14 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

The Corner points up here some odd aspects – or ‘absurdities’ – of the new Animal Welfare law.

The Corner also regards as absurd the situation with electric charging points – viz. that there are 40,000 of them around the country lacking a key element – electricity. Bureaucrats rule, it seems. Here, as elsewhere. Vuelva usted mañana, as they are wont to say. It’s said. You do wonder if other de jure/de facto federal states – say Germany – handle such national challenges rather better. Probably. Spain’s system of (many-layered) government sometimes seems designed to be inefficient.

Barcelona’s mayor is implementing further measures against the blight of excessive tourism. Other cities will surely follow. Very possibly nearby Oporto quite soon. Or even Vigo. Though possibly not while it’s under the control of a mayor whom many think is ‘mad’.

Egg and chips – Spanish style. Huevos rotos/estrellados. Personally, I prefer to break the yokes over the chips myself, on what was my favourite dish as a kid. And which I still enjoy once a week.

The UK

Ye gods! . . . A Boris comeback is starting to look inevitable. Rishi was supposed to stop the rout. He hasn’t. Now Tory MPs are starting to think only one man can. Surely not.


My grandson’s theory on Hitler’s atrocities – Perhaps he watched violence at night. Quite perspicacious for a kid who’s just turned 4. But I do wonder what he’s been reading/watching.*

*A novel for older bairns which my daughter has decided to stop reading to him. Far too interested in land mines, she said.

The Way of the World

Are digital currencies really tyrannical?

Talking of Hitler . . . This writer claims that the ever-present fascist threat is a myth. And that it has proved especially important to the EU. Indeed, the EU is premised on the idea that untrammelled public politics leads to Nazism and war. It assumes that popular passions, unleashed by national electorates, lead to the rise of totalitarianism or aggressive state nationalism unless they are subject to some kind of supranational political restraint. This is where the EU and other international institutions come in – they exist to calm and restrain the political passions of the populace. Ironically, this view of the people is not dissimilar to actual fascists’ own view of the people – as an irrational mass, whose dark passions can be moulded and unleashed for political ends. The EU is the prime example of an institution built on this myth of Nazism as the product of an excess of democracy. It justifies itself precisely on the grounds that it is a superior mode of governance insulated from the irrational instincts and passions of the people. As European Commission president José Manuel Borroso said in 2014, ‘No other political construction has proven to be a better way of organising life to lessen the barbarity in this world’ .Unsurprisingly, those defending the established order have responded to Brexit and the rise of European populist movements over the past decade, by likening their emergence to the rise of the Nazis.

Not everyone will agree, of course.

Social Media

TikTok is designed to collect more personal information than any other social media app or messaging service. It uses twice as many trackers as the industry average. The “overly intrusive’ app gathers information on all installed apps and can gain access to information about your wi-fi network, Sim card, type of phone and subscription information. It continually asks a user for access to their contacts which is ‘abnormal and tantamount to persistent, endless harassment’. TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. So, now you know.


En preventa: On pre-sale. pre-venta. Nowt to do with prevention.

Did you know?

The (very)lovely Audrey Hepburn had a (very)minor role – as Chiquita – in the 1951 film The Lavender Hill Mob, when she was 21.

Finally . . .

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. Buen día Colin,

    Regarding the Spiked article arguing that the fascist threat is a myth —

    The history is very interesting, although I do not know enough to know
    whether what is presented is entirely accurate or possibly misleading —
    Is it the whole truth, all of the truth, and nothing but the truth?  I
    would be very interested in seeing the writer discuss American Trumpism
    in the context of the article.  It seems to me that addressing this may
    not have helped the writer’s argument.

    Relevant to this, the following observation has always appealed to me:

    “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist,
    fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria.
    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be
    controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists
    acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest
    number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in
    altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
    p. 191-192, Robert A. Heinlein, /Time Enough For Love/, G. P. Putnam’s
    Sons, 24^th Printing, 1986 .

    Saludos cordiales,



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