Friday, March 13, 2020

Thoughts from Jávea, Galicia, Spain: 13.3.20

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

 * A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.

Note: I'm indebted to Lenox Napier's Business Over Tapas for some of today's items.

Sigh: The Coronavirus in Spain
Spanish Life  
  • Wild boars are a bloody nuisance in Galicia, and elsewhere in Spain. So, the article below is of interest to those of us living here.
  • Spain is still haunted by spectre of a poverty trap, says the BBC here.
  • Off the Beaten Path in Spain – 8 Destination Ideas for 2020, here. Best done with a good companion, in my experience.
  • Spanish airport workers say they'll be going on strike soon - details here. Of course, this will only work if there are any flights by then. Which currently seem unlikely, as the world is closing down for the duration.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s new European travel restrictions have a convenient side effect: They exempt nations where three Trump-owned golf resorts are located.
  • Something else that won't surprise you . . .  Of America's Christian evangelicals:-
- 61% think Trump is a moral guy.
- 69% think he’s telling the truth
- 64% believe he's 'somewhat religious or very religious'
 - 83% think he's intelligent. [Which permits a conclusion about their own intelligence, of course.]
  • If you can bear to watch it, here's an amusing comparison of Fox 'News' at work.
What a benighted countryman hock to imbeciles.

  • Words of the day:.
  1. Pestañear: To blink   
  2. Esparcir: To spread
As in: 8,000 atléticos desembarcan en Inglaterra, eliminan al Liverpool y además podrían esparcir el Coronavirus en el país. Te lo firmaba Felipe II sin pestañear.

Finally . . . 
  • My late friend's book - In Pursuit of the Perfect Muse - has now been published and can be ordered here, with the ISBN number 978-90-77747-73-5
  • The site is all in Dutch but the publisher has just sent me this advice, for those few of us not versed in the language of those fine people:-
Ordering in English is no problem. This is what you can do.
- Go in www.kabeljauws.be to ‘Boekwinkel’ (book store) - next to button ‘Home’ - click on the title you want to order, scroll down to ‘toevoegen aan winkelwagen (add to cart), click to ‘Naar de kassa’ (to checkout’).
- In the next screen you can see your order. In the black box with ‘Opmerking over de bestelling’ (remarks on your order) you can add extra info.
- When you are ready, click on ‘Volgende stap’ (next step). Fill out the form. ‘Voornaam’ (first name), ‘Achternaam (last name), ’Straatnaam en nummer’ (Street and number), ‘Postcode’ (ZIP or postal code), ‘Woonplaats’ (City), ’Telefoon’ (Phone number), E-mail, ‘Land’ (Country). Choose for country in the drop dwon menu ‘Verenigd Koninkrijk (United Kingdom). Click on ‘Volgende stap’ (next step).  
- You can pay here. I guess that PayPal will be the only possibility.


Feeding the boar? It’s pig ignorant, say wildlife campaigners

Formerly wild animals are trotting into villages in the Forest of Dean looking for a meal

In the 1970s, the animals became fashionable for farmers and in 1999 they returned to the forest after a number escaped from a farm near Ross-on-Wye. Another 60 were dumped near Staunton in 2004 and since then their numbers have multiplied to the extent that about 1,100 now roam the woodland.

Most are secretive, nocturnal and scared of humans but in recent years they have forced one school to cancel its sports day after trampling on playing fields and a dog walker claimed one had bitten the end of his finger off.

Campaigners said the sight of them trotting through villages was becoming more common, with some even approaching back doors and garden gates expecting to be fed.

The Boaring Truth, a group of local volunteers, said some of the animals had lost “fear of humans” and were treating locals as a “source of food”. Scott Passmore, 41, who runs the charity, said most boar would “run a mile” but a “small proportion had been fed by humans and are now tame and have been seen walking up to people looking for food”. He said the group were worried about boar “walking up to a kid who has got a packet of sweets looking for food” and also feared they could encourage poachers. He asked for the villages affected not to be named to protect the animals. “Our worry at the moment is the poachers are going to get wind of it and they are going to be shot by someone after a quick wild boar burger or looking to sell them on,” he said. “We can understand sometimes when tourists come here not knowing and try and feed them thinking they are being helpful but we are also seeing wildlife photographers feeding them with buckets of peanuts trying to get the best photos of them.”

The boar are a boost to local tourism and are also important to the ecology of the forest and many have become protective of the animals. Robin Jones, 29, a professional wildlife photographer, regularly spends hours waiting to capture pictures of the boar and is angry at those feeding the animals. “The boar in question, they are not being fed for enjoyment, they are being fed for the photographs. They are being fed so that people can get super close for amazing photos of the boar. It’s immoral. You need to put actual fieldcraft in to get the shots that you get. It’s not wildlife if it’s not wild.”

Feeding the boar could also put them at risk of African swine fever and Forestry England has increased signage around the woods warning people not to feed the animals as part of a crackdown on the problem. It said feeding the boar was illegal and if disease spread it could be “devastating” for wild boar and livestock populations while giving the animals food encouraged them to return to villages. “Feeding wild boar encourages them to keep coming back and turn over grasslands searching for the food they remember,” a spokeswoman said. “This risks the wild boar becoming too confident and unafraid of people.”

Hogging the limelight

USA:  Squeezing out other wildlife, causing destruction to plants and farms and ocassionally terrorising peole in their gardens, up to six million boar are believed to be roaming across 39 of America’s 50 states.

Spain: In Barcelona, wild boar descend from the countryside into the city during the night. In 2016 police logged 1,187 calls about nuisance boar on the loose, which detailed attacks on dogs and damage to cars.

Hong Kong: Wild boar venture out of the woods into the city and have been seen in residential buildings, shopping malls and the airport. Sightings, and reports of clashes with residents have risen in recent years.

  • Galicia Living is a new property development outfit here in Southern Galicia (As Rías Baixas), owned by a friend of mine. So, if you're looking for a house here, get in touch with them. And, if you're particularly interested in the lovely Miño area down on the border with Portugal, let me know on doncolin@gmail.com and I'll send you my write-up on it.

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