince below, by ‘a young (female)person’, on the revised views of her cohort.

The USA

Dear god! The opioid epidemic in America has intensified as dealers increasingly cut the deadly drug fentanyl with an even more dangerous one that can lead to skin disease and limb amputation. Xylazine is being used to bulk up supplies of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. It causes injection site wounds to erupt with a scaly dead tissue. Untreated, the skin disease can require amputation. Users say the wounds are also extremely painful. The drug induces a blackout for hours and when users come around, the high from the fentanyl has long passed. It is a sedative and resists standard opioid overdose reversal treatments.

Russia

AEP claims here we should be less pessimistic about Putin’s capacity to devastate the West, economically speaking at least.

Way of the World

No cone could claim that Wolf Richter is a proponent of crypto-currencies. In this article, he points out that the Fed’s easy-money policies, which started in 2008, turned investors’ brains to mush and gave rise to ‘consensual hallucination’ leading to all kinds of crazy stuff, including cryptos. And he regards crypto space as a mostly self-contained videogame where rules and laws didn’t apply because it’s just a videogame, and where every entity is interconnected with other entities in it.  Where the official religion is crypto itself that people have to “believe in.” A world, he adds, of mesmerizing hype-and-hoopla. Good stuff. If you never went into it.

I’m reminded of the BBC podcast series on the Romanian Crypto Queen who’s in hiding along with the 16bn dollars she fleeced from the gullible, some of whom ended up topping themselves.

Social Media

This cartoon appeared in my FB stream, after I’d written about dogs yesterday. A coincidence?

Spanish/Galician

These words will come in handy tomorrow:-

Chicho: A type of small fish

Joder/Foder: To fuck

Jodechicho/Fodechicho: Fish-fucker. Un madrileño.

Turco: Drunk; Senseless

Did you know?

While I adore cilantro(coriander) and cardamoms and use them a lot in curries, some people hate them, likening the former to soap. But, then I don’t much like cheese.

Finally . . .

A couple more phishy-friend-requests on FB yesterday. One of the two I thought were genuine turned out not to be. All the fotos used are stolen, I guess. Clever these fraudsters. But there are other adjectives available.

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.

HARRY THE PAINED PRINCE

Gen Z has lost patience with softboi Harry.

He was a flag-bearer for millennials but his inconsistency and self-indulgent regurgitation of grudges have put us off. Click here.

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