Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 21.5.20

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

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

The Bloody Virus 
  • The UK, the USA and - most interestingly - Sweden continue to outpace other 'Top Ten' countries in the deaths-per-million table. Here and here are commentaries on the Swedish situation. The latter ends with the sentiment: Ultimately, herd-immunity may be the only viable defence against the disease, so long as vulnerable groups are protected along the way. Whatever marks Sweden deserves for managing the pandemic, other nations are beginning to see that it is ahead of the curve. Maybe. Nothing is certain right now. 
Life in Spain in the Time of Something Like Cholera
  • I took a friend to get a Covid test last evening, at Pontevedra's Recinto Ferial, or Fairground. She had an appointment for 6.30 and I expected a long wait. But there was no other car in the lanes set up in the car park of the exhibition centre. And, after a couple of minutes of waiting, we were allowed to drive up to the desk inside it. I'm not sure what this tells us about Spain's testing policy/capacity. Maybe it really is quick and easy to get a test, albeit after seeing a doctor who makes the appointment for you.
  • The Olive Press looks here at how faithful Spaniards have been to the much-lauded Mediterranean diet over the last few months. Not very, it seems.
  • If you're still nurturing the dream of a holiday in Spain this summer, your best bet - from June perhaps - seems to be The Balearic and Canary Islands, or somewhere along our long coastline. Definitely not large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. But maybe Galicia's resorts too, which are normally dominated by Spaniards escaping the heat of Madrid and the South which attracts crazy guiris.
Real Life in Spain 
  • This is an informative post on the last days of the Franco dictatorship and the early days of Spanish democracy - from a blogger, Marinero/Sailor, I recently cited. It was this that led me to the wild goose chase I mention below. Though this can't be blamed on Marinero, of course.
  • The books that the Post Office(Correos) refused to keep for me when I went South in early March or to deliver to my neighbour in my absence have finally ended up back in the Netherlands 10 weeks later. I now await their re-delivery
Finally . . .
  • Got a good personal recipe? Then this invitation might interest you. Be warned that the blog author is a professional photographer and demands 'full res' fotos, whatever they are. Possibly no great challenge, in fact.
  • I spent a good half hour this morning trying to put my posts into a blog on the Eye on Spain web page, only to end up with this message, which hasn't exactly inspired me with confidence:-
Doh! Looks Like We Messed Up
Well, this is a little embarrassing.
It seems we've had a little trouble findng[sic] the page you were after.
Fortunately we've got Homer on the case so we should be able to resolve it soon.
If we can't then please let us know and we'll whip Homer into shape and get this problem fixed for you once and for all. I doubt I'll bother to follow this up.

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


Colin Davies said...


Maria said...

I looked at the Eye on Spain, and it doesn't seem to take existing blogs. Rather, it's meant to create and write a blog on THEIR page, accessible only by going through them.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, I know that Maria. was trying for a new one under a different name.

Colin Davies said...

for the same posts though

Eamon said...


Catholics go on a pilgrimage to do penance. In ancient times people would have worn sack cloth and ashes but today there are other ways to do penance. RyanAir is an airline for Catholics who want to go on pilgrimage. Planes will fly one to Lourdes, Fatima or Santiago de Compostela as part of the pilgrimage. But, it is not a luxury flight as one has to do penance. Those who think they will save money and spend it on themselves instead of giving the savings to a worthwhile charity will be reminded of their "me, me" attitude. The quoted fare will be cheap but in the end one will pay double and that is part of one's penance. Mr. O'Leary will even threaten to charge one for the use of the plane's toilet as part of this penance. Luggage is limited as a reminder that one can't take earthly possessions to the afterlife. Fasting is one form of penance among Catholics and RyanAir are experts in reminding Catholics of this duty. To encourage fasting outrageous prices and minute portions are served onboard as penance for those who try to avoid fasting. As a reminder of hell, unruly children are often found on these flights whose job is to keep kicking the back of one's seat for each sin one has committed in the past. Remember man that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return is written into the cabin staff's handbook. Should a passenger request information or assistance this must be quoted to the passenger. One gets dumped off far from one's destination so one has to do more penance to reach the final destination. One doesn't go to Lourdes on holiday. The return journey could even be more horrendous than the outward one but this is all part of doing penance. On return home one will think twice before committing sin again.
Under terms and conditions one does not gain a plenary indulgence by flying RyanAir.

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks, Eamon. Very funny. Especially to a lapsed left-footer.

Don Quijones said...

Hi Colin,

Don Quijones here.

Thanks for sending traffic my way in recent times. Most appreciated.

Was wondering if I could ask another favour of you. I'm doing some research for a possible piece on the potential effects of negative interest rates on pension funds and banks in the UK and I just stumbled across what looks like an interesting Daily Telegraph article titled "City fires warning shot over negative rates." But since I'm not a subscriber I can only read the first four paragraphs of the piece.

Based on the regular appearance of Evans Pritchard articles on your blog, I have a sneaking suspicion that you are a DT subscriber. If so, I was wondering if you could possibly send me the remaining body of the text, either to my email (which you should have) or just by pasting it into a comment on this site.

Cheers and keep up the good work,


Colin Davies said...

Hola, DQ, Delighted to hear from you. I never knew if folk knew I was citing them . . . But I guess it's easy to find out who links to one's pages. Yes, I subscribe to the DT and The Time but (not yet) to the Guardian. Very happy to send this and any other article to you. If you prefer an email, please send me your address to drossbin@gmail.com Or if you prefer me to post the text here, I'll happily do so. "Cheers and keep up the good work. " I reciprocate. Am a big fan of your stuff.

Colin Davies said...

P. S. Don't think I have e your email. Or know how to get it from Blogger. Someone told me today that on Wordpress one knows one's 'subscribers'
I'll check if it's on your site and send the article now.

Don Quijones said...

Just sent you an email, Colin. Cheers. DQ