23 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

The woman who headed up the Guardia Civil has resigned after her husband was arraigned for corruption. Or, as she put it, “after I learned that he had been summoned in the framework of a judicial proceeding”.Sounds like something Boris Johnson might say.

The lists of individual food price increases printed in the media contain some shocking numbers. And now we learn from the Bank of Spain that ‘double-digit’ food inflation will continue for the rest of the year. But allegedly the ‘good news’ is that the general average inflation rate expected for this year is down to 3.7%, from 5.5% last December. 

Here’s Lenox Napier on the vote of censure that failed in parliament yesterday. The leader of the opposition PP party didn’t attend, because he’s not an MP. I think. Which strikes me as odd.

It seems that almost 30 cars were burned in Tui the other night, not merely the 21 first reported. As you’d expect, the consortium of insurers says they won’t pay out, as it wasn’t a riot or terrorism. Or something like that. Bastards.

It’s reported that the desperate folk who risk their lives to crew the narcosubs are paid €50,000 a time. Almost worth it. Probably means you won’t do it twice, assuming you survive.

We used to have 5 Tourism offices in Pv city all competing with each other. But we’re now down to 3, though a new kiosk will be opened on the Alameda by Semana Santa. I’m not sure it’ll replace any of the remaining 2 facilities. Not the bureaucratic way.

Sad to report that another ageing Galician farmer – this one 89 – died yesterday when his un-cabbed tractor. Overturned. I wonder if the widow’s insurance company paid out.

The UK

Talking about people dying . . . As I didn’t watch it, Richard North and John Crace were my go-to columnists this morning on yesterday’s farce involving Boris Johnson. Here’s RN’s take, with a link to JC.


Two longish reads on The Muddling of the the American Mind. By an American, it should be said.

The Way of the World

I reported on my recent problems with my less-than-4 years-old Mac Air. Below is a tale from another unhappy Mac user. At least I didn’t feel compelled to buy another – hugely expensive – Apple machine. And I’m happy enough with my new HP PC now. Though I’d be even happier if it weren’t so sensitive that it switches web pages or pauses YouTube videos when I move it – the raison d’être of a laptop, of course. I think I’m just unlucky with this.


‘To reach out to’: To contact. American but now also semi-British. Will become obsolete within a couple of years, to be replaced by some other phrasal verb. Probably.


Oferta flash: A bargain?

Finally . . .

Some household tips:-

  • If you’re making a paste with spices in an ex-coffee grinder, don’t put liquid in it. The least that will happen is that you’ll blow a fuse or two, as the liquid descends to the electrics.
  • If you’re grilling chicken thighs in a Thai sauce, remember that the oven is on when you go for a shower . .
  • If you put frozen Brussels sprouts in a microwave for far longer than necessary, you’ll end up with a delicious new dish – Crispy Sprouts.
  • Give serious consideration to this; it works a bit: Create your own heater: Everything you may possibly need can be found at your nearest convenience store: a glass bowl, some tea-light candles, and a ceramic flower pot with a hole on the bottom for the hot air to fill the room. Fill the glass bowl with tea-light candles. Then, light the candles and place the flower pot on top. [Have I already posted this?]

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.


Janice Turner, The Times

My laptop was fine, except the battery was so knackered it only worked when plugged in. Then it began having mini blackouts, heart-stopping on deadline, so finally I obeyed the screen message and went to an Apple store.

The pitying “Genius” shook her head. My 9-year-old, £1,500 MacBook was classed as “obsolete” , so Apple wouldn’t change the battery, even if I paid. I might be able to find a company that would (she wrinkled her nose) but on my head be it.

I remember, I said, when you could buy a new laptop battery and slot it into the back yourself. The Genius listened as if I was explaining looms before the spinning jenny. “Sealed units now,” she said, like they’re a wondrous advance rather than why I’ve junked 4 irons in 5 years. Nothing can be fixed. No one seems to care. And since I can’t afford to spend time finding someone to revive my ancient Mac, I did what the Genius wanted: I bought a new one.

“Not great for the planet, is it?” I said, inserting my card. “Well, we strip down old computers, recycle the precious metals . . .” But couldn’t you just sell new batteries?

I see Apple expects to be carbon neutral — whatever that actually means — by 2030.