15 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

I don’t follow Spanish national or regional elections much. For one thing, as a foreign resident, I don’t have the vote. My impression is that, with some regional elections imminent, the right-of-centre parties prefer to talk more about Basque terrorism and/or Catalan plans to break up Spain than anything else. Frightening the voters must be easier than inspiring them, I guess.

The current (left-wing coalition) government has come up with what they must believe will swing things in their favour – cheap cinema tickets for the (increasing number of) over-65s. Smacks of desperation to me.

At least up in the North East – where, ironically, it’s currently raining hard – water restrictions have been announced. Folk won’t be allowed to re-fill their swimming pools. I assume drones will be used to identify miscreants.

A well-dressed family came into the bar in which I was taking a midday tiffin the other day. I assumed they’d attended a wedding. But then wondered – because some were dressed in black – if it’d had been a funeral. The fact that the female teenagers were dressed to kill didn’t, in Spain, militate against the latter. It was only when a young girl dressed in white came in that I realised it’d been a First Communion. To be frank, it was saddening to see that both she and her sister were already quite overweight.

Apart for an excellent metro system, Madrid also boasts a very good bus system. But there’s bad news as well as good news about the latter:-

  • The good news: The price of 10 trips for your card has fallen from €12 to only €6 now. Subsidised, of course.
  • The bad news: Although you can see the stops for the relevant bus line on the net, these don’t always correspond with those shown on the screen on the bus or announced on the PA system. Which can confuse a visitor. So, it was that yesterday my stop of Paseo de Sta María de La Cabeza turned out to be El Puente do Los Capuchinos. Plus, on the longer lines, many of the stops don’t feature in the diagram on the net. Which can be worrying . . .

Some contenadores near my daughter`s flat:-

I assume that a neighbour couldn’t decide whether their old mattress was paper or glass. Nice of them to tie it up, though.


That song contest in Liverpool . . . It’s always been called The Eurovision Song Contest but this is an archaic name, harking back to an era when entrants stood still and gave us songs that were at least semi-melodic. It surely should be replaced by The Eurovision [Histrionic?] Performance Contest. One UK columnist, with tongue firmly lodged in a cheek, avers that the event showed why it was right for the UK to leave the EU, as the contest was now given over to the music that is largely identical and mechanical – the narcotic dross of clubland. Last words on it go to the (very disappointed) Spanish contestant, Blanca Paloma: Quizás es un concurso que tiene otros factores, que se nos escapan. Hubo muchas cosas que no tenian que ver conmigo o con la canción.  You can say that again. Especially if you’re British. Albeit in English.


Cor bimey! Affecting a British accent has become a ‘verbal tic’ for the young in the US. Worse . . .  Gen Z has embraced bad imitations of Cockney slang or a Yorkshire dialect. More here.

The Way of the World

According to this columnist, both Trump and Putin will pay a price for their lies. I wish I could be that confident.

Finally . . .

My daughter has what she thinks is a perfect cleaner – someone who just loves to clean. Based on my not being able to find several (moved) things after her visit last Friday, I suggested she might be OCD. ‘Fine with me’, said my daughter. I’m not sure I could live with it. I have enough problems with the clumsiness of mine back in Poio.

Thank-god for people who do things like this . . .

Welcome to new subscriber, Jen. Who’s taken email subscribers up to the total of 101. Really only 100, as one of them is actually me. I like to get the email so that I’m stimulated to check whether there are typos in the published draft. Anyone who writes knows that it’s hard to see these at the end of a drafting session. As your brain sees what it wants to see, not what’s on the screen.

En passant, from the stats WordPress gives me, my impression is that a good percentage of email-subscribers receive my posts for reasons unconnected with reading them.

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.

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