12 May 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

HT to Lenox Napier of Business over Tapas for these tit-bits:-

  • The anti-corruption prosecutor’s office has information on 4 ‘elite’ football referees who’ve mysteriously made themselves a fortune along the way. Their assets are said to include properties bought with cash.
  • Spain is said to lose some 20% of all its piped water due to spillage and leakage.
  • After the 2-month strike by lawyers, Spain’s judges will shortly strike – open-endedly – in pursuit of salaries which are said to be above those of several of their European colleagues.

Being alone in my daughter’s Madrid flat, I decided to renew my acquaintance with Spanish TV,* to find that things don’t seem to have improved. And that there appear to be even more ads than ever. Which I wouldn’t have thought possible. Anyway, it gave me the news that very cold weather is heading south today, primarily in the north and down the east coast, where storms are expected. Amazingly, the temperature today will be higher in Pv city than in Madrid – 21 v 19.

* Once memorably described as ‘radio with pictures’. A reflection, I guess, of the Spanish love of simply chatting/arguing. Tellingly, un discutio is not a ‘discussion’ but an ‘argument’.

I also learnt that today is the first of the 14-day official campaigns for the ‘28-M’ regional elections campaigns, – meaning we had to see the obligatory scenes of party supporters racing out at one second past midnight last night to find the best place to stick the posters that’ll never be taken down.

Madrid has a huge number of trees, But this is an article on the accusation that the Madrid government is impairing the capital’s ability to cope with record high temperatures by felling trees and neglecting the kind of urban greenery that helps other global cities stay cool. Ahead of local elections, left-wing politicians are painting Madrid’s ruling PP conservatives as climate change deniers whose policies are endangering the city’s future. According to data, the number of mature trees in Madrid has dropped by more than 78,000 to 322,000 since the PP mayor began his term in 2019.

My friend Richard in Ferrol has sent me this video on the Casco Histórico of Franco’s birthplace. I suggest turning off the music and reading the (English)subtitles:-

I’ve discovered many more videos by Sr Blond, some in Gallego but most in Castellano. This is Pv city’s video and I’ve listed below those of other Galician cities. My advice re turning off the music applies to all of them.


It’s said by some that Donald Trump isn’t a narcissist but a solipsist. Narcissists need to be loved, while the solipsists don’t, seeing everything in terms of their own self-interest. See this article headed The Solipistic Reality of President Trump.

Notwithstanding that . . . This writer insists that: Trump leads in America’s race to the bottom. If the ex-president was facing even a half-competent rival, his moral toxicity would have ended his career long ago . . . The problem is that even as the evidence about Trump’s despicable character has become clearer, the alternatives get worse too. America is in a presidential race to the bottom that seems to be operating on the trajectory and at the speed of gravity.


Not much of a surprise . . . The UK’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau says that Net zero ‘retrofit costs’ will be unmanageable for most homeowners and that without the right [government/taxpayer] support and incentives, people will struggle to make upgrades to their homes.

Did you know?

When it comes to bad taste, even Eurovision fans have their limits, it says here. Some nice quotes:-

  • 16-year-old Victor Vernicos from Greece sang like he’d overheard the local kids on an exchange trip to London, written it all down without understanding a word, and used it to represent his country
  • Australia’s Voyager made up for not coming from Europe by offering the most Euro-trashy song ever – a bizarre blend of hair metal, shiny pop and something else altogether.

Finally . . .

I went for a Thai lunch in the centre of Madrid yesterday. En route back to the bus stop, I decided to pop into Primark on Gran Via for another cheap shirt. It was ‘rammed’, with about 10,000 people who seemed – judging by the various accents – to be folk from all of Spain’s ex colonies. Do people go on holiday just to go shopping? Anyway, at Cibeles I decided to visit the exhibition of Indian paintings there. Where there were approximately 9, 998 folk fewer than in Primark. And where I left my shirt bag at the security station. Which possibly gave them something to think about.

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.


One comment

  1. One stressed out rather violent pilgrim gave a pensión employee a huge smack around the head yesterday.

    Our street waterpipe was miraculously fixed this morning after several months. Don’t you just love local elections. Still, Mr mini-cacique and Che Guevaras number 1 fan, will not be getting my vote.


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