28 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

God knows justice is a slow moving creature in Spain, and things haven’t been helped by the current strike of lawyers, which seems bent on continuing. The VdG this morning: The Ministry of Justice and the lawyers have met again and un-met again: “We practically exited the same as we entered,” say the strikers. “They have lowered the tuning fork[lowered the tone?],” says the Justice Secretary. But the strike continues for another day and it’s the users who pay the price of it. This is so, for example, for a Lugo mother whose medical negligence suit has already taken 30 years and whose court case was suspended because of the strike. Now she doesn’t know if it will take place this year. The lawyers are also asking for prompt resolution: “The despair of the clients is total,” they say.

And mainstream journalism isn’t too impressive either, says a chap who should know, here.

This is a table of subjects favoured by aspiring university students in Galicia:-

The top line – for Medicine – continues beyond the right margin and has the number 4,143 on it, way above all others. For me, the interesting aspect is that no one wants to study Law. But, then, in contrast with the Anglosphere, lawyers have a low status here. It’s the notaries who are demigods in Spain.

Bloody ‘ell . . We do have some accidents here in Galicia. I’ve just read of one involving a woman who died after her husband crashed into a tractor on a main road. She was 85 and he’s 91. I’d be willing to bet he’s been driving for 60+ years without ever taking a test. Or possibly ever having had his eyes and his reactions tested.

The UK

The estimable Katherine Stock writes trenchantly here on the farce of the election of a Scottish First Minister to replace the suddenly departing ‘supreme politician’ Mrs Sturgeon. Who always reminds me of the old Russian(?) saying that A fish stinks from the head first.

Widening our gaze . . . Is the UK really ‘Eyeroll island’, where everything does actually work but not terribly well? The same might well be said of other countries, of course, though the direction of travel might be different. As in Spain, maybe. Perhaps things in the UK will look up once Brexit and Covid have worked themselves through the system. Meanwhile, should I be joining my Hamburg friend in sending food parcels to my friends and relatives stuck in the once ‘sceptred isle’?


They also moan a lot there about their national predicament, though perhaps not quite as much as the self-flagellating Brits.

And there are certainly tempestuous trans travails there too.


Not a huge surprise . . . Donald Trump is fond of telling interviewers that he has a “very thick skin”, but it was insufficiently robust to prevent Jimmy Kimmel jokes from getting under it. In early 2018, Trump became so incensed with the late-night host’s jabs that he ordered White House officials to complain. I rather miss those days.

The Way of the World

The Christian Old Testament and Mein Kampf are surely books which upset a lot of folk these days. And yet they’re freely available – unexpurgated – in most countries, at least of the West. Will the sensitivity readers ever get round to them, I wonder. Or are the evil witterings of Hitler somehow as sacrosanct as the blood-soaked Bible bit?

Quotes of The Day

  • We’re watching one of the most spectacular technology implosions of all time. AI advocates abound but the mask is beginning to slip on the efficacy of early prototypes.
  • Someone looks at the emperor’s outfit and says: I paid £1,200 to eat at Noma — and hated it
  • I’m always being harassed by creepy gym men. So are my friends. Six out of ten, it’s claimed. In the UK, that is. I suspect the percentage is less for trans women who brave the gym. Not that this absolves the creepy males, of course. Doesn’t happen in my Pilate class . . .
  • The woke war against JK Rowling has utterly failed. The proof? Trans activists demanded a boycott of the new Harry Potter video game. In response, the public are buying it in their millions. Is the trans tide finally going out?

Finally . . .

Maybe it’s my age, but British TV ads seem to me to be ever more desperate. One – for a hotel chain – assures us that it lets you guest like you guest. You can read all about the ‘inspiration’ for their latest ‘global marketing campaign’ here. As well as Guest how you guest, it includes such exhortations as:-

  • Extra how you extra, and
  • Arrive how you arrive

The reviewer comments that the campaign certainly feels modern, upbeat, and energetic but also unnecessarily over-the-top and staged – and unrelatable to me. Hard not to agree. I wonder how many millions have been invested in it.

I’m reminded of the old business adage: Half of what’s spent on advertising is effective and half useless. The problem is, no one knows which half.

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. Lawyers have a high status……where? In the anglosphere? That is news to me. Anyway, in Spain there are too many people studying law. STEM degrees are too hard and as opposed to Britain studying history or classics is frankly frowned upon. As it is in the rest of Europe.


  2. There’s a difference between popularity and status, as evidenced by salaries.

    But, yes, things have changed over the decades.

    There are now 10 times more solicitors and barristers than when I studied Law in the late 60s

    And numerous postgrad Law Schools, compared with just the 2 back then.

    All reflecting salary levels and ‘status’, of course.



  3. I await the day when education is truly appreciated for what it is, and University is treated as a means to rounding out a person, instead of as a means to making money. Yes, there are studies that will bring in lots of money, but, by focusing on future employment, some studies are left behind. The Arts, History, Languages, are all dignified studies and necessary to making informed citizens.

    To learn a skill for a decent-paying job, study a vocational course. Or do as my daughter did, and study a Humanities study and then go to Formación Profesional.


Comments are closed.