16 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 usually translate un marco as ‘a frame’ but it also means ‘a marker’, like the things which delineate property borders here in Galicia, especially in our many woods and forests. These can be just about anything but my favourite is the plastic bottle up-ended on a stick. Followed by a piece of material tied to a branch. More often they’re chunks of our ubiquitous granite. Trouble is – they can all be moved. And, as land is very valuable commodity here in the land of countless minifundios, they frequently are. Which leads to arguments, fight and even murders. Like the one reported this week in the local media. So, a risky strategy.

From my experience over many years, there are – as regards signalling – 3 types of Spanish drivers, at least in my neck of the bosques:-

1. Those who signal correctly

2. Those who don’t signal at all, and

3. Those who signal incorrectly. Of these, the worst are those who signal right or left – it seems to be arbitrary – when they’re going straight on.

I don’t know what the percentages are but I can say that those in category 1 are categorically not in the majority. My own preference would be for everyone to be in category 2. As they were in Tehran. At least it keeps you on your toes and means you never make the mistake of trusting a false signal. Especially those of drivers in the right-hand lane on a roundabout who are signalling right but turning left. A frequent occurrence in my learner-rich barrio.

Here’s a Galician blog I came across this morning, which might be of interest to some readers.

Portugal

This winter has been wetter than average in Galicia and North Portugal. Among that damage caused by excess wet stuff was the collapse of a wall in the impressive fortaleza in Valença, just across the border from Tui:-

The UK

It’s somewhat ironic that Prince Harry dismissed the memoir of this mother’s butler as “A tell-all which actually told nothing. Merely one man’s self-justifying, self-centring version of events.”

Much as I feel sorry for the chap, I confess to a LOL when seeing this:

Russia

Putin’s first 2 terms as president – technically, the max – saw 2 reversions:-

  1. The country returned to the communist model of state control – if not technical ownership – of the vast proportion of the country’s assets. But this time under the control of Putin and his KGB mates, who – as before – indulged in the creation of huge illegal slush funds. These were used, in part, to finance ‘political’ and ‘strategic’ goals such as the bribing of judges and the financing of terrorism overseas. And to finance the construction of a palace for Putin on the Black Sea costing more than a billion dollars. Not to mention his huge bank deposits in Switzerland.
  2. Putin came to act more and more autocratically, on the model of Russian Tsars. Indeed, he was increasingly referred to as such. He was, of course, supposed to give up power in 2008 but, 14 years later, is still there. Richer and more of a ruthless bloodthirsty autocrat then ever. Do the Russian people really deserve him, however much he tells them through the media he controls that Russia has always needed a ‘strong’ leader to protect them against a West which is bent on destroying the rival Russian empire? Something he has long wanted to restore. Whatever he says for Western consumption. Hence the invasion of Ukraine.

Way of the World

I recently wrote of the coats – and even bootees – worn by dogs in Pv city. I was reminded of this by this article – a clear indication that some folk have too much money. Or not enough sense. Or both.

Spanish

Apologies for translating paisano as ‘clown’ yesterday. In truth, my draft had it as ‘peasant’ but – having decided to check my memory with the RAE’s dictionary – I somehow came away with the definition of the word payaso. And exchanged the ‘i’ in paisano for the ‘y’ of payaso . . . My thanks to the readers who pointed out the mistakes. My excuse is that I was in a rush to post. . .

Finally . . .

A wild boar killed by a bow and arrow(s) in Galicia this week:-

Some say the guys are standing well back of it, so that the false perspective makes it seem much larger than it is.

Yesterday’s rush to post also meant I couldn’t post this foto of the Puzzles page of the copy of the VdG I had to wait over an hour for in Pv’s Casino:-

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.

2 comments

  1. True but I put that English phrase in the first post. So I would hope readers could see that I should have written ‘paisano’ and ‘plain-clothes. etc.’ Not payaso

    In fact, I think it means anyone of out their uniform, not just cops. In mufti, as they say.

    Like

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