Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quote: The fact that Kosovo's fight for independence from Serbia was born in violence is a cause for unease, particularly in countries with separatist problems, such as Spain. Well, yes. And never more so than right now, after ETA’s ending of its latest ‘permanent ceasefire’. On this, the leader of the opposition here has continued his progress towards the statesmanship required by stressing now is not the time for reproaches. Nor for questioning the President’s credibility. A bi-partisan approach looks closer than many feared even a few days ago. The first challenge appears to be agreement on how to handle the latest ETA version of Sinn Fein [the ANV], which won quite a few seats in the recent municipal elections.

It’s getting close to round-up time for the wild horses of the Galician mountains. Sadly, the first signs are emerging of birth deformities associated with last August’s awful fires. These defects are attributed to the inhalation of smoke and the eating of ashes. Let’s hope the various measure being taken to prevent a repetition this year prove successful, whatever the causes. Which are much disputed here.

On Sunday, Pontevedra FC played a crucial match against Cordoba FC to decide who would continue in the play-offs for promotion into the big time. By midday, the visiting fans had taken over the centre of the old quarter and we soon found ourselves sitting next to the nosiest group to make the trip. With their nearest competitors on our other side. But, as ever in Spain, it was all good-natured fun and we were amused to see the Cordoban banners featured the legend Nunca caminarás solo [You’ll never walk alone]. Naturally, we felt obliged to point out this had been lifted from Liverpool. But, as we’re all Everton supporters, the truth is we couldn’t have cared less.

Threading my way though the throng, I was reminded that, in Spain, one never senses the fear associated with negotiating crowds of young men in the UK. Simply put, boozing rarely leads to aggression here, merely to even more of the give-and-take for which Spain is renowned. By the way, Pontevedra didn’t go through, having thrown away a two-goal lead. And despite seeing four of the Cordoba team sent off. But I’ve read no reports of the sort of post-match, vengeful violence which would be virtually inevitable in the UK.

Topical Spanish humour: A cartoon by El Roto in yesterday’s El Pais showed a young woman saying wistfully, “I was thinking of having kids but, when I started to pay my mortgage, my periods stopped”.

Oh dear. What am I to do now? Following my reference to gallo and Cuntis, I received the following [computer-generated?] message:- “I'd like to know more about the word Gallo. Anything new will be added to our website; www.galloworldfamily.org. We are always on the search for facts, legends and lore, of the Gallo word. In my case, surname”. Well, I’m not so sure. For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, the longer version of the English equivalent is ‘cockerel’. Assuming this citation is picked up by a bot or spider, I wonder if this really will appear on the above web site.

Finally, a plug for Matthew Bennett and The Big Chorizo. Matthew is the only person to include my blog in his [sorry] Faves on Technorati’s revised, search-oriented web site. Thanks, Matt. Perhaps he's just the vanguard . . .

5 comments:

Lenox said...

El Roto from El País used to be known in the Franco times as 'Ops' and he would produce some amazing viñetas (cartoons) in 'Hermano Lobo' which was, together with 'El Cordorniz', the main protest mag of the day. Hermano Lobo would have 'the seven questions of El Lobo (Uuuugh)' which always includes 'When will censorship end?' and the answer 'El año que viene - si Dios quiere'.
Curiously, in Andalucía, they are closing down all the COPE stations (à la Hugo Chaves), so, in its quiet way, censorship is still alive and well.

On another subject, I've got a well travelled link to you on The Entertainer Online...

The Big Chorizo said...

Thanks very much Colin, it's been there for a while. You also get read every day in Google Reader :-) and I've bookmarked a few of your posts on del.icio.us. I don't know about vanguard, though...

Lennox, that's the first time I have heard your story. It's really interesting (in a bad way of course and it would have been much nicer to never have to read anything like that). They (or someone working for them) phoned me last year to be a sub-editor on the Euro Weekly News. Now I'm even happier I said no.

Saludos.

Steve Pinches said...

Hi Colin,

Just to say I stumbled across your blog whilst researching a trip to Galicia for the first time and thought it was great. Keep up the good work! Regards, Stephen Pinches

Sam gallo said...

"Cockerel?" Do we take note of the connection at Gallo World Family Foundation. Of course. See: http://www.galloworldfamily.org/Coatofarms.html

Colin said...

Many thanks, Steve. Hope you stay around.