Sunday, July 05, 2009

For essentially history-related reasons, the Spanish have long been the most anti-American nation in Europe. So it’s a shame not many of them will ever read this article, which destroys the myth that social/welfare services in the USA are inferior to those in Europe. Turns out that, in several cases, there’s more on offer there than there is here in (socialist) Spain. Who’d have thought it? By the way, Prospect is a left-of-centre magazine.

As in most Spanish cities, Pontevedra’s train and bus stations are on its outskirts, within a few yards of each other. Meaning a stiff walk or a taxi ride, if you want to get to or from the centre. But at least the former gives you a chance to clock the wide range of shops now boarded up en route – not to mention the ground-floor premises not yet bought or rented out in the massive blocks of new flats near the stations. Grocers, wine bars, estate agents, furniture stores and several others. But no mobile phone shops or hairdressers as yet. I guess things will have to get a lot worse for these to start shutting, despite their large numbers. And my impression is there are more kebab houses and health-food shops than ever. Unlikely as this seems.

It’s reported in the local press that Galician students of English score better than those in most other Spanish regions. Given how badly it’s spoken here, I have to assume this is in respect of mastery of the finer points of English grammar.

Which reminds me . . . I went back yesterday to the restaurant which – among other bloomers – gave ‘Prat in Garlic' for Gambas en ajillo. I checked out the printing of the translation I’d given them. And found it to be perfect. Except for the one Spanish word on it. Pimientos de Padrón was given as 'Peppers from Pardon'. As so often in life, you couldn’t make it up.

Finally . . . I have a registered letter from the Xunta to collect from the Post Office tomorrow morning. Will this be yet another speeding fine? Or the half-expected demand for more transfer tax on a speciously high transaction price for the house in the hills I bought a year ago? Or will it be just a notification that the undergrowth is going to be cleared from the land near our community? I fear one of the former but will know soon enough.


mike the trike said...

Peppers from Pardon is probably just a transposition which is a common fault in typing. However, Colin, your General Homobod from Saturday's blog has been driving me crazy all day. I've been checking out every person who participated in the Queen Anne wars and I only have another 4,302 people to go.

Colin said...

I agree Mike but they forgot the accent as welll . .

Good luck with Homobod. I appreciate
your sterling efforts!

Ferrolano said...

Colin, persistence pays off. Digging around on the internet, I have found that your marauder was one Brigadier Homobod, who on the 10th October 1719 under Vice Admiral Micheles entered the Bay of Vigo and Homobod with two regiments entered Vigo and following the flight of the defense from the city to castle of Castro, which in turn was taken by him on 21st October. Later, with 2500 men, Homobod headed to Pontevedra where finding no defense were very soon owners of the town.

The next search has to be for Vice Admiral Micheles.

I found the information in two places or books, both digitized by Google. The first, Cronica General de España – Pontevedra, published in 1867 and the second, Historia de Pontevedra – O Sea la Antigua Helenes, published in 1846. In the first book, the reference is on page 76 and on page 155 of the second. In both cases, they are the original page numbers.

Colin said...

Gentlemen, I have followed up these fine efforts just now and, in the records of the British army, have found several paragraphs on the 1719 raid. It took place under Cobham, started at Vigo and then moved to Pont-a-Vedra. Where allegedly "13 companies in the Spanish garrison fled in panic." The expedition to Pontevedra was led by a General Wade and there is mention of a General Honeywood at Vigo. Could this be the mysterious General Homobod, transmuted over time?

See here . . .

Pericles said...


I would be grateful is you could secure a recipe for Gambas en ajillo. Back in the '60s I was enroute to the Med and passed via Toledo where I first partook of such delicacies. We were so enamoured of them that we ate all they had in the bar that night. I have tried to replicate the flavour, but as yet, I've not been successful.



Pericles said...

Some information of a Brigadier Sir Philip Honeywell.

In 1719 Vigo was captured by the British under Viscount Cobham. (Vice Admiral Micheles?)

magnolia said...

Dear Boys,

Vice Admiral Micheles = Vice Admiral James Mighells.

magnolia said...

Go to and find the book "Battles of the British Navy Vol 1", Joseph Allen. James Mighells is mentioned on page 108 year 1704 on the ship The Monk (60 guns, if you´re interested) and again on page 135, year 1719 where Cobham and Mighells ´surprised´ Vigo.

No Homobod though.

This is fun.