Saturday, March 18, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 18.3.17

A character in the UK comedy series Benidorm this week uttered the line: It's not my fault if the Spanish have a fiesta every time the mayor farts. I was reminded of this yesterday when I walked past a large beer tent in Plaza de España erected in honour of St. bloody Patrick. Patricio in Spanish, by the way. I would have said 'marquee' for tent but this would have confused US readers, for whom this means an advertising hoarding, not a tent.

British readers will know that my city of Liverpool is the butt of many jokes, even from Scouse comedians. I mention this because some poor chap has just been sentenced to jail in Barcelona for committing – wait for it – Catalanophobia. Click here for details of this insane example of where nationalism and an obsession with racism can take you. We are now, it seems, expected to see Catalans as a different race from the rest of us. And a very sensitive one, obviously. I suspect it won't be long before the Scottish Nationalists strike a similar attitude. Well, the nuttier ones anyway.

Not a lot of readers will know that Christopher Columbus was not only Spanish but was actually born right here in Poio, a stone's throw from my house. Where there's now a museum in what is said to be his birthplace. Well, in the modern extension of it. One supporter of this theory will be giving a paper at an upcoming congress The International History of Paper In the Iberian Peninsula[!] to be held in Santa Maria de Feira in Portugal. So confident are the upholders of the theory that they're insisting 2017 will be 'the year of the Spanish Columbus'. Vamos a ver.

It's good to know that – by hook and by crook – all our local authorities are now taking more in taxes than they did before the crisis of 2008. A good example of a spur to creativity, assisted by a total lack of principles.

Returning to the theme of electricity prices . . . I've now applied for a discount of 25% on my electricity bills and wait to see which of the several documents I've had to supply is inadequate. I suspect the copy of my empadronamiento certificate, dated 2010. Meanwhile, I can advise that a recent circular from Gas Natural Fenosa offered me 2 options which they said would benefit me, while somehow failing to mention the one I'm now applying for. To be fair, I see it is cited in small print on the last page of their (totally incomprehensible) bills.

Finally . . . My Dutch friend – yes, I stoop that low – agrees with that old buffoon, Alfie Mittington, that's it's all my fault that people bump into me and that it's never happened to him. Maybe this is because, whereas I walk 40-50 minutes every day on the streets of both new and old Pontevedra, he - shall we just say - doesn't. Anyway, yesterday I noted these stats when walking across the bridge into and out of Pontevedra:-
This were the actions of the 8 people coming the other way:-
Started to take evasive action 3 or more metres before meeting – 3
Started to take evasive action 1 metre from me – 1
Took no evasive action at all – 4 (50%)
To be fair, one of the last 4 - like me - did do the traditional shoulder dip and pas-de-deux as we met and brushed against each other. But the other 3 – for whatever reason – would had walked straight into me, if I hadn't moved abruptly sidewards.
Only 2 meetings.-
Started to take evasive action 3 or more metres before meeting – 1
Took no evasive action at all – 1 (50%)
Seems pretty conclusive to me. But I'm sure both my Dutch friend and Alfie Mittington will find fault with the research – which I will repeat today – and continue to insist they're right. I'm beginning to suspect Alfie Mittington has some Dutch blood. They are a stubborn people, in my – admittedly limited – experience of them. Final note on this . . . My impression is that women are more likely to take evasive action than men. Perhaps not surprisingly.

I'm thinking of putting my theory to the ultimate test next week – by walking the bridge with a white stick.

Today's cartoon:-



Eamon said...

"empadronamiento certificate" is only valid for three months the last time I got one.

Sierra said...

Tried the GNF website and the "bonosocial" reference noted on the bill - "Page doesn't exist"

Colin Davies said...

I know. But keep looking . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Personally, I cannot help but applaud the Catalanophobia sentence that the Barcelona judges in their profound wisdom have delivered.

Likewise, I think it should be a crime punishable by law - a huge fine, or better still a lengthy prison sentence - to shed doubts on the nationality of an upright citizen, such as - for instance - suggesting in public that an honest Anglo-French native has any Dutch roots or otherwise alien blood in his DNA.

There are, after all, limits to what one is allowed to do to his fellow citizens in a state of law!


Colin Davies said...

My apologies, Alfie. I now realise how upset you must have been to be accused of having and degree of Dutch blood.

Eamon said...

to see the tariffs go to

if you want a form for bono social pensioners go to

if you want a form for under 3kw go to

Sierra said...

Thanks, Eamon

Perry said...

Dear Mr. Bridgewalker,

It has come to my notice that you are confusing the locals by the mysterious manner in which you comport yourself. Striding manfully with arms swinging diagonally widens your frontal area & put the fear of Christ into anyone approaching you. Oh, & carry a walking stick.. They'll do anything to avoid you.

The Poio Boyo who crossed to the Caribbean was probably using Portuguese or Chinese maps. The Portuguese fished the Grand Banks in the 15th century.

The Chinese admiral Zheng He led ships all aroung the Pacific & Indian oceans.

Colin Davies said...

Actually, I take a walking cane and hold it horizontally, to force the effing cylists on the pavement to stop and let me go past.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, he was using Portuguese maps - he spoke Portuguese from his time in Lisboa. But the claim is that he named everywhere he 'discovered' after places near Pontevedra here in Galicia. "Too much of a coincidence".And that his map notes were in Gallego. Or, some say, in Portuguese.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Yeah… Like 'Hispañola', the first island he found and named…


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