30 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’


A reckoning is needed? Overdue??

Cosas de España/Galiza

I can’t speak for other regions and it might well be at a lower level than in the UK, but there’s certainly a lot of unhappiness here in Galicia with the deterioration in the provision of public healthcare. And demonstrations against it. Come to think of it, there was a major demonstration in Madrid not so long ago, I seem to recall.

The bear-traps of false friends . . . A discussion with Spanish friends last night confirmed my understanding of this:-

1. Platonic/Platónico: For the Spanish, this means without sex and can only exist in the context of love. So, for them, there can be a’ platonic love’ but not a ‘platonic friendship’, meaning a close but sexless friendship with a member of the other sex/gender whom you don’t ‘love’´. In other words, English can use ‘platonic’ in 2 contexts – love and friendship – whereas Spanish uses it only in the context of (possibly unrequited) love

2, Intimate/Íntimo: For the Spanish, this is the adjective to use for a close but non-physical relationship. In contrast, for English speakers, an ‘intimate friendship’ implies a physical element.

I imagine the Spanish would include ‘una amistad con derechos’ in the box of ‘una relación íntima’. Though such derechos would not appear to be a compulsory element of such. Just ‘nice to have’. Maybe. Always complicates things. Opinions welcome.

Something to happy about? Or unhappy? Galicia is the region where pisos turísticos most increased in the last 2 years.

Bureaucrats will always seize any opportunity to entrench themselves or, better still, increase their empires. So it is that, in Galicia at least, very little – if anything – can now be done with regional or provincial departments without making an appointment in advance. Up to 3 weeks ahead, complained one article last week. Gone are the days when you turned up, took a ticket and waited to be called. Can we thank Covid for this?

We’ve now had more than a week of brilliant sun. And a cold but cloud-clearing North wind. I got to wondering if we’d soon need a rain-maker. And then I went on to wonder if there was such a creature as a rain-unmaker, who’d be far more popular in Northern (Green ) Spain, I imagine.


Trump has launched his campaign for the 2024 presidency ‘angrier than ever’. Must be a sight to see. And hear.

A propos . . .I heard the sentiment 40 years ago that not just the USA but the entire world couldn’t afford the way it went about its elections. Seems truer than ever now. But at least they do things better than in Russia. Or China.

The Way of the World

I cited this development last week, possibly under the rubric of You Couldn’t Make It Up. Or YCMIU.

But we already knew that All revolutions devour their own children. Which is a sentiment I’ve just discovered was first uttered by Ernst Rohm, leader of Hitler’s brown-shirted Stormtroopers, as he waited on an execution. His own, in fact. For being a threat to Adolf’s supremacy, as I recall.

Which reminds me . . . Listen to this podcast for an understanding of how Hitler used democratic means to seize absolute power, after the Reichstag fire in 1933. The report of his comments as he watched the place burn down is chilling.

Finally . . .

I confess to laughing at this . . .

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.


  1. Un amor platónico refers to a very close friendship, usually between two people of the opposite sex, or between two people that could eventually fall into a romantic relationship, but without any “derechos”.

    It is NOT a good thing to have tourist apartments increase. That means many apartments get taken off the general market, making rents go sky-high because of lessened offer, so that eventually, young people can neither afford to buy their own home, nor rent their own place. This will force them to live longer with their parents, and limit their job options to whatever they can find near the family home. Either that, or emigrate. Again.


  2. Spiked – Read the article. The UK gov are worse than Google for spying!

    Public healthcare – Partners dad taken in to CHUAC urgencies today at 12pm. Got seen at 4pm, got out at 7pm. According to my partner over 300 people were in there (assuming ticketing system was working). There’s theoretically only room for approx 160. She said all the corridors were lined up with sick people. People on oxygen, ventilators. A lot of coughing and spluttering. Ambulances queuing up to get in. My thoughts were how bad are this years winter ailments? Some will be Covid, some swinge flu, some heavy colds, maybe pneumonia. And also, how bad have things become due to cutbacks?

    Pisos turísticos- Several friends and acquaintances in the last year have turned their properties in to Airbnbs. Maria is right, less availability, prices soaring and will continue to rise. My friends say they make more renting out to tourists, and generally their property is in better shape afterwards.


    • Apologies for all the errors, my mobile either corrects words incorrectly or my fat fingers don’t work.


      Urgencies – Urgencias
      Swinge – Swine


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