Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 30.7.20

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 house:’ A Pilgrim in Spain’*

Living La Vida Loca in Spain

  • The Galician government (A Xunta) has announced that, from yesterday, arrivals who've been in countries and Spanish regions on its blacklist in the previous 14 days must declare this on a special form. This is additional to the form-filling you must do for the national government if you arrive by plane - and very possibly train or boat - from anywhere. As of now, I wait to know whether 'visited' covers driving-through-without-stopping - specifically the País Vasco and Belgium.
  • If the Madrid police really want to maximise their mask-related revenue, they should go to Plaza de 2 de Mayo at 7.30 am. Where'll they'll find a motley mixture of beer-swilling young folk and wine-quaffing alkies, none of whom are wearing the things. Unlike all the street cleaners and the dog-walkers.
  • On this subject, things are so different here from the Netherlands (and Finland) that the second I got up from the table in a tapas place last night - to chase my errant grandson - than I was politely asked by a waiter to pull my mask up over my nose. Possibly because he was heading for the counter and the glass case of tapas dishes.
  • And here's Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas on the subject: Some of these new rules seem to have been hatched without much thought. Yes, it's good to wear a face-mask at all times (and not just when you want to confuse the new face-recognition technology), but how far should one be obliged to wear one while enjoying a drink on a terraza? The police can fine you €100 for not observing the rules, apparently, if the glass isn't touching your lips. . .   But possibly not inside.   
  • It's hard to imagine - once Covid is defeated - all the plastic screens being dismantled. After all, it's a sunk cost without much by way of maintenance costs and why run the risk of catching anything from customers? Most particularly the also-possibly-fatal winter flu.
  • I did manage to get a glass of Albariño in an excellent tapas bar last night - Vinitus, on Gran Vía. But not Godello, as I didn't want to drink an entire bottle.
  • It was odd to see paper menus on the table of the place; back in Galicia these are banned and you need to consult them via QR codes pasted on the tables.
  • Here's Day 45 María's Chronicle, where she speaks for most, if not all, of us.    


  • Here and here is more on the lunatic doctor first endorsed by and then disowned by Fart. As is his wont.    
  • And here and here is more amusing stuff on Fart. As María wrote, who could ever have dreamt (nightmared?) that such a dolt would become the POTUS        


  • Three more refranes:-

- Poverty breeds discontent: Donde no hay harina, todo es mohína 

- Servants make the worst masters: No hay peor cuña que la de la misma madera. [??]

- Set a thief to catch a thief: Nada major que un ladrón para atrapar a otro ladrón.


Finally . . . 

  • Lenox Napier: There’s no one like the English for preparing Spanish dishes (we remember Jamie Oliver’s paella with chorizo). Here’s The Guardian’s Felicity Cloake with ‘How to prepare a Spanish omelette’ (although, it does sounds delicious!).   


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


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