25 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

Spain’s changing demographics . . . Last year saw the biggest population increase in 14 years – all down to immigration. Residents with Spanish nationality actually fell by 13,000 and for those born in Spain, 101,000. Details here: It doesn’t seem to have caused much of a problem for the natives.

Ahead of next Sunday’s regional and municipal elections, Spanish voters are said here to be facing a ‘strange crisis’ of high employment and rising prices.

Reader David has sent me the article reproduced below – in Google translation – on the Brazilian football player Vinicius. It was penned before the incident last weekend and some might see it as a classic case of victim blaming. And as an assertion that, if you irritate the people who’ve made you rich, you must tolerate whatever they throw at you, even vile racism. David points out that, in the Whatsapp group in which this was posted, all the Spanish members agreed with it. But, of course, I don’t know if this represents the view of the Spanish at large.

Talking of nastiness . . . You’ll all have seen the articles on the vengefully aggressive Orcas down in the Gibraltar straits. This isn’t news up in Galicia, where they’ve been playing with yachts for a few years now. Orcas, says one expert. “Are super smart, and incredibly complex, socially and behaviourally.”. And “They’re well known for developing very particular play or hunting techniques, which are then taught to their fast-learning young”. Smart enough to have a sense of humour. It seems.

Up in Pv city, the issue of most concern to voters is claimed to be car-parking. While the local mayor has been very successful in stopping people using cars in the city, he hasn’t done much – quite the opposite, in fact – for the residents who’ve kept their cars and who – like the summer visitors – would like to have somewhere to park them. And not only for the 15 minute limit the said mayor’s imposed throughout the city. He seems to be in the backfoot right now. Maybe his reign will be brought to an end on Sunday, after 24 years. For being, I guess, too Progressive.

Quote of The Day

We must never forget that the people who would most like us to be stupid are the executives of Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon.


Modern states feel it necessary to have both a carbon reduction strategy and an energy strategy. And they can conflict. This article suggests that the EU is prioritising the former over the latter, with consequences for the poorest in society. They might not be unique in this.

The Way of the World

The new heresy, replacing the one that eventually faded in the West. . . Monty Python are vanquished by a religious diktat, incomparably more impactful than anything they faced from the church of the 1970s . . . That trans is the new religion has become a cliché. But it will rarely be illustrated more vividly than here.


To kvell: To be extraordinarily proud; rejoice. It comes from the Yiddish word kveln, meaning “to be delighted,” which, in turn, comes from the Middle High German word quellen, meaning “to well, gush, or swell.”

Did you know?

EVs are heavier than petrol/diesel vehicles and so do more damage to the roads. So . . . Expect some cunning new taxes to make up for those lost on reduced fuel purchases. They also cause more wear and tear on tyres, it’s said. Releasing dangerous micro-particles into the air.

Finally . . .

Talking of cars and parking, as I was above . . . I’ve said that Madrid is blessed with a great many trees. They run down both sides of the street where my daughter currently lives. Two weeks ago – possibly during the blossoming season – I found my car was covered in a layer of sap. This week it was the turn of deposits from the birds roosting in the tree next to it. Last night, I cleaned the car, again, and moved it to the only place safe from the birds, only to find this morning that I’d parked it under a tall lamppost, apparently used by albatrosses with loose bowels. Not a happy camper..

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.


Article by Jorge Nagore for the newspaper “Noticias de Navarra”

I have been consuming millions of hours of televised sports since approximately 1979-1980, something that, on the other hand, does not distinguish me from many others, logically, equally sick of the thing. So this baggage allows us without any doubt to recognize a ghost and toxic athlete thousands of kilometers away from one who is not. Vinicius is. As were Hugo Sánchez, Buyo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Meneghin, Laimbeer or many others. Fantastic athletes who, despite their quality, had a character that was either lacking or conceited or dangerous or all together. There is no more thinking about it, nor do you have to do a thesis about Vinicius to realize that outside of his youth, ways of being are bustling in that head that he himself will have to manage so as not to end up becoming a banner of baseness and even of the buffa comedy.

The fact that you are a tremendous soccer player, that you play in the media’s favorite team, that you score a lot of goals and give a lot of passes will not prevent you from making the memo that everyone sees it and everyone processes it in the same sense. You have to protect yourself – you and everyone – from kicks and insults, but let’s see who protects the rest of us from your provocations. Because the spectators – on the field and at home – are also part of this and those of us who make you millionaires with our tickets, shirts and contracts with companies to watch your matches. You also have a responsibility to the people who are in the stands and at home, so less launching conspiracy theories and more assuming that one cannot go through life at 200 beats per second confronting referees and rivals in almost every march. Neither racism nor bagpipes*. In Madrid there are 8 blacks. There have been about 200 – to put** – for years. Only he has problems. It’s all very obvious and, as I say, he doesn’t need brains. Get up, it’s time.”

* Racism, my arse/ass.

** At a guess?


  1. You can be conceited, a braggart, and a rich, talented idiot. Nothing has to do with the color of your skin. If they had taunted Vinicius for those other reasons, that’s one thing. Another is to compare him to a monkey, and then to hang his dark effigy from a bridge. (Actually, hanging anybody’s effigy, no matter the color, can be considered more than a threat against that person.) His color has nothing to do with his lack of character, if that is the case. Unfortunately, Spaniards can be very racist, while welcoming outsiders with open arms. We’re a contradictory lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes, it’s delightful to go off topic. I watched this video with such pleasure that I felt the need to share it with the curmudgeonly one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1XMfypkZGo

    Suzie is Suzie Pilkington. She owns the Ferrari California Spyder. Her father Stephen painstakingly copied the body of his original Ferrari LWB California Spyder in the 1990s – the car was originally a Pininfarina Coupe but he rebodied it as a California Spyder – the chassis and running gear are matching numbers – just the body is new. https://www.carandclassic.com/magazine/the-pilkington-parts-collection/


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