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’
A trip to the pharmacy last night reminded me just what a bloody nuisance it was to wear a mask. And to have to runthe gauntlet of the mask Nazis . . . Quite possibly for no good reason.
Cosas de España/Galiza
It’s not unknown for Semana Santa processions to be called off for bad weather, even in southern Spain. But this week in Galicia there’s no risk of this, as the weather is truly glorious. No sign of the aguas mil of avril, So it was, then, that last night I sat in El Casino while the TV showed endless MTV videos of gyrating young women in their underwear, teenage girls walked past the window in the cropped tops and brief shorts normally sported here in summer, while the sound drifted in of the processions wending their way from the basilica of Sta María to the church of the Wandering Virgin. And now I’m watching – briefly – the annual chest-thrusting march of the death-loving Spanish legionnaires. Which always amuses me. All rather surrealistic. But very much modern Spain.
The Prado Museum in Madrid has identified 70 artworks in its collection that were seized during the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. The aim now is to restore them to their rightful owners. The main beneficiaries were museums, which received more than 3,000 works, followed by public bodies, with 2,000, and the church, with a similar figure. Some 600 pieces ended up in the hands of individuals.
A couple of things from Fascinating Spain:-
- The most remarkable record-breaking-places in Spain the first 3 of which are here in Galicia.
- An explanation of los capirotes, the cone-shaped headgear worn in the Holy Week processions
Spain’s public healthcare system – generally well regarded around the world – is not without its deficiencies. Currently there’s ‘The worst waiting list in the history of Public Health: almost 800,000 Spaniards are waiting to be operated on and it takes an average of 122 days’. Possibly not as bad as with the NHS in the UK. Good to read that Galicia is one of the regions with the ‘best’ records. One problem, it’s said, is that – as in the UK – many people use the ‘Urgencias’ at the hospital rather than go and see their GP for straightforward or minor issues. Leading to waiting times of 5 to 12 hours.
If, like the ex-mayor of El Ejido, you can salt away more than €58m, you can probably tolerate a sentence of 5 years in a decent jail for políticos. Especially as it’ll be a lot less before you’re let out to spend more time with your cash.
Talking of things illegal . . . HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for this article – with splendid fotos – of the pazo in La Coruña which the Franco family should never have taken possession of and then stocked with bits of the national patrimonio.
Things ain’t going well for Scotland’s ruling nationalist party, the SNP. In an astonishing development, its CEO for 20 years – who’s also the husband of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – was arrested yesterday and the couple’s home and the party’s HQ were subjected to intensive police searches. Only an election can sweep away the final cobwebs of what is now a totally disgraced administration, says one columnist. Are things very different in Cataluña? Just askin’.
On a broader spectrum, I’m actually reading the book cited here on the UK’s ‘New Elite’. Looking at the criteria for membership I was a tad taken aback to see I hit several of them. But, thank god, by no means all.. Maybe because of my early years and because I was a very early Boomer.
Putin and his paranoia. But, as they say, just because he’s paranoic, it doesn’t mean there’s no one following him. Or worse.
The Way of the World
Gender radicals have declared war on the English language. But seem now to be losing it, in the UK at least. Possibly meaning a return to the time before women lost their jobs, university positions and reputations for simply speaking the truth. The madness had to end some time.
Social Media/Quotes of The Day
- This is the single most important question facing Western society today: Has Twitter driven millions of people bonkers? Or have millions of people always been bonkers but we just didn’t know it, because there was no Twitter – an all-devouring digital hellscape?
- There’s a fine line between “heroic crusader for truth” and “terminally online conspiracy theorist”.
- The whole Twitter site swarms with people who see conspiracies round every corner. And the most educated users are as susceptible to tribalist delusions as anyone, if not more so.
- With any luck, Elon Musk will soon run the entire business into the ground. It would do us all the world of good.
Meanwhile, as a wise man, I stay away from it.
The article cited above about the transgenderists’ slaughtering of the English language was written by an Englishwoman and yet it contains this American spelling – offense. One wonders why.
Did you know?
Liverpool is doing a fine job preparing for the looming Eurovision Song Contest
Finally . . .
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.
I was recently accused of kettle racism, when using the pot kettle black analogy.
Yes, ‘ere up north glorious sunshine too.
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