27 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

Lenox Napier followed up by chino references yesterday with this amusing comment:- 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’. See also the Spanish section below.

Two ways the PV city Town Hall is increasing taxes are in our news at the moment, one less morally supportable than the other:-

  • Using drones to find properties that have been illegally expanded or given a swimming pool.
  • 2. Re-categorising rural land as urban land and imposing higher IBI tax rates on folk who’d thought they’d bought something ‘in the country’.

Two Spanish football clubs aren’t doing well at the moment:-

  • Barcelona: Although they lead La Primera, they were last week knocked out of some minor European competition by Manchester United and yesterday were ‘stunned in their first-ever defeat by Almería’. Oh, yes. . . There are also those bribery-of-a-referee accusations.
  • Pontevedra: Having risen at the end of last season, are currently on track to go back down at the end of this one. Which would be disappointing to several of my friends.

The UK

Britain possibly boasts the most ambitious Net Zero goals for 2030 but, allegedly, a ‘farce’ taking place there will ensure these are missed by a country mile. All to do with grid connection delays.


Everyone will recall the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007/8 and its sequelae. Well, belt up of a possible re-run, meaning a recession in the USA and a hit to the global economy. Just what we all need. As a normally sane commentator has written: The Housing Bust #2 Has Begun: Some [local] markets are already deep into it, others just started. A sobering trip from the free-money decade in la-la-land, back to normal. And another: The Fed is trying to engineer by far the hardest trick in the central banking playbook; slowing the economy down, and bringing inflation back under control, but without triggering a full scale recession. What happens to the housing market will prove the key to whether it succeeds or fails. More here.


There’s a joke among Russians now – possibly a re-cycled one. Normally when you get on a plane, everyone claps when the aeroplane lands. In Russia, people clap when the plane takes off.

The Way of the World

  • The director of a new RSC production of ‘Julius Caesar’:- By thinking of the roles in this play across intersectional lines – gender, race, class, disability, among others – we’re inviting audience members to think of their own place within the status quo and what might be at stake for each of us within it.
  • Cambridge University students have voted to support a transition to a solely vegan menu across the institution’s catering services.

[Both my daughters, when teenagers, went through a vegetarian phase. Possibly my liking for bacon sandwiches at the weekend seduced them out of it. Which made meal decisions rather easier than they’d become.]

Quotes of The Day

Swimming against the tide . . .

  • I don’t know when eating meat switched from being an accepted norm to a heinous dietary requirement that needs to be specified when RSVPing to a dinner invite but I suspect it was somewhere around the point that KFC started offering vegan options and teenagers wearing leather trainers started lecturing us all about our dairy consumption.ç
  • We always serve vegan options to people who do not let us know their dietary requirements, in case they have forgotten to reply. We’ve found it is safer this way, and we are less likely to offend anybody.


I suspect I should have written china en un zapato yesterday, not chino.

If you go to the RAE you’ll find a lot of Spanish expressions using the word chino, not all of which would be considered appropriate these days. The ladies in my Pilates class this morning told me that un chinche is also ‘a nuisance’, leaving me wondering if this is a corruption of chino.

And a friend has told me of this game.

Finally . .

I was amused to hear last night of a recent Times obituary of an English actress which originally began: As a child, there was nothing June Brown liked better than putting a rabbit in a biscuit tin, gassing it and then cutting it up. Not all of her friends were impressed by this. Even if it did go on to say she loved her Biology lessons . . .

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.

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