Monday, October 10, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 10.10.16

SPANISH SOCIETY

Lawyers: These fine folk have a much lower status here in Spain than in Anglo countries. As elsewhere in Europe, notaries rule the roost in Spain. So much so that Spaniards are utterly incredulous that they're unknown in the UK, for example. It's relatively easy to do a law degree here and so there's a lot of – not very well-off – lawyers. But it's not a litigious society. Perhaps because the wheels of justice turn so slowly here. Back in the UK, an increasingly litigious society, there are now almost 10 times more lawyers – both barristers and lawyers – than when I started to study it. Chicken or egg?

Beaches: Here's The Local's list of their 10 most beautiful beach towns in Spain. Several are here in Galicia but no. 6 is not really the island of La Toja/Toxa. It's the beach of La/A Lalanzada.

An Old Wives' Tale?: On the way out of my garden, I mentioned to my neighbour, the lovely Ester, that I was fighting a cold. Then keep your head out of the sun, she advised. This was new to me, even though I've lived in 2 countries much hotter than Spain. So, does it make sense or is it just a myth? I suspect it's the latter.

THE EU

President Juncker: The EU president has decreed that EU officials must not engage in Brexit discussions until the British government has triggered Article 50. A group of British expats has taken exception to this and has initiated legal action against the European Commission and its president, on the grounds that it maximises uncertainty over the lives of the million-plus Brits living in Europe. Good luck to them.

GALICIAN STUFF

Superfluity?: It seems our 3 airports isn't the only example of excess. We have more Counsellors/Ministers in our regional government - 9 of them – than all but 2 of the 16 other regions. One wonders why, when our population is only around 3 million.

Tui: This is Spain's border town, opposite Valença on the other side of the Miño river which forms the frontier with Portugal. It has a charming old quarter and that's where I spent last night, in a delightful boutique hotel, recently converted from a 300 year old mansion. This is A Torre do Xudeo, or The Tower of the Jew, owned and run by the delightful Nieves. It's right on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela and is an excellent alternative for the more well-heeled pilgrims eschewing the albergues and pensiones of the town.

LOCAL STUFF

Tourism: September was another record for Pontevedra. Sad to say.

O Vao: I mentioned this quarter the other day, as being the site of 2 permanent gypsy settlements. Well, really one cut by a road. For the last 30 years – yes, 30 years – the local council has been trying to demolish the illegal shacks and to erect social housing in their place. This has finally been well and truly kiboshed by the regional government, apparently on the grounds that this would create a ghetto. I guess this makes sense to someone in Santiago de Compostela. If not to those of us who live near the settlement(s).

FINALLY

Lamb in Monçao: Well, no, if I weren't en route to Braga, I wouldn't recommend a trip just to sample this. I got there rather early so sat down on a café terrace for a wine and a re-read of Robinson Crusoe. I then spent 20 minutes or so on a slow internet connection trying to identify which restaurants served the speciality and how to get to them. I then noticed this sign - about the restaurant below the café - located about 20cm from my right leg . . . .


So, I waited an hour or so until it opened at 7.15, only to find out it didn't serve one-person half-portions. So, I went elsewhere. In favour of the meal I eventually had, it was cheap by Spanish standards.

THE GALLERY

More examples of Finnish/British nightmares:-


3 comments:

Maria said...

Keeping your head out of the sun is a myth based on fact. Extreme temperature fluctuations, such as cold mornings followed by overly-warm afternoons, can get your defenses down and make colds appear. That's why, when it's unseasonably warm in fall and spring, the sun is called a "sick" sun and people are warned by elderly ladies to stay out of it. My mother-in-law says of this weather that the sun is "enfermizo."

paideleo said...

Hai un refrán galego que di: " Nos meses con " erre " non toman o sol nin homes nin mulleres ". Quere dicir que maio, xuño, xullo e agosto son os meses que o sol non fai dano.

Perry said...

Colin,

Are lamb shanks an inexpensive cut in Galicia? On Sunday evening I roasted a chicken for the family, encrusted with pepper & braised three lamb shanks withe red wine, garlic & copious amounts of rosemary, until the meat had fallen off the bones.

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/6090/lamb-shanks-braised-in-red-wine--thyme-and-rosemary.aspx

We had the lamb this evening, melt in the mouth scrumptious! Cook & freeze.

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