Thursday, January 09, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 9.1.20

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
The Spanish Politics Economy
  • Here's how Spain did as regards top-line/macro 
  • GDP growth last year, compared with the other Euro zone members:.

I see the Celtic Tiger is still steaming away. In contrast . . . Germany and Italy. 

The UK number was above the EU average, at 1.4%. But was probably inflated by stocking up/'panic buying'.

Spanish Politics
  • We might have a government but Spain remains as fissiparous as ever. It'd be good if a de jure  federal state could replace the current de facto one. This would be  a major constitutional change, of course, needing cross-party agreement. So, not much chance, then. The Far Right and Far Left have taken to walking out of the parliament when the other speaks . . . Which is not exactly encouraging.
Spanish Life
  • There are some rather bizarre - faith oriented - Spanish forenames. Especially for women. I've listed some over the years and even, I think, invented - Purgatoria. Inspired by Penitencia. Which I might also have made up. But yesterday I came across Generosa, which was new to me. And Possibly more common in S America. At least these days.
  • Here's Rebekah Scott - in her book A Furnace Full of God  - describing Spain in brief: A European country with functional socialism and a spectacular cultural and architectural heritage. And a question: What's not to like? Err . . . a few small things, I guess.
  • And here's a chart showing what percentage fixed costs are of the total electricity bills here. Now even more than only a few years ago. I've been saying for years how wrong this is, for one thing because it penalises low usage houses such as mine:-

Galician Life
  • Here in the second poorest region in Spain after Extremadura, there are 23 houses for sale at more than €2m. Possibly all in Villagarcia, the urban centre of drug smuggling.
  • Galicia's economy is not doing as well as that of the country as a whole, One major reason is that the important shipbuilding industry - based in Vigo - is going the same way as that of Clydeside in Glasgow. But at least the Citroen-Peugeot car factory seems safe from reductions/closure. Plus there's now a camino that goes through the city . . . Doubtless authentic, stretching back to the time before Vigo was just a fishing village in a beautiful bay.
  • Here's a series of fotos of a Pontevedra Carnaval parade a long time ago. I'm not clear where the last 3 were taken. But I suspect the first 2 of these are taken from in front of the Peregrina church, looking back down Rúa Michelena. With the procession having come from the basilica of Santa María. As it still does:-

I can't tell if this is a foto or a sketch but I suspect the latter. It looks like the Peregrina church but the building next to it doesn't appear on old fotos and isn't there today:-

The USA and Iran
  • Just in case you're unaware of the stupendous Persian treasures being threatened by Ffart, here's most of them. I've been lucky to see most of them. Indeed, I walked around Persepolis very early one sunny morning, when there was only the ruins and me.  No Visitors' Centre or lights, etc. Can't be done now. A magical experience. But my favourite is the Sheik Lutfollah mosque in the Meidan (main square) of Esfahan. Unforgettably beautiful. If Ffart destroys it, I might well carry out the assassination I've predicted myself . . .
  • Word of the Day: Mono. Usually 'monkey' but also the equivalent of 'cold turkey'. As the Royal Academy puts it:- Sindrome de abstinencia. (Conjunto de trastornos provocado por la reducción o suspensión brusca de la dosis habitual de una sustancia de la que se tiene dependencia.
Finally . . . 
  • I also came across the (female) name Idilko yesterday. But this turned out of be of Hungarian origin. From the German Lida or Hilda('warrior') and the Medieval Latin Lidico.


Eamon said...

Interesting to see men using a parasol in the second picture.

Perry said...

It's instructive to compare economies, although the Wiki article showing the UK Average Gross Salary as weekly wages is an invitation to dust off the old logarithm tables . Should be $3,241 for comparison, but I know a bricklayer here who earns a monthly gross salary of $6,812. People in the UK prefer to add extensions rather than move. Long may they do so.