23 January 2023

These were taken by the infamous Dixie. I’ve snapped them at an angle, to avoid the reflection of my bed or my window. Which probably doesn’t do them much good . . .

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

A bit of Spanish royal family gossip – sort of: The former mistress of ex-king Juan Carlos is selling her home in [the UK] after telling friends she fears for her safety from “shadowy forces” working for him. I wonder – fleetingly – how she got the money to buy it in the first place. And where she thinks she will be more safe? As if I really care. Incidentally, she bought the place for £6m 7 years ago and is now trying to sell it for £15m. The wages of (living in) sin with a corrupt king?

From time to time, I say the Spanish can be inconsiderate towards strangers, which contrasts sharply with how they are with friends. Or even just acquaintances. Perhaps the worst – and most annoying – example of this rude genre are cyclists on public footpaths or the Camino de Santiago. These rarely slow down and even more rarely give you a warning that they’re coming up behind you at speed. Or at least not until the very last moment. Few, indeed, are the bikes which have bells on the handlebars. Or maybe that should be bells that are actually used. This comment has been sparked by the news that, in the UK, there’s a proposal to ban dogs from public footpaths there. Guess who I’d ban first. After a preprandial riverside walk in the (rare) sun yesterday that was far less enjoyable than it should have been.

Talking of the Camino . . . Given the huge increase in numbers – and, indeed, of ‘authentic’ new caminos – in the last 10 years, it’s not surprising that the volume of hostels and albergues in Pv city has risen in sympathy. Yesterday, I clocked the latest in the old quarter, 2 metres opposite not just one but two bars which don’t open until 1.30am. Which might be a problem for unaware ‘pilgrims’ who go to bed at 10 and get up at 5 to race for a bed in their chosen albergue. Who’s going to warn them? Not the owner, that’s for sure.

The UK

The Irony Award of the Year goes to the folk responsible for making the Brit (music) Awards gender-neutral, scrapping separate male and female categories. For, all the finalists this year are male. The foolish folk said to be reviewing their approach for next year. You couldn’t make it up. Who was the cynic who said the result of every major reform was usually the exact opposite of what it was designed for? Anyway, this is a case in point.

And another: Last year, Cambridge city council voted to phase out serving meat and dairy at events and provide vegan alternatives. The plan has hit a big problem at the first hurdle: people don’t want the food. At the first civic event since the vote the vegan menu went down so badly that almost all of the food remained uneaten and had to be thrown away causing “significant food waste”.

Quote of the Day

The battle for ascendancy in the human rights league is relentless and disorienting.

The Way of the World

Too much money in the world? Or just an obscenely inequitable division of it? . . . The singer Beyoncé is understood to have been paid $24m for a one-off concert in Dubai to celebrate the opening of a new hotel. This amounts to nearly £250,000 for every minute she performed. Possibly even more than Ronaldo gets for playing in some Middle Eastern football league.


 In this useful article, it’s said that There is no good noun equivalent in Spanish of “To compromise”.

So, I went to one site I use and found these options, for the various meanings of this English verb:-

1. To come to a mutual agreement

a. Llegar a una solución intermedia

In the end we compromised and everyone gave $50.

b. Al final llegamos a una solución intermedia y todos dieron 50 dólares.

2. To make concessions

a. Transigir

If you two want to reach an agreement, you both need to learn how to compromise.

Si quieren llegar a un acuerdo, ambos deben aprender a transigir.

b. Hacer concesiones

They knew what they wanted and were not prepared to compromise.

Sabían lo que querían y no estaban dispuestos a hacer concesiones.

3. To accept something inferior

No direct translation

It may be necessary to compromise on some immediate goals so that the project can continue.

Tal vez sea necesario dejar de lado algunos objetivos inmediatos para que el proyecto siga adelante.

We are not prepared to compromise on quality.

No estamos dispuestos a aceptar algo de calidad inferior.

Pick the meat out of all that . . .

Finally . . .

A moan . . . The software for both my word-processing package and WordPress are far too complex for my simple needs. Plus I’ve switched back to the Microsoft OS from Apple’s. Which explains why I wasted more than an hour this morning angrily trying to get back to my draft post, after a Comments column had appeared in the text even though I hadn’t wittingly asked for it. And which I couldn’t get rid of without losing most of the text. Happily, I finally succeeded, so didn’t have to re-type it all. But only by accident. So, next time it happens I’ll be even more angry but will have some idea of what to do. Maybe.

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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