13 January 2023. And a Friday . . .

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’ 

Covid

Good question: Is this the true cost of lockdowns?

Cosas de España/Galiza

Murders of women by their partners in Spain totalled 54 in 2017 and 49 last year. This is 49 too many, of course, but the impression given by the media – eg a headline today: A sharp increase in the number of women being murdered in acts of domestic violence has caused alarm in Spain – is that the murder by partner is a particularly Spanish problem and that the rate is increasing, not falling. In fact, back in 2017 the following 8 European countries had a worse rate than Spain’s – the first few a lot worse: Romania, Northern Ireland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Germany, and the UK. I doubt that things have changed much since then. All that said, government efforts to reduce the stats are totally commendable

No one knows how many Brits there are now in Spain. Nor how many there were at the peak. The number ranges from the official stat of c350k to more than 1m, including very many living below the (tax) wire. It’s said the 2012 Model 720 law saw the exodus of ‘many thousands’ but no one knows if it really did. Now, we’re told that Brexit has led to the expulsion of ‘more than 2,250’ Brits – a drop in the ocean. I suspect that the (pragmatic) Spanish government would prefer to turn ‘illegals’ into tax-payers rather than expel them – only booting out the stupid ones who refuse to convert. All institutions in Spain are well-versed in dealing with folk who haven’t previously followed the rules. Of course, if you’re a Brexit hater, it’s a hook to hand your complaints on, if nothing else.

I’ve seen the famous botaumeiro of the catherdal of Santiago several times and each time wondered about accidents and injuries. A relevant arcticle:-

But let’s hear it for nearby, un-risky Vigo . . . The article is generally accurate, though I groan at the reference to the Celts. And at the incorrect bay for the Nautilus comment, but that’s a mistake many make. Possibly Verne himself. The correct one is San Simón Bay, east of Vigo Bay. And there is a place – behind Sercotel Bahía de Vigo – where these days you are accosted by pretty women with menus in their hands. A la Portugal. Don’t know about this risk in modern London, a city I love and know pretty well from university days but would never live in.

If you’re thinking of following the example of the couple of the article, this will be useful to you. And, wherever you’re thinking of buying, you should talk to this lawyer.

Reader Paideleo had pointed out my typo of yesterday – chincho, not chicho and foderchincho, not foderchico.

A 5th cartoon on Galicia . . .

The UK

The brilliant John Crace spoofs Spare here. The (sort of) author certainly isn’t spared.

But, would you believe?, this is a positive article on the aggrieved and vengeful chap.

Russia

Per my reading of Putin’s People: Until late ‘99, Putin had been a ruthless but low-level KGB operative involved in massive corruption in Leningrad and then an obscure – and corrupt – bureaucrat in Moscow. But he was the man chosen by senior KGB men who’d lost out to the oligarchs created by Yeltsin’s reforms and whose long-established domestic and international business enterprises were dwarfed in the process. Desperate for continued power and greedy for more money, these Cold-War mentality KGB men needed a puppet president. But, within days of becoming president on January 1, 2000, Putin had started to dismantle whatever democracy Yeltsin had established and to talk of his aim of a restored Greater Russia of a ‘single people’. And to take over the relatively free Russian media. Twenty two years later this is not as surprising to us as it was to his own sponsors and supporters back then. A devious and stop-at-nothing chap, then. Who’s possibly nearing the end of his autocratic and murderous days. But what will follow him??

Quote of the Day

Prince Harry’s ghost-writer saved him from himself. Ye gods! Imagine what the Ginger Whinger would had written without him!

A nice article on the word ‘mob’.

The University of Southern California has declared the word ‘field’ has racist connotations and will be removed from the curriculum, with academic references such as “field of study” being replaced  by “practicum” . The school of social work said: “This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that would be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favour of inclusive language. Phrases such as ‘going into the field’ or ‘field work’ maybe have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign.” The department added that it was “acting in solidarity with universities across the nation” and wanted to “reject white supremacy, anti-immigrant and anti-blackness ideologies.”

And to think we used to sing Poor Black Joe in primary school. Who is now ‘old’, not ‘black’.

And then there was Cotton Fields.

My guess is that our teacher – who’d now be sacked – wanted to make us sympathetic. And succeeded. I guess this would be seen as patronising now. And as creating unconscious racism. Who knows, I might even have this myself.

For new readers:-

1. If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try hhttps://thoughtsfromgalicia.comere. If you’re passing [star]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.

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