26 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

Tomorrow, the execrable Vox party will bring a motion of censure against the government. That it’ll fail is a foregone conclusion but I rather wish it wouldn’t, as the party is putting forward a 90 year old chap as president of the next would-be government and I’d like to see how he gets on.

Reader Perry has cited this paean of praise to the Spanish high-speed network, impressively developed over the last 20 years. It should be listened to, if only to enjoy the hilarious pronunciation of Spanish city names. Especially Malaga’s:-

Ironically, I was reading yesterday that Spain and Portugal have been told this week that a high-speed link between Oporto and Vigo is not an EU priority for 2030. So, when?

The number of tourist flats in Galicia has tripled in the last 3 years. New restrictions seem inevitable. Meanwhile, it’s also reported that camino ‘pilgrim’ albergues are rapidly getting booked up until October. The private ones at least, where you can reserve a bed/room.

Another narco word – narcolanchas. Speedboats. These 3 were abandoned on one of our local beaches last week.

Each has three 3000hp motors, making them pretty fast. But the quickest such craft was (also?) built here in Galicia and is now in service with the Guardia Civil, down near Cádiz.

For the first time in years, last night I attended The Last Night of Carnaval in Pv city, when a large effigy of a parrot was immolated/incinerated. I would have said that the most Spanish element of this rather bizarre event was the high level of noise, until I saw this toddler, learning at an early age how to inure herself to this constant . . .

The bad news is that e-scooter and e-bike accidents in Pv city doubled last year. The good news is that most of these were of riders falling off them.

Something else observed among those in the cortege of mourners for the moribund parrot last night. Not sure of the logic at play . . . Only in Spain? And the Netherlands?

The UK

Are good manners extinct in the UK, as this chap seems to think. Though he does, at the outset, admit that: It has long been a complaint of older generations that the ones coming up behind are discarding their manners. Anyway. it reminded me that, on a bus in Madrid last week, I got to wondering if anyone gives up their seat these days for an old person. Apart, that is from the one on each bus explicitly reserved for a stooped old fogey with a walking stick. In theory at least.


I’m told:-

Tener un chino en tu zapato: To have a little ‘stone’ in your shoe. [Porcelain]

Ser un chino [en un zapato?]: To be a pain in the neck/arse/ass.

Ser de chinos: To be difficult to do and require a lot of patience.

Coincidental cartoon in point . . .

Finally . .

I’ve done some sensitivity reading on the Old Testament and am now ready to publish the resulting book. But it’s a slim volume, about the same length as my other book: How to Lose Weight by Eating Less and Exercising More.

I wonder what this chap is saying to us, as the wearer of perhaps the worst rug ever:-

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. A Chinese hippy moved to our village many years ago. So as not to offend him, rather than call him ‘El Chino’ (piglet, pebble and Chinaman), the local folk called him ‘El Indio’ .


  2. Lenox,

    The local folk aren’t very inventive. Chippy would be my choice, or Sifu, in case he is a Grasshopper.?


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