8 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/Galiza

An excellent trip up into Ribadavia yesterday, the home of Ribeiro white wine. TBH, although I’d travelled in this area a few times before, I’d never realised how many small bodegas/adegas there are up there. And, sure enough, I returned with 12 both bottles from this one, where the owner treated Mark and me to tour and a tasting (cata) of his latest batch of white wine. I’ll be returning there end April during the annual Feira do Viño in Ribadavia, to taste a bit of the small quantity of red Mencia he produces.

It’s a very pretty drive up from Pv city towards Ourense on the ‘old Ourense road’ and it’s relatively traffic-free. Things that stand out:-

  • The huge difference between the mansions and many mean dwellings at the side of the road.
  • The preponderance of 2 story dwellings, as all of Spain will have been at some time.
  • The number of abandoned, derelict houses.
  • The town of Carballiño, famous – despite being inland – for the best octopus in Galicia.
  • The road down to the village of Avión, notorious for it very expensive houses and its own little private airport, said to be the fruits of questionable businesses in Mexico

At the top of a hill near the bodega, is the Museum of Wine and a hotel set up by the owners of an ever-expanding bodega. In between these is a modern building, for wedding receptions:-

Despite having deep foundations, the owners insist it’s a temporary building and, so, have defied the many judgments against them over the decades, all the while making money from the weddings. ‘Twas ever thus. If you make a lot of money, you can employ the best lawyers and defy the law – ‘best lawyer’ being defined, not as someone who knows the law, but as someone who knows the way round it.

Talking of buildings . . . This is one in Pv city which was derelict and black back in 2000 was beautifully restored c. 15 years ago.

That said, the ugliness at ground floor level is an example of the many unoccupied shops/bajos in the city – for at least 15 years in this case. Why do they continue to install them?

The UK

At least one reader wondered if I meant yesterday that Boris Johnson was highly regarded outside the UK, whatever Brits think of him. Well, absolutely not.

The Way of the World/Social Media

Yesterday, I bemoaned the evil aspects of social media that fuel the insecurities of young women. One such example is Bold Glamour A new TikTok filter that makes the user more “attractive” in videos and used in more than 15m videos since its release a month ago. It adds make-up, tweaks bone structure, smooths out the skin and enlarges lips. Some folk are, understandably, alarmed about the impact of filters and digitally altered images on young people’s mental health.

The fears around AI are a  a wild fiction and a flight of dystopian fancy, says this writer. Who rightly thinks politicians should concentrate on the serious immediate problems they’re not solving


‘Pettifogging’: From:-

1. Petty +
2. Fuggers*: A German family which dominated banking in Europe in the 16th century. Fokkers in Dutch, I believe.

I just read here that the spelling was originally Fuckers

Did you know?

There have been 4 waves of feminism. I think I’m clear on the first 2 but, after that, I get rather lost. But what is sadly clear is that today’s young, social-media-obsessed and sexualised feminists rather despise earlier ones. Unaware that they will turn into them in due course.

Finally . . .

As she died 27 years ago, you might not have heard of Eva Cassidy. If so, I recommend you listen to her on Youtube or Spotify. Especially ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. And be prepared to shed tears for the premature loss of such a voice, if nothing else.

To change the mood . . .

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. I will never despise either old feminists, or new feminists. Thanks to our grandmothers who fought for the right to vote, we can now keep fighting for ALL women. Equal rights for women means equal rights for everyone.


  2. “The road down to the village of Avión, notorious for it very expensive houses and its own little private airport, said to be the fruits of questionable businesses in Mexico”.

    I was just curious to find out what dubious business was behind the wealth in Avión. It seems it is all rather legit. Unless, of course, you think all business in Mexico is illegal or corrupt, which, again of course, you are perfectly entitled to believe. See links below.



    • Well, I was told or read years ago that émigrés from Galicia set up a prostitution business in Mexico in the 1920s which grew and grew.

      Also seem to recall a Carlos Slim connection with Avión. though can’t point to anything dubious in his empire. Though suspect there is.

      We had a lovely café in Pv which shut down a few years ago and has never re-opened. One of the relatives of the owner was murdered in Mexico as a result, they say, of his involvement in some shady business.


  3. Thank you for the explanation. Still I fail to see the connection between dubious business and Avión. If that is your evidence, I am sorry, but to me it seems not even to qualify as circumstancial. Mexico is a big country. I had no idea Carlos Slim was a corrupt businessman, although I guess you are probably right to suggest it is difficult to keep a completely clean shirt in some countries.


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