14 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 regularly say the Spanish are great as friends but can be care-less about strangers. One of the worst for me is the person who leaves a newspaper in a café as if its been through a tornado. Only worsted by the chap in the PV Casinos .who hogs the VdG for more than a hour (or two) while he does every puzzle in the relevant section.

Not everyone believes in the efficacy of wealth taxes. I paid them – on my then savings brought from the UK – between 2000 and 2008, when el Patrimonio was scrapped.

Unlike some of my Galician friends, I don’t adore percebes. In fact, I find them the equivalent of eating rubber dipped in salty water. A huge marketing con. If you don’t know what they are, this is for you. Try them for yourself, if you’re rich. And gullible . . .

More on Vigo and the right bay. And the island in it and statue of Jules (Julio) Verne beside it.

The UK

The ghost-writer writes about his week here.

I mentioned this woman/piece of shit a day or two ago . . .

Russia

As I’ve said. Putin was the frontman for a group of embittered Cold War warriors of the KGB – The Soviet Union’s main security service, replaced by the FSB in 1993. Their basic aims were the destruction of the oligarchs/business barons enriched by Yeltsin’s regime and the restoration of Greater Russia. Putin quickly resiled on promises to the Yeltsin ‘Family’, reversing moves towards democracy and taking control of the media. Then – despite denying this to Western investors – went after the biggest of the barons, taking over his businesses for the state and undermining Western confidence in his regime. This was done to achieve the model of state capitalism favoured by the KGB operators, who – coincidentally – were enriched beyond their dreams in the process. As managers of the new state-owned businesses.

An interesting fact. Putin first used the gas weapon early in his presidential reign, cutting it off to Belorussia. And thus Poland and Lithuania – when the temperature was down to minus 25 degrees. Not exactly a man with much regard for human life, then. As we well know now.

An interesting claim: The incident in the Moscow theatre which ended in the death of more than 100 Russian hostages was a failed KGB operation, aimed at boosting Putin’s chances before a 2004 presidential election. Which possibly explains why all the ‘Chechen terrorists’ with their fake bombs and explosive belts were shot on the spot as they lay on the floor – assuming they hadn’t been killed by a gas which was 10 times its recommended level. This cock-up followed the destruction of Chechen cities years 4 years previously and the KG operation which destroyed flats in central Moscow, both designed to boost Putin’s ratings. And both successful. As was the theatre operation, despite it being botched and fatal to many Moscovites. It was also useful for increasing support for the war in Chechnya. The Putin playbook was firmly established. And the reporter who tried to investigate the theatre incident was summarily jailed.

Spanish

Una bahía: A bay

Una ensenada: A cove

Finally . . .

To amuse . . .

What Samuel Johnson called ‘The triumph of hope over experience’.

For new readers:-

1. If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. 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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