7 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

Mostly ‘pilgrims’ in Pv city at 11 this morning, taking a coffee or walking through it without casting a glance at one of the best old quarters in Spain.

I watched a very long – and slow – procession in said old quarter last night, fortified – me, not them – by quite a lot of Godello wine. For which I blame my companions.

Lenox Napier casts his experienced eye over the Semana Santa scene here. A bit surprising to read that Spain’s superb waiters and waitresses are in short supply, very probably because they’re often taken advantage of.

I read that: A galloping wild boar population in Catalonia has led the regional government to encourage people to eat them. Experts estimate that the region has about 250,000 boars, mostly in Girona and around Barcelona. As the overpopulation causes serious crop damage, the government has begun to“put boar meat on the map”. Now, I’m a great fan of it but was recently troubled by a friend’s comment that the beasts’ interiors abound with parasites. And, after reading this article yesterday, I’m now even more worried. Not sure I’ll ever eat the stuff again. Even though tapeworms aren’t fatal, as far as I know. And can be easily killed. Though not, as an old joke has it, by the combination of a slice of cake, a sausage and a hammer . . . .

I often wonder why the authorities here take so long to act. For example, for most of the last 20 years, this spot – just metres away from Pv city’s best terrace – has been occupied, day and night – by rowdy alcoholics and drug addicts:-

Despite this being a nuisance for tipplers and diners – both locals and tourists – nothing was ever done about it. Until recently, when the police taped it off. Whereupon, the irritating riff-raff moved to the main square 50m away, where they now camp in front of the café closed after the murder of a relative of the owner in Mexico a while back. I guess they’ll be there for many years to come. It’s suggested the police acted only after a parent took exception to one of the drunks talking to his child and made a formal denuncia, forcing the police to actually do something. But I haven’t seen this reported.

Pv city is now so popular that the number of tourist flats has soared into the stratosphere, doubling the cost of renting in 5 years. If they can’t live with parents, young people are desperate to find places to rent, and, of course, are resorting to flat-sharing. So, no cars, global fame and no flats. I wonder if the mayor expected this.

The UK

Britain’s chatty elite are taken to task here.


Whither France? If Britain seems fractured, then where does that leave France as it confronts its 10th general strike this year? . . . In recent weeks,France has, at times, seemed on the cusp of another revolution, as if [Macron’s] proposals are some massive affront to basic decency. Yet this legislation is vital. The demographics of France are frightening. More here.


The first and possibly not the last Western country to ban ChatGBT.


The Manhattan district attorney’s charges may never put Trump in jail, but, after a grand jury indictment, they have already resulted in making him a criminal defendant. That’s a shameful first for a former US president, though Trump is wearing it like a badge of honor – and an opportunity to raise millions of dollars. Anyone remotely surprised?


Pegar ojo: Lit. To stick an eye. To (go to) sleep. So . . . No pegar ojo: To not be able to sleep.


ChatGBT: Inevitably, just added to the spellcheck on my laptop. I guess I’ll have to add LLM as well. And we’ll all have to become familiar with a new meaning of hallucinations.

Did you know?

I confess to not knowing of the ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ of 1922, following the collapse of the Ottoman empire, when more than 100,000 Greek and Armenian Christians were slaughtered by Turks reacting to the failed Greek invasion via the port of Smyrna. Now called, Izmr. You can see these films and documentaries about it on Youtube,

Before and after the fire

The burning of Smyrna

The destruction of Smyrna

Finally . . .

Another milestone in my life successfully passed – My first receipt an SMS starting hola papa I have lost my phone please call this temporary number. As if.

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. Thanks. María. I think her experience was during the genocide of Armenians 1915-17 whereas the destruction of Smyrna and the slaughter of many thousands of Greeks and Armenians was later, in 1922.


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