Friday, August 10, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 10.8.18

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here. Garish but informative.

Life in Spain
  • Here's The Local again, this time on 'incredible swimming spots' around the country.
  • Every private teacher of English in Spain knows that those pupils who are totally reliable are very few and far between. As part of the favour-bank system, I'm occasionally called on to give (free) conversation sessions to my neighbours' kids. Ahead of a visit to the UK, one such is supposed to come at 6pm every night but rarely turns up and, if he does, it's as likely to be 8 or 9 as 6. If it were a source of income, it'd be very unreliable one. And I'd be very annoyed. But resigned to a fact of Spanish life.
  • Richard North pronounces thus on the development cited yesterday – labelled 'the Jersey option':- There is nothing at all to suggest, much less substantiate, a claim that Mrs May intends to propose adopting this option, and nothing at all to indicate that the EU-27 would be prepared to do anything more than listen. We are, dear readers, looking at a silly season filler, invented by its own creative authors. . . With no other source than 'The Times', coprophagia is rampant as multiple other newspapers recycle the story. But there is one paper that most definitely is not indulging in the feast. This is the 'Guardian', offering an editorial that sternly advises us that it is "time to make real choices". There are only three outcomes now, it says: "No deal is one of them. A Norway-type compromise is the second. And the reversal of Brexit is the third". Seems about right. So, back where we were. Nowhere. Or in No Man's Land, at the very least.
Galicia and Pontevedra
  • The most popular kids' names in Galicia these days are Hugo and Sara. But, looking back over several decades, the clear winners are Manuel and Maria/Maria Carmen. No huge surprises there.
  • Here's news of one of the most famous/notorious Gallegos – the elderly CharlĂ­n. And his many bastard mates.
  • Drivers in Pontevedra are reported to be up in arms about things being done in the approaches to a roundabout I negotiate 4 times every day – arrows, chevrons and bollards in profusion. 'Totally unnecessary' seems to be the consensus. And 'possibly dangerous'. The major result is that all the traffic is reduced to one lane as it approaches the roundabout. I can't see the purpose of it all either, but IGIMSTS.
  • This is one of the viaducts being built up in our mountains for the AVE high-speed train. All of which will be finished and in operation, it's said, by 'end 2019'. Maybe. This viaduct is near one of the many places called Portela in the region.
  • This week there are presentations in Pontevedra and Vigo of a limited edition of Columbus's Declaring of the Discovery of the New World. Needless to say, some folk are using the events to repeat the claim that he was a son of my barrio, Poio, on the other side of the river from Pontevedra. 
  • Bloody 'ell. As if the killer Asian hornet(vespa velutina) wasn't enough, apparently we're now being invaded by the Asian mosquito(aedes japonicus), which has come westwards from neighbouring Asturias. AGW??
  • The hornet, by the way, has already killed 5 people this year and 'seriously injured' another 2. Usually unfortunate people working in their fields who unwittingly disturb a nest.
  • It turns out that there are camera blind-spots around Santiago cathedral, meaning they have no evidence of who painted the Kiss face on the facade of the main entrance the other night.
  • Taking a coffee yesterday morning, I was asked by the guy next to me to give him the time. He then pulled out of his pocket something a miniature astrolobe and asked me for the date, a number and my name. Concluding he was aiming to tell me my fortune, I buried myself in the newspaper and ignored his mutterings. I couldn't tell whether he was a nutter or a conman but was pleased when, rejected, he got up and left. Possibly in high dudgeon.
Finally . . .
  • I checked out Mitcheldean. Doesn't sound like an exciting place, TBH. but it's good to know that: There are several shops in the centre of the town.
© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 10.8.18

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