5 April 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 Guardian certainly seems to think it understands Spanish politics, especially those of the Left . . Dear God! More than 12 left-leaning groups are involved in Sumar. Though not the 2 big ones . . . Podemos and the PSOE. It won’t succeed but will almost certainly damage the latter 2 parties. Hard to see why it was created, except as a rag-bag.

And here’s the FT’s take – where the 12 parties of the Left have become 15. Díaz’s initiative, it says, marks a new phase in the fragmentation of European politics, where the rise of populists on the left and right has demolished entrenched two-party systems since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Abusive conditions are endemic in parts of Spain’s fruit sector, a new report alleges. But this won’t come as a surprise to anyone living here, I suspect.

Slow justice – After 10 years of process, the Pokémon bitof a major corruption case has been archived because of an issue with phone taps in La Coruña. I think. The recent 2 months lawyers’ strike won’t have improved things, of course.

Talking of that city, I was surprised to read this week that there are more than 100 Francoist symbols there which haven’t yet been removed. Including a bust of an ex-mayor, Eduardo Sanjurjo.

And talking of corruption . . . I recently cited the planned sale of the octopus-farm company, New Pescanova. It’s called this because the original Pescanova went bust, leading to the trial of its directors for various offences. One of these has just had his 6 year jail sentence confirmed.

The blessing of the first tram between Pv city and nearby Marín, in 1924(?). Hard to see this happening these days . . .

The UK

As I was suggesting yesterday . . . Depending on which side of the divide you stand on Net Zero, the government’s proposals are either the UK’s bid  to save the planet for future generations or a government-induced suicide pact aimed at the destruction of the economy and our way of life as we know it. Either way, the issue is important, especially so as a disturbing picture is beginning to emerge which suggests that the government is not really serious about reaching the targets it has set itself while paying lip-service to their pursuit, sufficient to cause intolerable economic damage with none of the supposed benefits. The consequence is a  a surreal game of “chicken”. Which you can read about here.

This was the plan for the first Mersey tunnel, back in the 1920s. I blew it up to see if I could detect my grandparents’ large pub – The Wellington – near the Birkenhead end but, sadly, couldn’t. Too blurred:-

Liverpool’s Three Graces can be clearly seen on the waterfront.


This once-poor country now has the 2nd highest per capita GDP in the world, very possibly not evenly spread. But . . . Is Ireland vulnerable again as the world’s vast shadow banking system starts to crack? See here.

The Way of the World/Quotes of The Day

  • The University of York is going to offer the ex-mayor of Bangor a PhD scholarship to study “Transgender and Non-Binary Archaeology”. Given the very concepts of “transgender” and “non-binary” didn’t exist until a few months ago, the archaeological record is likely to be mainly located in high street litter and topsoil.
  • A healthy public sphere demands those who will swim against the tide. The pitfalls of over-conformity are visible in everything from problems in meeting net zero targets to the lack of debate about the Covid regulations. 


  • Un casino: Normally not a betting joint but a private club. In the case of Pv city, open to non-member riff-raff, like me, wanting to take advantage of the (relatively) quiet oasis of its bar-cafetería. Served by the lovely ladies I recently mentioned – one Spanish, one Colombian and one Cuban.
  • La maruca: A fish – malva malva or common ling – on offer in the Casino’s menú del día this week. The word appears in the Galician dictionary I use but not in the RAE’s, despite the fact its roe is a delicacy here in Spain. And there’s a bit on it in Spanish wiki. Anyway, it’s a large member of the family Lotidae, a group of cod-like fishes, and is found in the northern Atlantic. In case you were wondering, it’s not related to the pink ling from the southern hemisphere.

Did you know?

Hedy Lamarr was considered by many the most beautiful woman of the 20th century. This video certainly endorses that view, though I think an aunt of mine was even more beautiful. Turns out the lady was far from being just a pretty face. Inter alia, she invented frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology– the forerunner of Bluetooth. Being a huge Hollywood star, her final years were, of course, very sad. The Google doodle honouring her can be seen here.

Finally . . .

Harmless – but topical – fun with ChatGPT.

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.