21 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

One of the delights of Madrid is the house of the artist Sorolla, which doubles as a museum and art gallery. Being a big fan of his, I’ve been pleased to read of several exhibitions this year, in Madrid and Valencia.

The match is now over – Barca won – but this Sunday article contains interesting info on the referee bribery scandal. Which is big and getting bigger.

My favourite beer is a black alcohol-free product from Portugal, SuperBok . It’s suddenly, disappeared from both the bars and and supermarkets. . . I suspect dirty work at the crossroads, by Estrella Galicia. In revenge for North Portuguese companies ‘stealing’ business from Galician enterprises . . .

Anyone know what facker means, as here? A restaurant due to open soon:-

The UK/The Anglosphere

More pessimism on the state of the British nation. Possibly perspicacious. For the USA, there’s optimism born of recent developments there.


In case you haven’t heard . . . President Macron’s government saved its skin in a tight parliamentary vote last night but faces an escalating revolt in cities across France over his big pension reform. A no-confidence motion was rejected in the National Assembly by just 9 votes in an atmosphere of political crisis, with police surrounding the building and protesters calling for Macron’s head. The chaos follows the president’s decision to impose contested legislation to raise the legal retirement age for the state pension from 62 to 64 through an executive order and without a vote by MPs in the assembly, where he lacks an absolute majority. You’ll know, I’m sure, that the retirement age has now reached as high as 67 in several other countries. Not though in Greece, where I recall it’s around 35 . . .

If you own a rat-hating ferret, strike-ridden Paris would be a good place to take it for a bit of fun right now. Even during daylight hours, it seems.


Richard North this morning in sceptical mode . . .Despite scientists having delivered their “final warning” on the climate crisis, telling us that rising greenhouse gas emissions are pushing the world to the brink of irrevocable damage and only “swift and drastic action” can avert this supposedly man-made disaster, the IPCC is away with the fairies if it believes Western governments can be dragooned into speeding up their responses. As for the likes of China, India and most African nations, net-zero remains a largely theoretical concept which, like a rainbow, will disappear as you get closer to it.

Quote of The Day

On the rapidly decaying Scots Nationalist Party, a Scotsman writes:Although the contest to succeed Ms Sturgeon has by turns been farcical, shambolic and amazingly entertaining, it is salutary to recall that it has not been accompanied by any great sense of regret that it is taking place. No one is singing: “Will ye no come back again, Nicola?” Her exit is beginning to look selfish. She triggered a chaotic leadership contest with her abrupt departure and who will win it is now anyone’s guess.

Nationalist parties, it seems, can be even more fissiparous that left-wing parties. For those with a deep interest in matters Scottish – or those with an interest in politics per se – here’s an article entitled: How the SNP went from political prosperity to scandal-ridden chaos.  “A pressure cooker that has blown”.

The question arises – How different is Cataluña?

Did you know?

I guess it was to be expected of such a Progressive couple desperate for publicity. Or was is privacy? Anyway . . . H&M have partnered with a charity that challenges ‘gender norms’.

Richard Murdoch is 92 and he says that his forthcoming marriage – his 5th – will be his last. But who’d bet on that? I imagine his kids are more unhappy than ever. My daughters get upset if I so much as glance at a woman. A joke, of course.

Finally . . .

This is my solitary, stubborn daff, among its stalky friends:-

I’m beginning to fear it’ll never bloom this year. On the other hand, the mint and the nasturtiums that I try to contain to one bit of the flower bed are again growing like wildfire – reflecting God’s role as a cosmic joker. But the jasmine is now in full bloom in my front hedge and, indoors, the elephant-ears plant has just started to bloom.

So, there is some good news.

For new readers:- 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.