25 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

After an exceptionally dry winter following the hottest summer on record, much of Spain is facing severe drought. Unusually, though, the area worst affected isn’t in the South but in the north-east region of  Cataluña. There, farmers are also facing a plague of rabbits. With a lack of grass and water, these are destroying crops and eating the bark on vines and fruit trees.

Here in ‘always-wet’ Galicia, the drought isn’t that bad but I do have a plague on my property – of snails. Depending on your point fo view, this has been a very good or very bad winter for these and I plucked 15 or more of them off a lilly plant this morning. I almost feel sorry for those which climb through my basement window and then die of starvation, stuck to one of the walls.

Spanish political commentators seemed dumbfounded. Well, at least one in the VdG, who asks why British politicians are obsessed with resigning for what would be considered trivial offences here in Spain. Everything is relative, as they say. When you’ve had hundreds of years of massive corruption in the commercio-political heights – and, indeed, still have it – you tend to take a relaxed view of a politico who’s a perpetual liar or who’s been a bit bossy with his civil service staff.

Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas has eased my burden this morning by publishing 2 items:-

1. On something I hate, the dubbing of films, and

2. The ex-king in Sanxenxo


Monsanto . . . Not the first thing you’ll associate with that name . . . The extraordinary village that claims to be Portugal’s most authentic.

The UK

I suspect the Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, was delighted that Diane Abbot gave him the excuse to end her gaffe-prone career, by writing a silly letter to a newspaper saying, effectively, that Jews are lower down in ‘some sort of hierarchy of racism’.


Have you ever read anything funnier that this Fox statement re the libel case they effectively lost?: This settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.

As you’ll all know, one consequence of this affair was the sacking of Fox’s star performer, Tucker Carlson. Russia Today immediately offered him a job, leaving at least me pondering what this signified. Possibly because they liked his staking out a niche as the mouthpiece of Trumpite populism. As his MAGA megaphone. And as a disruptive/divisive force in US society? Here’s the ‘progressive’ Guardian on the subject.

And here’s the Guardian suggesting that Trump has committed treason and thus might be barred from running – yet again – for President next year.

The Way of the World

Dubious on-line opportunites:-


For those who didn’t read up on the young wife of the ex-king’s best friend in Spain . . .

  • Braguetazo/a: Someone who marries for money.
  • Mataviejas: Men who marry rich much older women, like the chap who did so with the Duchess of Alba a few years ago. I imagine the word mataviejos also exists, for women like the last 3 wives of Rupert Murdoch, for example. I wish they’d get on with the killing.


  • “A rapid unscheduled disassembly”: I thought this was Americanese for an explosion, in this case of the Musk would-be rocket to somewhere. But then I saw it in a reference to the blue ticks farce on Twitter. Only to have it confirmed that it does mean an explosion. And that, though currently in vogue, it dates back to at least 1991 and is referred to as ‘an RUD’ in engineering circles.
  • To discommend: Apparently a verb – opposite of to commend – back in the 17th century

Did you know?

Weeds used to be defined as ‘Flowers growing in the wrong place’ but now they’re ‘hero/resilient plants’, at least at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show 2023. Actually, it seems I’m ahead of the game. OK, I’ve weeded the daisies and dandelions out of my lawns but I have collected weeds both from them and from the street and potted them. Because their flowers are very pretty, though you can’t really see that here:-

Better here . . .

This is the ex railway station at Canfranc I visited last October during my aborted trip to Aragón and Navarra, on the border with France. Now an impressive hotel.

Finally . . .

A nice cartoon, also borrowed from Lenox . . .

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.

Finally, finally . . . . Another Flashback. Blogs of 6-9 November 2015

Cosas de España/Galiza

In the UK there are more than 300 council leaders who earn more than the Prime Minister. But this is nothing compared to Spain, where a specious level of government leads to astronomical local salaries. But the real money goes to EU bureaucrats, of course. See the end of this post for a Times leader today. [Not included here]


Russian propaganda: I’ve cited RT a couple of times. At the end of this post there’s a Times on Moscow’s disinformation campaign.[Not included here]. For those really interested in this, here’s the link to EU counter measures.

The way of the World

Freedom of Speech: In our comfortable, I-am society, where priorities are not what they were in previous generations, this appears to be of ever-reducing importance. So it was good to see a (young!) man on TV this morning saying that “Fear of being offended is the greatest gift of free speech. It should start a conversation, not end it”. [This was more than 7 years ago!]


When I was a kid, a truck was a ‘lorry’. But I thought this word had died off, to be replaced by the American word. So I was pleased to it in a headline on Sky News. It’s pronounced ‘lurry’ in parts of the North, by the way. But not by me.

Finally . . . .

A Dutch treat.

On a whim, I recently joined Instagram and all hell broke loose, with names and fotos flying in all directions. I asked my elder daughter if she was on it and her answer was a rotund NO! When she accused me of acting like a teenager, I warned her this was nothing to how I’d be in my 7th age. [I’ve forgotten what that was and the link I cited back then no longer works,]

One comment

  1. As someone who lived for two decades in Diane’s constituency in Hackney. I’m saddened but not surprised by her lack of intelligence. Degrading multiple races and ethnicities to the level of one different hair colour, was so stupid and show the lack of understanding people have of what antisemitism is. To say something like this (or write a draft) the week commemorating the ‘Walk to remember” how stupid is that? What did she think, that they walked to Birkenau because they weren’t blonde enough for the Germans? She followed her leader for many years Mr. Corbin, in understanding reality. Now we know her reason! Time to change course in Hackney and Stoke Newington!


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