30 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

Reader María points put that American guerillas fought the British way back in 1775, though they weren’t call that, of course.

Oh, dear. The Vandals are back in NW Spain. . .

Talking of Roman roads . . . I read recently of one at Cirauqui in Navarra which I unwittingly passed by during my aborted road trip last October . .

I must take a look at it when I have another go at the trip next September:-

Fascinating Spain here lists the 5 things that are cheaper here in Spain than ‘elsewhere’:-

  • Tobacco
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Groceries
  • Transport services
  • Clothing

and the 3 things which are more expensive:-

  • Furniture
  • Electricity
  • Consumer electronics

To which I would add the internet/wifi.

HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for an article which provides details on 8 of the 200 sects in Spain – those which will make your hair stand on end. See the (machine) translation below.

Lenox also cites an article on Evangelicals and other (non-Christian) religious groups in Spain: Said Evangelicals are by far the biggest of these. Assisted by significant – but non-controversial – immigration from South America, the number of their parishes has tripled in the last 20 years. Houses of worship now:-

  • Evangelicals – 4,322
  • Mosques – 1750
  • Anglican churches – 69 and probably declining.

More on narcolanchas . . . And their mother ships(nodrizas):-

My 4 year old grandson goes to a very good school in Madrid, where – of course – they have English lessons. I’m naturally biased but it seems to me that his English is at a very high level, while his Spanish is coming along nicely. So, it’s an (amusing) surprise that his latest report on (8 aspects of) English has him only as A Pass and never Outstanding. The truth is that he speaks English better than his teacher but I guess she can’t be blamed for not realising this. Possibly he doesn’t even bother to display his command of the language. Or maybe they give the same report for every pupil. . .


There’s to be a hi-speed train from Lisbon to Oporto, from where you can take one of the world’s slowest trains to Vigo. Naturally, Spanish construction companies have set their sights on the biggest infrastructure project to be tendered this year in the Iberian Peninsula.

The UK

A survey suggests that 74% of Spaniards believe that the public health service has worsened, and that a majority supports paying more taxes to improve it. I suspect that, in the UK, the percentage would be closer to 100% but that, nonetheless, there might not be a majority for new taxes. Even if they’re said to be hypothecated for the health and social services.

The EU

Reality intrudes? The ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars is watered down

Quote of The Day/The USA

We’re the only country in the world where the leading cause of death for children is being blown apart by bullets.


A guide to Spain’s soletes has been published: These are: Bars, restaurants, terraces and beach bars that you don’t know about in your own town or city and that you should visit as soon as possible. I think the word solete is more usually applied to nice-to-know people, rather than places-

Did you know?

Exploding batteries on e-scooters and e-bikes pose the biggest emerging fire threat in the capital, says the London Fire Brigade. So, will this risk lhelp to get their bloody riders off the pavements?

Nahia is a Basque name which signifies ‘desire’ or ‘aspiration’ but can also be translated as ‘will’.

Finally . . .

I haven’t watched any of the trial of the year but it seems to have amused 2 of my favourite columnists – both female, one left-wing and the other right-wing-

And here’s a view on Ms Goop from a male columnist, who possibly portrays less bitchiness . . .

BTW . . . I think I’ve written once before that I stood next to Gwyneth Paltrow when her man of the time was talking in the Oxford Union but I didn’t know this until my daughter told me later. Truth to tell, I hadn’t been overwhelmed by her beauty. Or by anything, in fact. But I’m sure she thought even less of me . . .

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.


8 Spanish sects [really only 7] that will make your hair stand on end

In Spain there are around 200 groups or sects with thousands of followers. Most of the sects are dark and hermetic. But beware, there are also some under the guise of ecological, religious or sex therapy groups, many related to yoga or healing through pseudo-therapies. Others hide themselves by offering supposed coaching and self-help techniques for success. All of them have clear objectives: sex, power, money or control. Here are the ones you might find even in your own neighbourhood.

1. School of philosophy in the classical way: The first of these is the New Acropolis, a self-styled “school of philosophy in the classical way”, founded in Argentina. In Spain, they claim that by putting into practice the teachings of the great sages of all times they can reach the ideal of universal brotherhood (Acropolis) and develop the capacities of the individual. Former members denounced aggressive recruitment mechanisms and psychological abuse.

2. Scientology: One of the best known sects in Spain, which was established in Madrid. The church of Scientology has built an economic empire by conquering Hollywood stars, tycoons and politicians from all over the world. Tom Cruise is its main image. Their theory is that ET Xenu confined the evil ‘tetanus’, which attacks the morals of mankind, to Earth. The treatment to free them costs a lot of money.

3. Family of Love: Many sects in Spain are based on self-help or ecological groups. The Children of God, created in 1968 in California by former pastor David Berg, propose the ‘Law of Love’. Their ideology revolves around sex, which is the hook with which they attract their acolytes. In 1978 they changed their name to the ‘Family of Love’ and have been accused of continuous sexual harassment of minors and child prostitution.

4. Moonies: This sect generated a lot of controversy when it set up in Spain. This group is led by the Korean Sun Myung Moon, who believes himself to be the ‘new messiah’ of Christians. For the leader, Jesus Christ is a failure as a saviour, so he called himself and his wife the ‘True Parents’ of the new humanity. Impressive.

5. Jehovah’s Witnesses: This religious group that has grown very large in Spain and has a lot of power in Latin America. The Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves a restitution of primitive Christianity and their reinterpretation of the bible is very controversial. Their strong proselytising threatens especially the poorer strata of the population. Their group doctrine has controversial points such as their refusal of blood transfusions, and their rejection of the cross.

6. Opus Dei: Is this a sect? No. This institution belonging to the Catholic Church functions as a social and political pressure group. The great leader is Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, a Spanish priest canonised in 2002 by John Paul II. The Catholic group demands a kind of monastic vow, though not in a monastery but in the midst of society. Opus Dei can be considered a secret society, dangerous and inclined to power and money.

7. Gnostic Association: Another Spanish sect that has gained strength in Spain is the Asociación Gnóstica de estudios de Antropología y Ciencias (Gnosis). This group was born in Colombia by the hand of Samael Aun Weox. Its doctrine and rituals defend for example ‘sexual magic’. What is this? Well, that the man should not ejaculate and the woman should not reach orgasm. They mix philosophical and anthropological theories with other invented theories to give veracity to their arguments.

8. The Raelians: One of extraterrestrials. The Raelians did not settle in Spain until the mid 90s. The group was born in France but was soon banned for being considered a sect. The aims of the sect is to spread the word of the Elohim, creators of the world. What the leader Rael sells to his followers is that he was abducted by aliens on two occasions. On both occasions he is told that we can now understand our origins through modern science and cloning. The cult also uses meditation to attract acolytes.

It should be noted that many sects operate in Spain because psychological aggression is very difficult to prove in court, unlike sexual aggression. This protects them to continue operating in the territory.

One comment

  1. Grant Shapps has said that the UK does not have to follow the EU, which has climbed down to allow sales of new internal combustion engine cars that only run on ‘e-fuels’ to continue after 2035.

    Check his CV. A career of missed opportunities. Any bets on his next job?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Shapps


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