5 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’


How the lockdowns affected schoolkids.

From another columnist: How could we not have seen the consequences coming? How could anyone who has raised children not have foreseen the damage that would likely result when developing infants, growing toddlers, and sensitive adolescents were deprived of all that essential contact with the unfamiliar world beyond their own homes? Let alone the hideous fate of those elderly patients who had to die alone and the interminable grief of their loved ones who were forced to miss the final moments and were even denied the comfort of a full funeral. What on earth was everybody thinking?

Cosas de España/Galicia

We do, of course, have a corruption case much closer to home than the Mediador case in The Canaries*. UP in La Coruña there are claims of fraud and money-laundering around the supply of rubbish collection services.

* Dogs not yellow birds.

Back in the 70s, as I recall, the Spanish government told the Catholic church – under a Convenio? – that it was going to stop financing the institution and that is should become self-financing. But this has never happened. So, last year, it gave €320m of taxpayers money to the Church, up from €295m the previous year. This is done by folk who pay income tax ticking a box which allows 0,7% of their tax to go to the Church, rather than the State’s coffers. The percentage has gone down in recent years but the amounts keep rising. Which is hardly what was intended more than 50 years ago. The Church is still getting 22-25% of its financing from the State. But at least we no longer have Archbishops assailing us with their views on TV or the radio. Except on the Church’s own station Cope. Or, I guess, on Radio María.

On Friday night, while waiting for the concert, I noticed 2 bright lights in the sky, low down and perpendicularly aligned. I wondered if they were on a tower I’d never really seen before. But no . . . ‘Twas Venus and Jupiter coming together in the Western evening sky. . . Not quite so perpendicular last night:-


Portugal and, I think Ireland have stopped their Golden Visa schemes and Spain is thinking of doing so, because of the market distortions it (predictably) creates. But a newcomer is now sweeping the board – Turkey: Russians strike gold with Turkey’s passports for sale scheme. . . Critics of the scheme say it has contributed to the surge in house prices in Turkey, which almost doubled last year as part of an economic meltdown that saw inflation shoot out of control and the currency’s value plunge. The scheme requires little to no proof of the origin or extent of your funds.


Oh, dear . . . Donald Trump is still turning heads at the annual Republican Cpac conference. This was a formidable demonstration of Trump’s enduring grass-roots support. Yesterday’s Cpac straw poll indicating who delegates want to be their presidential candidate next year showed Trump on 62% against DeSantis’s 20%.


A depressing read . . . Russia now, thanks to Putin and his ex-KGB cronies.

The Way of the World

  • Pop has gone everything.
  • The Age of the Bullshitter?
  • Aberdeen University protects student sensitivities with ‘content warnings’. It takes the prize with a new one about Stravinsky’s classical ballet score ‘Petrushka’, written in 1911 and causing no great problem until the music faculty woke up to the ‘distressing’ nature of an onstage death. The death is that of Petrushka. And it’s a puppet

But . . .

Quote of The Day

Are things finally looking up? . . . The hyper-vigilant, hyper-right-on social wavelength that has dominated progressive culture spheres for the past 6 or so years is feeling tapped out. Where once suppressing views considered by some to be objectionable – censorship, in other words – was accepted as a moral obligation, now it looks infantile, absurd and deranged Rarely have cultural gatekeepers looked more out of step with the public. , The emperor’s nudity has become unarguable. 


  • Palter:- To act insincerely or deceitfully; To chaffer
  • Chaffer:-

American English

  • To equivocate; To haggle
  • Merchandise; wares; goods; traffic.
  • Bargaining; haggling in buying and selling.

British English

  • To haggle or bargain
  • To chatter, talk or say idly; To bandy (words). So, a chafferer
  • To deal in; To barter. (Obsolete)
  • Haggling or bargaining


I said the other day that machines have difficulty with several aspects of Spanish. Here’s the 3rd/2nd person example: Ahora ya es buen momento para contemplarlo, pero cada día que se pase lucirá mejor en el cielo porque estará más separado de nuestra estrella. Esto provocará que se vea más alto y durante más tiempo . . . . Now is a good time to contemplate it, but each day that passes it will look better in the sky because it will be further away from our star. This will cause you to look taller and longer.’ I suspect the machine ‘thought’ the 3rd person was not ‘it’ but usted, the formal word for ‘you’.

Did you know?

56% of Russians say they believe in witchcraft; against only 17% of Americans.

Finally . . .

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. What on earth was everybody thinking? – Hindsight, wonderful isnt it. Now, where is that time machine I kept in my garage?

    Visas- I read several weeks ago, that Argentina was also very popular, over 5000 Russian women had gone there to give birth, and ensure dual citizenship for their bairns.

    I wonder what Galicia’s percentage of witchcraft believers is?


  2. P.s Just read the age of the bullshitter. Interesting.

    I wouldn’t find half this stuff if you didn’t cite it here. Much appreciated.


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