1 February 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

It’s an ill wind that blows no good, they say. The infamous ‘Gag law’ brought in by the last right-of-centre government might well have deprived us of several liberties – especially to disobey and ‘disrespect’ the police – but it deposited €31.7m in fines in the coffers of Pv province. Mostly during Covid, I believe.

Here in Galicia the Xunta wants GPs to work until they’re 72, to help ease the tremendous pressure on primary healthcare services. Imagine that happening in France, where they possibly retire at 50. . . . Does anyone really think European cultures/economic systems can be fused into an EU superstate? I guess so.

The Galician Xunta has rejected criticism of the prior appointments system, saying it’s better than the old one as it avoids stress for civil servants. Stuff the customers, the folk who pay their salaries.

As far as I know, there are only 2 shops in Pv city where you can buy birthday cards. As with shops in Iranian bazaars, they are close together. Separated – almost – only by a tobacco shop where you can buy a stamp before taking the card to the only place in the city – Correos – where you can post it. Which is 30m away. All very Middle Eastern . . . Fortunately one of the 2 shops was open this morning.

Long-time readers will be pleased to hear that the 3 potholes on my route to my parking spot in Lérez – repaired yet again only months/weeks ago – have returned to their normal state. As they are just before/after the driving test centre, I’ve begun to wonder if they are there as a challenge to folk taking the test.

Good to know that we are forecasted to have 2 more weeks of sun and higher temperatures. Or it would be if my central heating could cope with the cold nights and get the temperature in my salón to at least 20 degrees.


A fascinating article on levelling up in this admired country.

The Way of the World

Terrifying technologies:-

1. Chat GPT

2. Voice-cloning can be used to create ‘deepfake’ audio recording such as actress Emma Watson reading Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler and the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough being racist.

3. Crypto-currencies: The depressingly familiar message at the end of 2022 from the much devalued new world of crypto-capitalism is how little really changes when it comes to the very old business of losing money. Whether there is an actual formula for crypto profits, beyond the ‘greater fool’ theory, failed to discourage frenzied participation once fortunes reportedly were being made. Tulip mania in modern dress.

Did You Know?

Pasqua Rosée was the chap who first set up a coffee house in the UK, in Oxford in 1651, followed by one in 1652 in London, possibly called The Turk’s Head. He was probably born into the ethnic Greek community in Ragusa in Sicily in the early 17th century. A pub – The Jamaica Wine House – now stands on the spot in St Michael’s Alley – set within a labyrinth of medieval courts and alleys in theCity of London.

Finally . . .

News from Liverpool . . .Read down if you don’t get what they say.

Today’s moan . . .It seems that my HP PC suffers from the problem of ‘over-sensitive sensors’, meaning pages open if I pass the cursor over links but without clicking on them. Really, really irritating and, other than send the bloody thing back to the factory, it seems I can only avoid this by going back to using a mouse. Possibly,

To amuse . . .

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.