1 April 2023: The official one of my 2 birthdays . . . . Shared with my late mother. Also April Fools’ Day . . . .

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

Nigel Townson is a Brit who teaches history at the Complutense University in Madrid. He feels that Spain’s distinctiveness has been exaggerated and argues in a new book that historians outside Spain are largely responsible for perpetuating the myth of peculiarity. But another professor of Modern History – Gerard de Groot – while admiring the book, disagrees with its basic thrust. Spain, he insists, really is different, with its own ‘stubborn peculiarities’. See here for his reasons. His bottom line:  Despite the turbulence and hardship of the period since 2008, Spain today seems more optimistic and progressive than most countries in Europe. It certainly puts Britain in the shade. Witness, for instance, the rather bold digital nomad scheme recently introduced, a cheeky attempt to persuade talented young people from Britain, America and elsewhere to move to sunny Spain. There’s an effervescence that I don’t sense elsewhere. Let’s face it: Spain is different.

A new grape for me – Loureiro(laurel) in Portugal but Loureira here in Galicia. South of the border it’s always white, used in vinho verde, but here in Galicia it can be a red grape as well. Allegedly, it’s a particularly lovely variety that makes wines that smell of laurel leaves and which, in your mouth, is crisp with an orange note. Here in Galicia, it was forgotten about for many years but is now being produced in small quantities again.

Another mention for the Pv city street of many bars . . . There even seems to be a secret one. I passed it when its doors were open the other night but yesterday midday it looked like this. Devoid of any name. . .

One possibility is that it’s the bar and comedor of the upmarket hostel a couple of doors away. Similar frontage. But no mention of a separate facility on their web page.

A short video on narco-subs.

The UK

The liberal elite have captured the conversation — expect a revolt. Britain is in the grip of a new elite, which over the past decade has been rapidly losing touch with the rest of the country, setting the stage for a backlash among millions of weary voters. More here. Will the Brits really take to the streets? I suspect the chances are growing.

The Netherlands

Last week Amsterdam launched a campaign designed to discourage young British men from going there on stag dos. In the following days, something curious happened; there was a massive surge in men wanting to go to Amsterdam, with bookings in one specialist agency rising by 649%. So, was this the real intention on the part of the clever Dutch, one observer has asked.


Despite the war, Spain is still more accommodating towards rich Russians than most European countries. If not all.


These are a couple of points from the article I cited yesterday. My guess is that – as the economic consequences of the drive to Net Zero increasingly bite – we’ll be seeing more of this questioning of the tenets of the AGW quasi-religion: The IPCC’s synthesis report flags an increase in global mortality from heatwaves. You have to dig deeper to find the whole truth. A widely quoted figure claims that 5m people a year are dying from extreme temperatures. Yet what tends to get missed out is that 90% of those deaths were from extreme low temperatures. . . . The reality is that we are not doomed. We should reduce, and as much as technology allows us, try to eliminate carbon emissions. But we are not going to drown, starve or die of thirst because of climate change. Rather, the most immediate danger lies in exaggerating the threats and rendering an entire generation incapacitated by fear.

The Way of the World

What they actually do with your data, whatever they say they do . . .

Quote of The Day

What would the world be if older people were not exasperated by younger people! Except better?

Did you know?

Ford have patented a car which can follow their instructions if payments aren’t maintained. Starting with something slightly irritating but ending when the car drives itself to a pick-up point. Or to a scrap yard . . .

The fastest creature in the world is . . . the peregrine falcon. I’d love to have one to deter the magpies which haunt my garden.

Finally . . .

Cava and champagne have joined oysters and percebes on my Never Again list – after over-indulgence at my neighbour’s birthday dinner resulted in a night which can only be described as ‘disturbingly acidic’. Never really liked the overrated stuff anyway.

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.


  1. The VIVC lists a Portuguese grape Loureria Tinta (i.e. a red grape) a.k.a. Vinhao amongst 48 synonyms. Confusing? Grape names other than the “Noble one” are a nightmare.
    VIVC also lists Mencia as a synonym for Loureiro but if I read it correctly its not the well known Mencia from Val de Sil. No wonder that Spanish wines are fonder of brand names than varietal names.


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