Sunday, January 05, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 5.1.10

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
Spanish Politics
  • I'm possibly not the only person in Spain  confused about what's happening in respect of the several 'criminal' Catalan politicians but here's a very recent development, for interested readers to digest.
The Spanish Economy 
  • Here, for what they're worth, are the Bank of Spain forecasts.
  • With unemployment still very high, at around 14%, it's disappointing to read of the lowest increase for several years in the numbers in employment. 
Spanish Life
  • I've tasted pastries/sweets like this one around the country, and down in Portugal too. Where I was once told that yoke(yema)-based things stem from the excess number of eggs produced by convent hens.
  • Talking about setting up a refuge (my word) for passing camino 'pilgrims', Rebekah Scott - in her book A Furnace Full of God - writes this about the challenge: Spain is chaotic and corrupt, burdened with a bureaucracy that punishes small businesses and innovators. Almost every non-Spaniard I know who's tried to make a life on the camino does not stay longer than 5 years or so. I suspect that Dutchman Vincent Werner would readily agree with her.
Galician Life
  • Talking of Spanish things I've tasted over the years . . . I've made it pretty clear that I'm not a fan of percebes, or goose(neck) barnacles. If you don't know what they are, this will be informative and possibly interesting.
  • It's the lamprey(lamprea) season. This ugly fish is another delicacy I'd happily go without during a very long life, having finally tasted it last year. This year there's said to be an abundance of them in the river MiƱo, which has brought the price tumbling down from €150 to 'only 80'. Not that this makes any difference to me.
  • Talking of fish . . .  The number of stalls in our wonderful fish and seafood market is steadily falling, as young folk seek easier and more profitable things to do with their time. Drug smuggling, for example.
  • Also profitable is stealing trained eagles. These go for c. €12,000 each, according to a report of a local theft last week.
  • This is a foto or sketch, of many decades ago, from my barrio of Poio. There's a road bridge visible from this point nowadays but the one in the picture is, I believe, the old railway bridge:-

It's impossible to take a foto from anything like the same spot today but here's a valiant attempt:-


Am I being fanciful to suggest that it's still possible to see the large white house of the original print?

And here's a foto taken from said A Barca road bridge, showing one of the stanchions of a more recent railway bridge, long abandoned to the elements:-


Spanish
  • Words of the Day:-
1. Tutela: Guardianship
2. Despejar: To clear, clear out, eliminate

English
  • As I was complaining about recently . . .  Jurgen Klopp: If I would have a party, would I invite Ancelotti?"  NOOOOOO.  If, I had a party, would I  . . . . ?
Finally . . .
  • Frigging American-based automatic corrections. . . . If I type 'white house', it changes it - as it just did yet again - to 'White House'. Cultural imperialism at its most annoying. [And no, I can't change it to British English.] 
  • And percebes became perceives.  Thrice before it stopped doing it!

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