24 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

It seems there was more racism than just that of a few louts at that game down in Valencia. The Real Madrid coach – Carlo Ancelotti – claimed that: “What we saw today is unacceptable – an entire stadium chanting racist slurs.” La Liga has sought to shift the focus, saying that it felt “powerless”. It blamed the law for failing to give it the tools to address the issue, insisted it had led a “relentless fight” against racism, and vowed to lobby the government for new powers to sanction clubs and fans. Not before time.

I confess to being easily irritated by smoke(rs) when I’m eating or drinking on a terrace. So, I was glad that Covid put an end to this. But it seems I was wrong to rejoice, as the decision on this is now left to the 17 regional governments, 14 of which now re-allow it, if that’s what the owner decides is good for business. This is despite the fact more than 60% of Spaniards agree with me that smoking should be banned on terraces. And on beaches.

The Times today has this article on the steely Madrid Presidenta, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. Who might one day be Spain’s Iron lady.

Here’s Lenox Napier on another irritant, paywalls.

Here in Madrid – daughter permitting – I try to replicate my Pv routine, albeit at much higher prices for copas and claras. As yet, though I’ve failed to find a café/bar which provides newspapers. So, I will go uphill today from this (newish) middle-class barrio of La Peseta to see if I can find one in ‘working class’ Carabanchel Alto.


Un faux pas? A much-trumpeted ban on short domestic flights took effect with so many exemptions that no services will be halted.

Quote of The Day

It seems there are only two modes of billionaire: deathly dull or unstoppably cringe. Rationale here.

The Way of the World

  • There’s a craze for “rewilding” in the UK, it’s said, meaning you allow the grass and weeds to grow, untroubled by man, woman or machine. As someone has said: In our parents’ day this would have been a source of great shame. The writer of that comment described the utter mess in her own garden and confessed: We’re not eco-visionaries or Guardians of the Garden; we’re just a bit lazy.

An entry in the Chelsea ‘Flower’ Show this year . . .

  • Some folk are naturally enraged that, in Wales, a transgender athlete jailed for attempted murder of a race official holds the record for a women’s race


I have several what I refer to as ‘platonic friendships’. With women I mean. When I use this phrase with Spanish friends, they struggle to get their heads round it. For it seems that to them ‘platonic’ demands that both non-shagging friends be madly in love with each other. The RAE dictionary supports them in this. Whereas, as this article shows, Anglos in a platonic relationship don’t need to be be head-over-heels – in any possible meaning of that term . . Forget that. One possible meaning would mean it wasn’t at all platonic . . .


I was confused by the verb Fartar but should have realised – forno/horno and harina/farina – that it would be Hartar in Castellano:-


  • get fed up
  • fully satisfy your hunger
  • cause a person or thing annoyance or disgust, even reaching the limit that they can bear
  • eat and drink until you can no more.

Did you know?

In the UK , Boob tubes are back in fashion! It seems to me that here in Spain they’ve never gone out of it for young women. And it’s impossible not to see that bare midriffs come on the scene even earlier in Madrid than they do up in ‘cold’ Galicia.

Finally . . .

But, if it comes at all, wisdom only comes with experience. Equals age. Otherwise we’d give the vote to bright 4 year-olds. Not just to dumb 18 year-olds.

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. Tebas and La Ligas handling of the Vincius situation beggars belief.
    It wasn’t just Sunday against Valencia where he was the victim of Racism.
    It has happened several times this season. This includes an effigy of Vincius hanging, YES hanging, from a bridge in Madrid.

    Tebas suggested the player inform himself. Maybe Tebas needs a few lessons on the history of slavery, racism, and how the majority of Brazils black population found themselves in South America usually via Portuguese colonists.

    But the real problem is society wide in Spain. Later today Colin, I am going to send you a WhatsApp group message I received last night. It is a diatribe from a radio presenter on why Vincius is the problem. It is shockingly void of any knowledge on racism or history. More shocking, everyone in the WhatsApp group agreed. I will email it to you to do as you please.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s