23 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’


This columnist claims that the reasons Brits haven’t taken to heat pumps is that they’re very expensive but no bloody good. The Poles seem to take a very different view. One wonders why.

Cosas de España/Galicia

Needless to say, the right-wing/populist claims that Spain has legalised bestiality are baloney. As, says Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas, are the claims that the new animal protection law prevents you from killing rodents in your kitchen or owning a parrot or parakeet. These bulos seem to come relentlessly from PP supporters and even more so from Vox nutters.

There are 2 corruption-flavoured issues I haven’t much followed:-

1. Barcelona football club is accused of bribing a very senior referee to favour the team with penalties. The stats for these For and Against BFC certainly look suspicious. Lenox tells us that UEFA may bar the team from playing in European matches. Where was VAR in the relevant 2016-2018 games? Possibly not available then. Which is why it could have happened.

2. The Spanish take-up of post-Covid subventions has been slow and the suggestion is that this is because Brussels isn’t happy with Madrid’s attempts to avoid corrupt disbursements. Which, to be frank, wouldn’t surprise many here. And it does rather contrast with the change in the definition of ‘embezzlement’, said to benefit the Catalan parties which support the government. I think.

Lenox also tells us this week that the once much-touted prospect of ostrich meat has come up against a few realities, such as only 25% of the meat is edible. So, from boom to bust. I saw a couple of ostriches in a field in the Netherlands a couple of years ago but these might have been pets . . .

Cosas de Pontevedra City

To get parochial . . .

Yesterday – Ash Wednesday – was a public holiday in Pv city. As usual on these days, the noisiest country in the world tends towards being the quietest. As I left my house to drive down to my parking spot on the Lérez side of the river, there wasn’t even the sound of wind rustling the leaves in the trees. Only the distant barking of unhappy dogs – a constant in much of Spain. And there was no traffic on my route down the hill, except for the inevitable learner drivers with one of the numerous driving schools. All of them taking the roundabouts per el modelo español, of course.

Getting near to the unpaved lot I use to park my car, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only had the potholes been filled in yet again but stretches of the approach road had been blessed with new tarmac. Indeed, so had some of the much-pitted parking lot. The odd thing is that, though this road passes no houses and had exceptionally low foot-traffic, several speed bumps have been created on it. Plus, to put the cherry on the cake, a zebra crossing. I wonder if, driving over it 4 times a day, I’ll ever have to stop for someone on it. The logic of the bumps and the crossing escapes me, though at least the former is consistent with the reduction, a couple of, years ago, of the speed limit from 50kph to 30. Is it all to create new challenges for the drivers emerging from the test centre in the middle of the stretch? Or just money being spent on which commissions are paid?

Anyway, my fear is that the lot I use will be tarted up completely and then turned into an official car park to (partly) replace the 2 big ones nearer the river which – the mayor tells us – are to be replaced by lovely arboreal parks. As to where the majority of current users will go, I have no idea and the mayor isn’t telling us. Perhaps yet another underground parking on the Lérez side of the river, with the usual extortionate hourly rates.

Yesterday I attended a festive lunch with local friends, preceded by a drink or two in a beer factory. Where this was the entertainment. Or might be, if it uploads . . .:-

It seems WordPress won’t allow me to upload my MP4 and there’s nothing on their FB page but this is the group – Os Ghalos do Curral – who performed in the beer factory. It warms up . . Or, you can see the MP4 on Blogger here, I hope.

And this – to give you some insight into Gallego – was one of the songs heartily sung:-

By the way, we sat down for lunch at 2pm. The food arrived at 4pm, by which time I was ready to eat what is definitely not my favourite Galician dish, cocido. Although the Wiki article says this includes several meats, in Galicia it’s just the pig. Everything but the tail, as one English resident once entitled his book on it.. Or something like that. And he certainly wasn’t exaggerating. I confess to favouring Irish stew. Even the ‘blind’ version – sans meat. What you grow up with, of course.


It’s golden visa scheme is being scrapped, as being a distorting factor in the property market, to the disbenefit of locals. The same measure is being urged by some on the Spanish government.


The end of the world as we know it? Baroness Rothschild says the MeToo movement has made Frencb men soft and French women charmless. But, then, she does have a book to promote. Having had a lovely French partner for 10 years, I do hope she’s wrong. I would hate to think they’ve all turned into the sort of killjoy (North)American woman one occasionally meets. Which ain’t all of them, of course.


According to the German central bank, the economy will probably enter recession in Q1 2023. To join Sweden. And the UK. Though only in the last case is Brexit to blame. Of course.


Donald Trump wants to be a rock star. A fundraising email from his campaign shows the face of the former president imposed on Mount Rushmore. “While we’ve had many presidents, only a few great ones have risen to the occasion,” it says. “We had one of the ‘greats’ four years ago. Now, you have a chance to re-elect him. You wouldn’t pass on the chance to elect George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.” YCMIU


Richard North wonders here if reporting in the UK media has been even-handed.

Quote of The Day

Photogenic feminism wavers between insisting that it’s empowering to devote your resources to looking like a pin-up, and decrying the objectification faced by those with hourglass physiques.


Bowdlerism: 1. The practice of omitting from an author’s edited writings words or passages considered offensive or indelicate. 2. Censorship in the form of prudish expurgation. Originating in the 19 th century work of a English chap, Thomas Bowdler, who hacked at Shakespeare’s works to make them more ‘family friendly.’ The forerunner of today’s sensitivity readers, says the estimable Effie Deans here.


Sonsacar; To draw out

Did you know?

To say ‘I love you’ in Japanese is ‘Big like’. Not very romantic, I guess. And in Chinese?? Or Korean??

Welcome to new subscriber: David, who might or might not be the La Coruña chap who sends welcome comments from time to time.

Come on folks, I only need 2 more for the ton. Or 3, if I exclude my recently added self – to check if email receivers get only the first post published, with the errors I find later in the morning.

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. And there’s the Thoughts from Galicia FB group.


  1. Hi Mr C. Erm yes it is me.
    It was a mouse clicking error on my part.

    Lots of new tarmac being laid down up here. You can always tell when it’s an election year.

    Farcelona, as I like to call them! I may be mistaken, but on Tuesday I saw a report suggesting a key witness has suddenly developed dementia and cannot be questioned.


  2. Heat pumps.

    My brother had an all electric, eco house constructed during 2021 with Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF). https://www.eco-home-essentials.co.uk/icf-homes.html

    He opted for a 300 feet borehole heat pump system, linked with a water pipe, underfloor central heating system. He also purchased photovoltaic panels for the south facing roof & a Tesla Powerwall to store electricity & export the surplus to the National Grid. Not cheap, as all in all, he spent £50K!

    On 17th March, I forwarded the 14th March Antonio F. Barrero article about the I Annual Report on Photovoltaic Self-Consumption. This is his reply:
    “Octopus energy have told us that Tesla are pulling out of the market and our unit rate of 11.7 p export and import is going up to 35 p import rising to 45p and exporting rates are considerably lower. Upshot- oil heating would now be cheaper than our GSHP!

    One option is to install a diesel generator and a 700litre tank which would provide electricity at around 15p KWh at £1 per litre. Last year we consumed 9.7MWhs and solar panels produced 4.1 MWhs net 5.6MWhs. We would consume about 1000 litres of oil.”

    I replied that a wood pellet boiler might be a less expensive option to heat the water in the central heating system, which served to rub salt, because at the start of construction, he had ruled out a a large wood burning stove as being non U.


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