4 March – not 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

There’s a good old-fashioned corruption case brewing – El Caso Mediador. It has all the usual elements – corrupt civil servants, police officer(s) and businessmen, and . . . nights on the town and brothels. There’s something on it in Spanish here, as we await Lenox’s take.

Better news . . . It’s reported that Spain will soon apply to Brussels for the abolition of the 90/180 rule for Brits wanting to live here for a good part of the year. Cynics say it’ll never happen and it’s just part of the games played between Madrid and Brussels. A negotiating card, in other words. To be dropped as it suits the Spanish government.

March is:-

  • Fallas in Valencia: Spain’s biggest – and most expensive – fiesta. Here’s something to help you make sense of it.
  • Marzipan: As a lover of this, I’m waiting for the €5 price of a box to fall to 50 centimos, as it does every year in the shop which orders far too much every Xmas. Currently at €1.95

Talking of fiestas . . . We had an odd one last night in Pv city. As I’ve said, there’ll be an international triathlon event her in Late September. For reasons which are beyond me, last night – 200 days before the event – we had an ‘inauguration’ fiesta. This involved a performance by the Galician trio which was last year cheated out of representing Spain in the Eurovision contest, who you can hear here. In his pre-concert address, the mayor welcomed race participants. Hard to believe any of them will be here right now, other than local ones perhaps. Any excuse for a fiesta?

Another thing I can’t understand . . . The already crazy Spanish daily timetable – el horario – is getting madder, at least in Pv city. Shops which never opened before 9.30 are now moving to 10.30 or 11.0. Compensated for by staying open even longer in the evenings. This is despite the talk of the whole country moving to a more ‘global’ timetable. I guess it makes (commercial) sense to someone. But I pity the shop assistants.

I think this is one of the locales converted to a house, ironically in Pv city’s main tapas street:-

The UK

My favourite ‘ex-Trotskyist/communist-but-still-leftie’ gives his take on the huge issues raised by ‘The Hancock Papers’ here. He’s none too fond of the progressively liberal fellow-lefties of The Guardian and its ilk. One of the main reasons I like him.


The chap/guy convicted of killing his wife and son was said to be addicted to oxycodone after knee surgery. He had stolen money to pay for it but was an expensive habit — the court heard he paid $50,000 a week to a a cousin to procure the drug for him. Some folks believe members of the Sackler family should be in jail with him. Or just shot.


One of those arcane debates which we’re lucky enough to avoid in English. For at least 2 reasons – 1. No accents, and 2. No Academy.

Did you know?

Every additional 500 steps a day – about a quarter of a mile/420m – you walk in old age helps cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 14%, it’s claimed. So, if you add 7 times this, will you never die of a heart attack or stroke?

Finally . . .

My favourite podcast is No Such Thing as a Fish. Four Brits who riff on the theme of memorable facts of the week. The female member of the quartet – Anna – is arguably the funniest/wittiest. Possibly because she’s also the most potty-mouthed. She’s going on leave for 9 months and you can catch the very funny episode which ‘celebrates’ this here. Or here.

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. Paul’s Winter Warmer – 3-bean and vegetable soup included 3 laurel leaves, without specifying bay laurel leaves. The leaf of the California bay tree (Umbellularia californica, Lauraceae), also known as California laurel, Oregon myrtle, and pepperwood, is similar to the Mediterranean bay laurel, but contains the toxin umbellulone which can cause methemoglobinemia & as we all know, Californian are some of the most stupid people on the planet. However, the even more stupid Canadian government with nothing better to do, requires that the bay leaves contain no more than 4.5% total ash material, with a maximum of 0.5% of which is insoluble in hydrochloric acid. To be considered dried, they have to contain 7% moisture or less. The oil content cannot be less than 1 ml per 100 grams of the spice. Whothe***kcares? https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._870/page-37.html#h-570402

    Apparently, Eastern Orthodox Christians commemorate Jesus’ descent into hell with a bittersweet service featuring readings, sung lamentations and bay leaves tossed into the air. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-04-28-9704280142-story.html

    How in hell did the credulous decide this was Canon law of the Roman Catholic Church?

    OTOH, the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church also came up with this concept of Limbo.

    Nevertheless, Al Murray might have the best explanation, with this diatribe.


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