12 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’


Was Sweden right all along? Very possibly.

Under Boris Johnson, just how bad was the British government’s handling of the crisis? There was a complete lack of leadership, says this eminent commentator. Who’d have guessed??

Cosas de España/Galiza

Max tells us that Murcia is the place to go in Spain to watch whales. Live ones, that is. Not the dead ones that occasionally wash up on our coast, full of plastic.

Twenty years ago, most properties down near O Burgo bridge in Pv city were in a similar state of dereliction to this one:-

Most of them have since been refurbished but I have a special interest in this one, as I think it has the date 1823 on its facade. If so, it was certainly there when the famous English polyglot, George Barrow, stayed in the city in the late 1830s, when he was trying to flog Protestant Bibles in Spain. And I have a feeling – no one really knows – that this was the building – unha pousada – in which GB stayed. It’s in Bridge Street, by the way, which is what you turn into after you’ve descended Royal Street on the camino, before you cross O Burgo bridge. So, if you’re reading this while in or heading for Pv city, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

Extranjeros means foreigners or strangers in Spanish. I’ve seen it applied to folk from other Spanish regions but this morning I saw it used for students who come to the Pv campus of Vigo university from other provinces of Galicia. Perhaps an example of Spain’s (in)famous ‘localism’ . . .

Also seen and heard this morning, at the flea market in front of the market, in relation to something like:-

  • Customer: So, how does it work?
  • Trader: [With a suppressed laugh] Err . . . Well, . . .


This might be of more general relevance but I’m putting it here as it relates to the US scene. . . A sceptical chap I follow, surveying the devastation inflicted on Silicon Valley Bank, writes here that No one has learned anything since the Financial Crisis, least of all the credit rating agencies. Which is rather worrying. Especially in view of reports of a repeat of the prime mortgage debacle of 2008.

Note: A ‘bail-in’ is defined as: “Relief to a financial institution on the brink of failure by requiring the cancellation of debts owed to creditors and depositor’s.” So, if you’re bailed-in, you’ve lost your shirt, however theoretically secure/preferred your investment was. Bail-ins mandate creditors to take losses.

Headline: Silicon Valley Bank: born at a poker game, killed by a gamble.

The Way of the World/Quotes of The Day/Social Media

  1. If Stanley Johnson ‘deserves’ to be a knight, maybe it’s time to scrap the whole system.
  2. Through the curse of Twitter and other social media outlets, celebrities can attract a greater following and more “street cred” than true experts in any given field and can thus dominate an issue where the experts find it hard to get a hearing.
  3. The interesting thing about the [BBC v. ]Lineker affair is the clarity with which it revealed the magnificent derangement, the psychosis, of the people inhabiting that moronic inferno cyberspace. That is, most of us. Witless polarisation has come to dominate our politics, and it seems inconceivable that it is not largely a consequence of the internet and, especially, social media. The internet, which we naively thought might make us more open to debate, has actually done the precise reverse and rendered us robotic foot soldiers in a war that can never be won.


‘Athleisure wear’: A uniform among the politicos and aspiring lobbyists of the District of Columbia’s middle class.


Koiné: Lengua común que resulta de la unificación de ciertas variedades idiomáticas.

Did you know?

If, like me, you have brightly-coloured nasturtiums in your garden, you should know that they aren’t closely related to the genus Nasturtium (which includes watercress). Your – and my – nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are known as garden nasturtiums, Indian cress or monks’ cress and are a species of flowering plants in the family Tropaeolaceae, originating in the Andes. And They‘re an easily-grown annual or short-lived perennial with disc-shaped leaves and brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers – of cultivated, probably hybrid origin. Oh, yes . . All of the above-ground parts of the plants are edible, especially as an ornamental salad ingredient; it has a slightly peppery taste reminiscent of watercress, and is also used in stir-fry. The unripe seed pods can be harvested and dropped into spiced vinegar to produce a condiment and garnish, sometimes used in place of capers.

Finally . . .

Seen last night . . .How time flies! Perhaps we can find some solace in the verse of John Hall, whose 1627 poem ‘On an Houre-Glasse’ is a rather beautiful rumination on the rushing of time. [I’ve taken the liberty of modernising the English, for non-native speakers]:

My life is measured by this glass, this glass
By all those little sands that thoroughly pass.
See how they press, see how they strive, which shall
With greatest speed and greatest quickness fall.
See how they raise a little mound, and then
With their own weight do level it again.
But when they’ve all got thorough, they give o’er
Their nimble sliding down, and move no more.
Just such is man whose hours still forward run,
Being almost finished before they’re begun;
So perfect nothings, such light blasts are we,
That before we’re anything at all, we cease to be.

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. Perhaps this explanation of Koiné is a little more comprehensive? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koin%C3%A9_language

    I do enjoy your botanical meanderings.

    The passing of time was addressed to more purpose, by Andrew Marvell, 1621-78.
    “To his coy mistress”.
    Had we but world enough and time,
    This coyness, lady, were no crime.
    We would sit down, and think which way
    To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
    Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
    Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the flood,
    And you should, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews.
    My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires and more slow;
    An hundred years should go to praise
    Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
    Two hundred to adore each breast,
    But thirty thousand to the rest;
    An age at least to every part,
    And the last age should show your heart.
    For, lady, you deserve this state,
    Nor would I love at lower rate.
    But at my back I always hear
    Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
    And yonder all before us lie
    Deserts of vast eternity.
    Thy beauty shall no more be found;
    Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
    My echoing song; then worms shall try
    That long-preserved virginity,
    And your quaint honour turn to dust,
    And into ashes all my lust;
    The grave’s a fine and private place,
    But none, I think, do there embrace.
    Now therefore, while the youthful hue
    Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
    And while thy willing soul transpires
    At every pore with instant fires,
    Now let us sport us while we may,
    And now, like amorous birds of prey,
    Rather at once our time devour
    Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
    Let us roll all our strength and all
    Our sweetness up into one ball,
    And tear our pleasures with rough strife
    Through the iron gates of life:
    Thus, though we cannot make our sun
    Stand still, yet we will make him run.


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