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
A cartoon featuring the leader of the execrable Vox party. Strangely reminiscent of stuff from 1930s Germany . . .
HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for:-
- An article citing the insults towards her opponents of the ‘feisty’ PP Presidenta of the Madrid region and possibly the next-but-one Prime Minister.
- The news that blasphemy remains on the Spanish statue book, to be taken advantage of not only by Muslims but also by Catholics.
A tad surprising to read that the biggest cocaine factory in Europe is/was close to the little place I used to own up in the hills, c. 15km outside Pv city. In the middle of the woods and close to a river. ‘As in South America’.
Galicians are understandably angry that some AI program has produced these fotos of women in Spanish regions, Because the big one is a ‘typical’ Gallega and the others – all stunners – are from other regions:-
Brilliant. See also the Boris Bit below.
Being old enough to remember the riots and having passed through it many times, I was a tad surprised to read that that Toxteth in Liverpool is considered one of the best places to live in the North West of England. En passant, the other thing that makes the district famous is the fact that Hitler’s half brother once lived in it. It’s even claimed that Adolf visited his half-brother there and drank in a local pub. But this is probably a Scouse myth.
The end of free speech? Not only does this give the EU immense powers for censorship, it also represents a profound technocratic evasion of democratic accountability.
Here we go again. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a new document – the final part of its mammoth 6th report – and we all know what that means. More doomsday porn in the papers. More shroud-waving from eco-agitators. More warnings of imminent apocalypse. The climate cult has not disappointed. . . As as Michael Shellenberger has pointed out, pore over the thousands of pages of IPCC analysis and nowhere will you find the claim that ‘life on Earth is dying’. ‘No credible scientific body has ever said climate change threatens the collapse of civilisation, much less the extinction of the human species’, says Shellenberger. More here.
The Way of the World
An increasing body of evidence is beginning to show that, biologically speaking, daylight saving time could be doing us an immense amount of harm. I’m not surprised; I hate the looming change.
Quote of The Day
On a new film of Great Expectations . . . We are all getting used to the idea of a sort of parallel, racially steam-punk 19th-century universe, where a black duchess is no more absurd than Captain Nemo’s submarine. If you were to make a Pride and Prejudice now with all the Bennet sisters of the same apparent ethnic heritage, you could probably get funding from the Pioneer Fund.
Con el corazón en la mano: Hand on heart. Back to Boris . . .
Did you know?
The Spanish – and Italian? – word for spring – primavera – means ‘first spring’. Why? Because the Romans had 2 of them:-
I’m impressed by Microsoft’s voice-to-text option on my HP PC. But, being American, it’s not familiar with the name of the British PM, which comes out as ‘Richie soon axe’.
A major source for the BBC’s dramatic podcast on the rise of the Nazis must be down to this Brit – Sefton Delmer, called Tom in the podcast. He headed the Berlin Bureau of the Daily Express and became friendly with Ernst Rohm, who arranged for him to become the first British journalist to interview Adolf Hitler, in April 1931. In the1932 German federal election, he travelled with Hitler aboard his private aircraft. He was “embedded with Nazi party activists” at this time, “taking copious notes on everything from the style of the would-be Fuhrer’s oratory to the group think that lay behind the bond he was forming with the German people.” He was also present in 1933 when Hitler inspected the aftermath of the Reichstag fire. More on him here.
Finally . . .
A miniscule claim to fame . . .A friend of mine once dated Harriet Harman, Boris Johnson’s main inquisitor a couple of days ago. See below.
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.
THE BORIS BIT
Caitlin Moran, The Times
The tell is the hair. It’s always the hair. You know when Boris Johnson thinks he’s in real trouble: he’ll appear in public still ham-faced but with the blond haystack penitently shorn — Spamson, if you will — and refrains from all “boyish rumpling” in favour of the Serious Boris Face.
The Serious Boris Face is clearly intended to be something halfway between Paddington’s “hard stare” and Churchill at his most resolute, but in reality is simply childlike rage. Like that of Augustus Gloop, incandescent that Willy Wonka has imposed some boundaries and won’t let him drink from the delicious chocolate river. Why does Gloop think he can drink from Wonka’s delicious chocolate river? Because he’s a special boy. Why should Boris avoid all this questioning?
Because he’s a special boy. But now Willy Wonka — or, in this case, Harriet Harman — and all the tiny Oompa Loompas (the rest of the parliamentary privileges committee) are being simply outrageous in trying to hold him to account. At times Johnson’s wrath at this questioning of his activities was molten.
“People who think we were partying in lockdown simply don’t know what they are talking about!” Johnson snapped just after the committee talked about a picture of him in a room filled with people and booze, at an event referred to as “a party”, and just before they talked about another picture of Johnson in a room filled with people and booze, at an event described by former head of comms Lee Cain as “a purely social function”.
One of these events — “Essential for work!” as Johnson kept saying, “To motivate staff, in what had been a very difficult time!” — included Johnson’s wife and his interior designer. Perhaps Lulu Lytle did need thanking for working through a very difficult time: it must be hard to pull together a series of fabulous living spaces on Johnson’s infamously “chicken feed” salary, with two small children and an incontinent dog getting in the way.
Johnson didn’t just have spoilt fury, of course — although a good 50% of his answers could simply be translated to: “But it’s me! You can’t question me!” The other half of his performance was waffle. An extraordinary amount of waffle. His opening statement stretched to 20 minutes; individual answers took up six minutes or more.
“It would be helpful if Sir Bernard could ask his question, and you could then give a succinct answer,” Harman interjected at one point. Later on she had to say again: “You’re giving very long answers and you’re repeating yourself.”
It was to no avail — Johnson continued to flood the area with gallons and gallons of wordage, in a clear attempt to grind the investigation to a halt. This tetchy, nitpicking waffle technique was previously seen during Bill Clinton’s denials over having had “sexual relations with that woman” and, indeed, Boris Johnson’s own “inverted pyramid of piffle” reply about his affair with Petronella Wyatt. These verbose replies, when given about adultery, could be referred to as “willybustering”. When done in respect to lockdown partying? Follybustering.
It’s sad because, before the committee hearing, Johnson had a solid reputation as one of Britain’s leading bullshitters. Even those who ardently dislike him would admit that, when it comes to confidently denying, evading or issuing an outright classic lie, Johnson was seen as a Usain Bolt of mendacity; the PT Barnum of perfidy.
Wednesday’s performance, by way of contrast, came from someone who’d lost their form and touch. A grim, shambling grind by someone who is not getting those headline slots any more and is gradually realising that somebody else has won the keys to the chocolate factory.
Johnson’s rebellion against Rishi Sunak’s Northern Ireland deal failed halfway through the inquiry; by the end, a T-shirt was trending on Twitter: “One day you will wake up — and Boris Johnson won’t be there any more.”
Were I to travel across the English Channel to the continent, I would advance my watch by one hour. Zackerely the zame as Zaturday night zummer time. The only concession I would make, to the reality that the Earth is not flat, would be to set off one hour earlier in England, so that I would not miss lunch at 1 pm (GMT + 1) en France. I would suggest your sang froid would be rather more discombobulated, were you to travel north in Scandinavia when the midnight sun plays royal havoc with sleep patterns. https://visitsweden.com/what-to-do/culture-history-and-art/swedish-traditions/midsummer-tradition/midsummer-sweden-something-another-world/
The dire rear spouting from the mouth of Bloody Stupid Johnson is evidence that he does not know the first rule of advocacy; to whit, when in a hole, the first step is to stop digging. I am minded to quote the last few lines of Henry V Act IV, Scene 4. The field of battle.
Boy. He gives you, upon his knees, a thousand thanks; and
he esteems himself happy that he hath fallen into
the hands of one, as he thinks, the most brave,
valorous, and thrice-worthy signieur of England.
Pistol. As I suck blood, I will some mercy show.
Boy. Suivez-vous le grand capitaine.
[Exeunt PISTOL, and French Soldier]
I did never know so full a voice issue from so
empty a heart: but the saying is true ‘The empty
vessel makes the greatest sound.’ Bardolph and Nym
had ten times more valour than this roaring devil
Beyond parody…..the woman from Galice a real old harridan………the rest all someone else’s wishful dream. Endless chuckle. I went immediately to see the page on the internet.
Oh I believe Toxteth could the best place in the North West. It is the North West we are talking about, isn’t it?
…..wishful “wet” dreams…..that should have been…….sorry if anyone is offended.
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