11 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/Galicia

So, hunting dogs will, after all, be excluded from the (otherwise very comprehensive) animal-protection law.

The Almerian pueblo of Mojácar holds a special place in the heart of Lenox Napier and he writes lyrically of it here. It’s not where Lenox lives now but it is where he was brought up and he’s seen many changes over the decades. It’s on my To Visit list but, then, it has been for about 15 years. Among other reasons, I’m now much attracted by the fact that – despite being (in winter at least) only a tenth of the size of Pv city – it boasts food from Germany, Thailand, the Middle East, North Africa, Argentina, Mexico, China, France, Italy, Ireland, the UK, Holland and India. TBH, I’m not sure about the UK element . . . Lenox is, of course, the writer of the comprehensive weekly digest on Spain, Business Over Tapas. A must-read for every foreigner living here.

I read that tinned fish are again immensely popular in the UK. With the result that the Spanish company Ortiz can sell stuffed baby squid, scallops and smoked oysters from Galicia encased in silver boxes. One of its competitors – Saltie Girl – offers octopus in paprika sauce at £65 a tin. Anyone who wants one of these for considerably less should write to me – at colindavies@duck.com – as I’m thinking of setting up an export business for stuff I’m sick of. I’m reminded of when, 20 years ago, I wrote to a restaurant reviewer who was bemoaning the lack of places in London in which to eat offal. I suggested he holiday here in Galicia so that he could enjoy every bit of the pig and the cow. Including the intestines, ears and snouts

If you’re thinking of becoming self-employed here in Spain, here’s what you need to know about the changes to the way in which you’ll be (not quite as heavily) as before.

Pv city has lost a lot of retail outlets in recent years but has gained a surprising number of snazzy high-street dentists as opticians. Could this be because this city of (well-paid and ageing) civil servants provides a handsome customer base for them? Asking for a friend.

The UK

How the very estimable Caitlin Moran deals with her ‘very British hang-up’.

A hard-to-believe tale of some Spaniards and . . . Derby. Liverpool, I could believe. But Derby . . .?

Quote of the Day

The question on everyone’s lips: Will Microsoft’s ChatGPT spell the end of Google? My guess is a lot of folk will hope so.

To remind you . . . ChatGPT, a sophisticated AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm over the past few months. Tens of millions of people are using it to write essays, stories, presentations, poems and more. Because it and similar AI are trained on text from the web, it offers a new easy interface to find information. Microsoft is incorporating it in its – low-market-share – browser, Edge. Instead, I guess, of its – equally low-market-share – search engine, Bing.

Google is said to be in a panic. So . . . To understand why, it helps to imagine a new world where conversational chatbots are the new way of searching. You type in a question and the first thing you get is a full answer in text, not a list of ten blue links. No further clicking needed.


Anyone got a definition of hijísimo? It’s escaped the dictionaries so far.

Finally . . .

Made me laugh . . .

If you enjoyed yesterday’s video of North Korean hoards chanting the Queen number, you might just like to see this home-grown homage to the slaughter of foreigners. I think the same girls group is involved but this time in uniform, not just saluting. It seems to be called Killing in the Name . . . Which says everything about that poor country’s lunatic regime.

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. I think “hijísmo” is an Argentine construct, referring to the children of the executed and disappeared during the years of the generals. I think it might be used to describe nepotism here. I’ve never really heard it much around here.


  2. There are many who want to break google’s monopoly on ‘Search’. Microsoft has been trying for years with Bing, but has failed to attract the numbers. The problem with Google’s dominance is that the cash cow has stopped innovating for years. Typing anything into Google search will give you 50 answers, the first 10 are all advert paid. No one scrolls beyond the first page. Others, like Neeva, have tried to move away from the advertising model into subscription and provide the ‘best answer’ rather than 50 randoms, but this also failed the mass appeal which is really required for optimising search. Now AI could be the key? Microsoft shareholders are certainly hoping it will.


  3. Thanks for the plug for Business over Tapas. Hijísimo is a joke word, a bit like Generalísimo. It means the very cream of the aristocracies’ offspring. Froilán por ejem.


  4. Yes. it drives me nuts, the number of irrelevant paid-for links you have to plough through/ignore. Google have killed their Golden Goose. The Guardian is much the same if you search anything, because they don’t have a paywall, I guess, and have to get money however they can.


  5. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In the Name (Official HD Video)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWXazVhlyxQ


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