Walking this week around the streets of the Cheshire towns I knew as a youth, it's remarkable how little things have changed architecturally in the last 50 years. A lot more cars parked on the road, of course, and rather more plastic doors and window frames than back then. But, apart from that, virtually nothing at all. In contrast, I doubt that any part of Pontevedra outside the old quarter would be recognisable to anyone who returned after an absence of half a century.
According to one of the numerous myths in which Galicia abounds, Pontevedra was founded by Teucro, who was the half-brother of Ajax and who had taken to wandering around northern Spain at a bit of a loose end after the end of the Trojan Wars. So, it was interesting to see at an exhibition in London's Royal Academy this morning that some Brits used to believe British society was founded by the Phoenicians and then settled by a Trojan called Brutus. Or possibly the other way round. Given the flow of people and peoples over many thousands of years, it is, of course, possible to come up with just about any theory at all. And then to find the facts to prove it. So I guess Galicia is not unique in this regard. Except that a larger percentage of folk here may take this essentially harmless activity a little more seriously than elsewhere.
Incidentally, I was going to use the expression 'the land of Galicia' in the last paragraph. Then I wondered about 'country'. Or 'nation'. Or 'region'. Or just 'place'. But finally I decided to duck the issue. Who can blame me? I've already had one death threat . . .
Back to Britain and my feeling that it's now a creepily regimented place. The UK has 0.2% of the world's population but 20% of the world's CCTV cameras. And I heard an ex Battle of Britain pilot explaining yesterday on the radio that he's not allowed to eat a soft-boiled egg in his residential home as it might be dangerous for him. More likely litigious for them, I suspect.