8 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

Another review of the new book on modern Spain.

A useful article for newcomers to Spain on the (non)tipping culture here

One of the numerous things drivers in Spain can be fined for is not having 2 warning triangles in the car. But now El Tráfico is considering banning them. Too many people being run into when setting them up, it seems.

There are 4,818 foreigners resident in Pv city, with Venezuelans – at 691 – being the most numerous these days. Of European, the Italians – at 208 – are the most numerous, followed by Rumanians(178), Brits(82), North Americans(76), Frenchies(75) and Germans(61). God knows where they all are. I know of only 2 or 3 other Brits.

Probably just a coincidence that it’s reported that Venezuela has joined Colombia as a major source of cocaine heading for our coast.

The wonderful weather has brought crowds of tourists to Pv city, including this gaily-dressed* one, taking a cigarette break after a bit of shopping. Check out the socks . . .

* Old-fashioned meaning.

In a country of high youth unemployment, it’s perplexing to read of the difficulty of finding staff in the hostelry sector. And, indeed, elsewhere. One of Pv city’s bakers says he gets 300 unsolicited CVs a month but still finds it impossible to get the 2 or 2 experienced employees he needs. And a new restaurant in town is said to be desperate to find staff. Do the young folk here who can’t afford to rent a flat prefer to stay at home, and on the dole?

Also odd to read that Pv city’s population peaked in 2020 – at 84, 830 – and has fallen in both years since then to 83,900 now. Possibly because renting a flat is now so expensive.

One group participating in last night’s processions was of soldiers from the nearby garrison. I think they were singing the famous legionnaires’ song you can hear here, the words of which are posted below. A toast to death. Very Catholic, I guess.


After the announcement that the sale of gas central heating boilers will be banned from next year, sales of them have rocketed. Surprisingly, this seems to have taken some folk by surprise. Will it really happen?


Why Russians support Putin’s invasion . . . The strength of Russian propaganda is that while not everyone is fooled all of the time, or even watches state television regularly, it is so ubiquitous that it is still capable of poisoning people’s minds and crippling their ability for rational thought. It is not unheard of for Russians to insist that they distrust state television while repeating its arguments almost word for word. From ‘Russia’s War’ – a thoughtful guide to a deadly cocktail of confusion and hatred.

The Way of the World

Apparently . . ,

  • Wrong: Butler is a lesbian, legally non-binary, and, as of 2020, said she uses both they/them and she/her pronouns but prefer to use “they” pronouns. Butler indicated that she was “never at home” with being assigned female at birth.
  • Right, from the Wikipedia entry: Butler is a lesbian, legally non-binary, and, as of 2020, said they use both they/them and she/her pronouns but prefer to use “they” pronouns. Butler indicated that they were “never at home” with being assigned female at birth.


There are 20 countries or territories around the world where Spanish is the official or de facto language. Pro- nunciation and vocabulary vary from country to country. In many isolated areas, the Spanish spoken is closer to the original Spanish spoken by the conquistadores than to modern-day castellano. In others, local languages have had a direct influence on the Spanish they inherited from the colonial invaders. More here from Don Pablo.

Finally . . .

This foto of a car’s sill forced a smile of recognition and sympathy out of me. For I realised that the driver, like me, had drawn up beside a bit of Galician granite he or she couldn’t see from the driving position. Possibly when parking.

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.

Death’s Bridegroom

No one in the Regiment knew

Who was that Legionary

So bold and daring

That he came to join the Legion.

No one knew his story,

Yet the Legion knew

That a great pain gnawed

Like a wolf, at his heart.

Yet if anyone asked who he was

He would reply reluctantly and sternly:

 I am a man whom fortune

Struck with a beast’s paw;

I am death’s bridegroom

Who is to be joined in a strong bond

With such a faithful sweetheart.

When the fire and fighting

Were at their fiercest,

Defending his Flag*

The legionary advanced.

And without fearing the onslaught

Of the exalted enemy

He died bravely

And rescued the ensign.

And as he soaked the burning ground with his blood,

The legionary murmured in a mournful voice:

I am a man whom fortune

Struck with a beast’s paw;

I am death’s bridegroom

Who is to be joined in a strong bond

With such a faithful sweetheart.

When his body was finally recovered

They found on his chest

A letter and a picture

Of a beautiful woman.

And that letter read:

“… if one day God calls you,

Save a place for me

I will soon find you.”

And in the last kiss that she sent him

She bid him a final goodbye.

Just to be by your side

My most faithful sweetheart,

I became death’s bridegroom,

I am now bound to her with a strong bond44

And her love was my Flag*

The Spanish word bandera also means ‘troop’.

And her love was my Flag*.

One comment

  1. Why work as a waiter for 1000 a month, when you can work in a highly qualified IT job for 1000 a month? (he says ironically)

    When speaking with friends this is what they tell me.

    From a personal POV, when I see how rude some people are to the waiting staff, I am not surprised nobody wants to do the job.


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