Monday, August 20, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 20.8.18

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.

Matters Spanish
  • You'd have thought that very high unemployment levels would have prevented this sort of thing. One of those alleged structural deficiencies?
  • Spain, warns the Guardian here, is heading for a toxically porcine future. With consequences for the already high consumption of water in a (mainly) hot and dry country. Not to mention the methane. And the nitrates. Still, the price of jamón might fall . . .
  • A warning about Spanish secret cults.
  • Impressive local initiatives.
The EU
  • The Commission is said to be toying with eliminating summer time. Many millions of citizens have commented on this idea.
  • Truth is not truth, insists Fart's lawyer, doing an excellent impression of Putin. What would you expect?
Social Media
  • How did digital technologies go from being instruments for spreading democracy to tools for undermining it? Or, to put it a different way, how did social media go from empowering free speech to becoming a cornerstone of authoritarian power? More here. And here.
  • If you want proof that social media is a performative space, then ponder this: 9% of UK Instagram users are buying outfits online just to photograph themselves in and then returning them to retailers.
Galicia and Pontevedra
  • August is not just the month when everywhere you turn there's a fiesta and fireworks; it's also the month when the main concern of the local newspapers is reportage on the bloody fiestas. At least in Pontevedra.
  • I do a lot of people-watching in summer, sitting outside my favourite water-hole. One of the regular features of the holiday traffic is a couple in their 40s with a bored looking teenage daughter tagging a metre or two behind. But rarely a teenage son. Wonder where they are? At football camp?
  • Hmm . . Arrests for drug possession in Pontevedra province in 2017 were - at 4,600 - 66% up on 2016.
  • One of those endless local news items . . . Centenarians here in Galicia currently number around 1,750. Within only 12 years, they're forecast to total 3,500. Double, for the non-numerate.
  • And another . . Among the 17 Spanish regions, Galicians complain most about electric companies' services.
  • And another . . . A cyclist is injured every 2 days here in Galicia.
Finally . . .
  • Do sparrows go north for the summer? Or south for the winter? I ask because the 30-40 who nest in my roof seem to have disappeared, leaving all the seed for the – increasingly chubby – collared doves and wood pigeons:-
© [David] Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 20.8.18

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