24 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

Very good news if you’re a recently arrived and newly registered citizen who’s being denied essential social services by your regional government.

Here’s an overview of the political situation ahead of this year’s raft of elections. As always with The Corner, the original was in Spanish and the English version was probably done by Google. Empleo total, for example, ain’t ‘utter jobs’ but ‘full employment’, I guess. And temido is more likely to be ‘feared’ than ‘dreadful’.

Some readers will be old enough to recall the Benny Hill programs on the TV in the UK – now considered beyond the pale. It turns out that he’s not only popular in the USA and Iran but also here in Spain. Who’d have thought it?

The VdG tells us today that the old road from Pv city to Ourense – the N541 – is one of the most accident-ridden in Spain. I didn’t know this but am not very surprised, given its contours. And the rain factor in winter. And the drugged -up drivers. To be avoided, even if the A9 alternative is a lot longer.

Talking of Ourense . . . This city up in our mountains has the distinction of being the only one in Spain which can be – and often is – the hottest during the summer and the coldest during the winter. At least for a day or so.

Talking of weather . . . We’re having a very welcome week of sun here in Galicia, which means the wind is coming from the North, strong and cold. Where I sit to read and write in my North-facing salón, the temperature can reach 40 during the day but struggles to rise above 19 at night – notwithstanding my (underfloor) heating. Last night it fell to 18, so I lit a fire. And then promptly fell asleep with my laptop on my . . . lap.

The UK

To display the maw of bureaucracy in the NHS, a tall doctor lay on the floor alongside all the forms he had to fill in for some purpose or other. It got me wondering what would be the natural evolution of an organisation in which bureaucrats have been securing their employment via empire-building over more than 70 years. And . . . Hey Presto!

Russia/Ukraine/The Western Order/The World

A dose of reality? Assuming the writer is right, does anyone believe the current leaders of the West have the ability to take on the challenges listed, I’m glad I’m not young. Almost.

The Way of the World

A feminist view of Transgender activists. Totally valid, it seems to me. As I’ve asked before: When will this madness stop?

Less seriously . . . . Something I would have done decades ago . . . The Netherlands intends to ban flat-faced pugs and bulldogs, citing animal cruelty, because of the resultant health and breathing problems caused by those short noses. TBH, I would have done it on the grounds of pure ugliness, as one can’t easily tell the front of pugs from the back end. French and British bulldogs aren’t so ugly but must go. If you want a small dog, get a bloody whippet. You’ll be guaranteed plenty of exercise.


Yesterday, I got to wondering if the word vagabundo came from the verb ‘to wander’ plus the noun for ‘the world’. But it doesn’t. It comes straight from the Latin ‘vagabundus’.

One of those phrases I’d once learnt and then forgotten – Echar tejas a: To throw tiles at: To flirt with

Finally . . .

For your daily guffaw, don’t bother with the text in this article: just gaze a while at the fotos. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be greatly amused. Or to be a fashion columnist. I guess somebody has to be.

This blog came up in my feed this morning and might well interest some readers. I can relate to at least one aspect of the young lady’s life.

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  1. Echar tejas a??? That was different in Strangeways prison.

    Regarding the chilliness of your salón & the iniquitous fuel costs, here in the Heights of High Wycombe, I invested in one of these items below& now go without the central heating during the day. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=electric+throw+blanket&crid=36R39KD27HVZH&sprefix=electric+throw%2Caps%2C233&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_14

    Granted that we have Swedish levels of insulation & 2 hours of heating lasts us through the night, but on colder days the warmth from the throw is very welcome & at 40 watts consumption per hour, I can thumb my nose at Shell Energy without discomfort, in spite of paying 34.278.p per kWh & a standing charge of 44.40p per day. I really resent the machinations of the green lobby that has added fuel surcharges of 25% for ***king windmills.

    OTOH, portable solar panels & an EcoFlow powerstation could be a solution in Galicia. Check this video from NZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMqrp4YXOJk
    & have a look at the website. https://uk.ecoflow.com/


    • Ah, yes . . . Tirarle los tejos a . . . Como en: La firma Petroprix sigue peleando por instalarse en Pontevedra y también le tira los tejos a Poio. Shouldn’t have relied on my memory of this headline.


  2. Ref Perry’s comment. Today I ordered heated gilets on Amazon. They use a power bank to apparently give 10 hours of warmth. Arrive tomorrow evening, and will be put to use immediately.


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