24 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

On balance probably a good thing. A Franco-era monument preserved.

A famous Spanish institute is pessimistic/alarmist about the impact of climate change on Spain. I confess I’d find these forecasts more credible if I hadn’t read in 2000 that Galicia would be hotter than Andalucía by now.

It’s seemed to me for some time such an obvious thing to do that I find it hard to understand why only now is there discussion in Galicia about using the increasing number of empty shops – locales – as homes. It’s not by any means unusual to see a whole row of these below an apartment block. Especially a new one. A cultural ‘barrier’ I suspect.

History notes:-

1. The 6th Earl of Leicester, back in the13th century – Simon de Monfort – is seen as a good cove who contributed greatly to the development of British democracy. Which is a tad ironic, as his father – also Simon de Montfort – was without doubt, back in France, a greedy, vicious bastard who was probably responsible for most of the 20,000 deaths of ‘heretic’ Christians during the Pope-initiated Albigensian Crusade which began in 1209. Not to mention the appalling disfigurement of those he ‘pardoned’.

2. On a happier note . . . My 2 favourite historians have a series of 4 podcasts on Cristóbal Colón here. The first 2 have contained some fascinating details of the man and his times. But it saddened me that they didn’t say that the Santa María had been built in Poio and called La Galega. Worse, they gave no mention of the theory that the man was from around here, sticking to the ‘fake’ Genoa theory . . .

The UK

Electric cars and charging points . . . It’s not only in Spain that there’s a slip twixt cup and lip:- The Department for Transport has said that it wants 300,000 public chargers in operation by the time its ban on new petrol and diesel cars comes into force in 2030. Yet in 2022 it managed to install fewer than 9,000, taking the UK total to around 37,000, which means at current rates it will be another 25 years at least before it reaches the number the Government says is needed. Meanwhile, the ratio of chargers to cars has worsened significantly, from one per 16 cars in 2020 to one per 30 cars in 2022. And there are other problems, which you can read about here


Since the war tourism has all but collapsed. Just 0.2m foreign tourists visited Russia last year, down from 5.1m in 2019. Russians, however, seem to have continued to take holidays in most places around the world. Especially the expensive ones. Possibly visiting their ill-gotten cash.

Social Media

Social Media is a major cause of the mental illness epidemic in teen girls. Here’s the evidence. Journalists should stop saying that the evidence is just correlational.

The Way of the World

  1. One of the candidates to take over from the outgoing Scottish First Minister – widely considered to be the most able – is a Protestant of the most ‘un-progressive’ stripe. But, like many Catholics and Muslims, is tolerant of the beliefs of others. But the Scottish intelligentsia and media is campaigning to get her to pull out. Because her views on abortion and self-ID for trans people makes her the perfect hate figure for these woke times.
  2. I wrote recently re low birth rates presaging the disappearance of some countries. Case in point – South Korea.

Quote of The Day

Groucho Marx: If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I’d be happy to do it for you.


Buncles: Bad uncles. Possibly those with ‘desert disease’ – wandering palms.


1. Immolate and Inmolar are ‘false friends’, in that the latter has a religious connotation of sacrifice, which ‘immolate’ can lack. Better than Immolar for ‘To burn/immolate’ is Incinerar. Or perhaps just Quemar. And Incendiar?? [Note: This is the week when various things are immolated along this coast, after perhaps the weirdest procession of the year, at least in Pv city – a phoney wail-ful cortege which involves a lot of male cross-dressing. Here in Pv, it’s a huge parrot, not the normal sardine of these parts]

2. Afear: To disfigure, uglify or deface. But also To censure.

Did you know?

The wreck of a Danish royal flagship has yielded the first complete spice larder – including cloves and ginger – from the Middle Ages, its exotic contents so well preserved that the saffron strands have retained their scent and colour.

Finally . .

Yesterday I claimed that North American women can be killjoys. Maybe I should stress that – in 22 years – I’ve yet to meet a Spanish or South American woman who merits that adjective. Or who’s insulted to be told she’s pretty. Or who isn’t disturbingly tactile. Or accuses you of sexual harassment if you (mildly)reciprocate.

A (very)small claim to fame . . . I once sat next to John Motson on a plane. Which will mean nothing to non-Brits. And to quite a lot of Brits too. Especially the non-trans women.

Welcome to new subscriber: Tero. Who might well be my Finnish friend, kindly acceding to yesterday’s plea.

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. John Motson one of the better ones at his job. Will be missed.

    Russia – I have family in Thailand, they claim thousands of Russkies arrive every day.

    Locales Bajos – Always been highly irritating. According to Idealista down the road in Coruña there are around 800 for sale, 700 to rent (I am sure some locales would fall in both camps) and that doesn’t include offices. A walk through the city centre, and it is grim. In the meantime, the council have approved and started building a miniscule Silicon Valley in the old arms factory. Right next to the worst piece of road for traffic jams in Coruña on the outskirts. My argument (likely flawed) was to have found a way to use the empty locales in the centre itself as a new IT hub. Partly because many are small enough for the majority of IT businesses, and several are big enough or can be knocked in to one big one for big companies. It would put the locales to use and be a big plus for hosteleria too.


  2. Thanks, David.

    Yes, Motson was greatly superior to today’s prattlers, who seem to be in 2 camps:-
    1 Staters of the bleedin’ obvious, or
    2. Obsessed with stats or life stories

    Will follow up on this tomoz.



  3. Another english fantazzy…….similar venues to the monfort parliament existed on the continent since the XII century……Etats Generales in France, Cortes in Spain. Earlier than in England. They are as much a forerunner of democracy there as in Britain. BTW, what a French sounding name….parliament.


  4. Another english fantazzy…….similar venues to the monfort parliament existed on the continent since the XII century……Etats Generales in France, Cortes in Spain. Earlier than in England. They are as much a forerunner of democracy there as in Britain. BTW, what a French sounding name….parliament.


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