2 March 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

Spanish justice again . . . A major Spanish company – Ferrovial – is moving its HQ to The Netherlands. One reason given is that Spain lacks a “stable legal framework”. Which is probably true but might not really be the determining factor.

I read years ago that Spanish kids were 2nd only to those of Malta when it came to obesity. A recent study rather confirms thar there’s a growing(sorry) problem. I confess that I had thoughts on this subject when watching the many young woman performing in the procession which preceded the incineration of Ravachol last week.

I see it’s been confirmed that some cities in Galicia are now allowing unused ground-floor business spaces below apartments to be turned into homes. In Madrid too. Must be a good thing.


Gypsies in Spain: Reader Perry says Wiki is much more reliable than the article I posted yesterday on Romani origins. He’s also cited this excellent film – Lacho Drom – which I’ve watched a couple of times. Incidentally, at 1:31:15, the powerful singer is asking: Why do you spit in my face?

France& Germany

I was a bit loose with my language yesterday. What I meant to say that – after the Gauls and the Romans and well before there was a ‘France’ – came the Teutonic Franks and their influences on that Western part of Europa. And it was the Gauls with whom the Romans had previously had more than a spot of bother there. But the Romans had even more of a problem with the warlike German Franks of the time, whom they never got to colonise. Nor to Romanise their language. En passant, someone has put forward – perhaps as a joke – that the Romans never took over Germania because it was just one huge forest where you couldn’t grow wine. But I’m not sure this stands up to scrutiny.

The Way of the World

A good question:-

Jonathan Sumption is a former Justice of the Supreme Court, and a medieval historian. In this fine article – on the death of historical truth – he claims that: The major threat to historical integrity comes when the criteria of selection are derived from a modern ideological agenda. A truly dreadful trend.


Mordida: I knew this meant ‘bite’ but didn’t know it was slang for ‘bribe’. It’s always useful to know these in any country you live in. Some more than others, of course.


A word I’m unlikely to find much use for and which I saw in a foxing VdG headline about Airbnb flats . . . Orxía: Orgy. The X is pronounced Sh. Xould you ever need to enquire . . .

Did you know?

I said the other day that modern TV ads, at least in the UK, are beyond me. Last night, I read these points, written 37 years ago:-

  • The 18th and 19th centuries, product sellers assumed potential buyers were literate, rational, and analytical. Advertising began to shift away from words in the 1890s, towards images and slogans.
  • By the end of the 19th century, it was no longer considered a serious and rational enterprise.
  • The TV commercial is not at all about the product being advertised; it is about the character of the consumers.
  • The TV commercial, being the most voluminous form of public communication, has inevitably affected Americans’ acceptance of TV commercials. We have come to accept TV commercials as a normal and plausible form of discourse. I don’t know about ‘plausible’ . . .

Finally . . .

It’s a good job I don’t support Pontevedra FC as well as Everton. If I did, both of my teams would now be in their respective Drop Zones. Each of them has, of course, peremptorily fired their manager. We’ll know in May if this has produced the right results. Certainly not last night for Everton, when they were thrashed 4-0 by Arsenal. Sad times.

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. Kings & Generals produce quite good videos. I’m currently watching this one about the origins of the Celts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOaStDDogDY

    As for the absent Roman vineyards of Germania, that can be explained by this lament by Emperor Augustus, to whit: Quintili Vare, legiones redde! (Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!). Realistically, the huge cost and risk of keeping Roman legions operating beyond the Rhine was not worth any likely benefit to be gained. There were many vineyards elsewhere in the Roman Empire. That Arminius was a very naughty boy. Watch “Barbarians” on Netflix , if you can. https://talesoftimesforgotten.com/2020/11/14/how-historically-accurate-is-netflixs-barbarians/


  2. Sorry for being pedantic but the Romans did colonise part of German lands. In a nutshell everything west of the Rhine and south of the Danube and even a bit more East and North of those rivers, an area which coincidentally corresponds more or less with Germany’s Catholic lands.


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