22 January 2022

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

Reader María tells me that the TUR scheme might well give me the cheapest gas and recommends I find some consumer office to try to get them to advise if it’s really best for me in my circumstances as a low user. She cites this web page, to go along with this one sent to me by a friend. I need to investigate further, clearly. In the UK I could do this on line – via some helpful consumer group – but I don’t think we’ve quite got there yet in Spain. Unless there’s something on offer in one or both those articles.

Pontevedra province is seen by insurers as a very risky place in which to drive but I don’t think it’s because of the incidence of motoring fines. More likely the conjunction of water and bendy roads. And maybe the high number of drivers without a licence and insurance. And possibly on the drugs which pass through the province.

Which reminds me . . . Our biggest drug baron was in court this week. He goes by the name of El Matador – Killer. Oh, and a massive shipment of cocaine was intercepted offshore.

But good news . . . Galicia’s is Spain’s 2nd most generous regions when it comes to organ donations. So, well done us.

Portugal

Like the UK and Spain, our neighbour also has severe public healthcare challenges. And is trying to solve them by luring Spanish medical personnel via large salaries. Understandable but seen as unfair in Spain. Naturally.

The UK

So, why is French productivity so much better than the UK’s? Click here.

Europe/The EU

For EU nuts. . . . How is the Franco-German alliance coming along? A pertinent point: President François Mitterrand was initially suspicious of German reunification, which he saw as upsetting the balance between the two countries. Having accepted he couldn’tstop it, in return he got Germany to agree to the establishment of the EU and the euro, which he believed would be a way of controlling the united Germany’s economic and monetary power. So, how did that work out, after Germany was given the massive commercial advantage of an extremely favourable Euro/DM exchange rate? Not daft, these Germans.

New Zealand/The Way of the World

Some folk believe NZ went backwards under Jacinda Arden. One such asks why she got fawning treatment from foreign commentators over her sudden resignation and adds: The depressing answer is that we live in a superficial age, an age that cares more about vibes than deeds. Ardern is young, green and woke. She had a baby while in office and gave that baby a partly Māori name. In a culture whose critical faculties have been turned to mush by Twitter these things matter more than hard achievements.

Spanish

De Madrid al cielo: There’s s no place like Madrid, it says here.

Did you know?

The (sceptical) quotation marks in sentences like this one are known as ‘scare quotes’, at least to Americans; Nadhim Zahawi fights for his political life after admitting tax “error”.

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.

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