Just in case anyone suffered apoplexy at yesterday’s report that the government was going to relax the much-abused abortion law, I should say the Prime Minister has corrected this perception. He’s now stressed he’s only calling for a debate and that there’ll be nothing in the party’s manifesto by way of proposals. So the current score is:-
Women in the cabinet 1 : Cabinet members afraid of Catholic backlash 2
Taking my morning coffee yesterday, I witnessed the Spanish ritual of El Baile de la Cuenta [The Dance of the Bill]. This takes place when two Spaniards approach the bar and then almost come to fisticuffs over who’ll pay for the drinks. I can’t pretend to know the rules – assuming there are any – but it’s my impression that the first person to get his money out never ends up paying. Worth knowing, perhaps.
There was a short dialogue a few weeks ago with readers on the subject of Galician cider. Well, I’m delighted to report that – after battling through boxes of the Asturian stuff - I was yesterday able to buy a bottle of Sidra Extra Manzanova. And not only is it ecologica but I also got a free thermal sleeve with it.
Here in Galicia, my life is regularly brightened by reading the thoughts of a certain type of cove who thinks everything here began and ended with the Celts. As I’ve said a few times, I’ve no problem with this harmless attempt to differentiate Galicia from the rest of Spain and to associate it with Ireland, Brittany and Cornwall. But it does occasionally reach preposterous levels. As an example, here’s a quote from the Cuisine section of the Wikipedia page on Galicia:- Galician cuisine often employs fish and shellfish. The ‘empanada’ is meat or fish pie. It has Celtic influence. I can’t tell whether this last comment applies to the whole of our food or just the empanada, which is usually said to resemble a Cornish pasty. Though it doesn’t really. Either way, how on earth does anyone know? Are there letters home from later Romans, Visigoths and/or Arabs saying how delighted the writer is to have stumbled across a Celtic cookbook? And even if there are, who’s to say the bloody recipes weren’t developed by whoever it was populated the place before the Celts? I may, of course, be entirely wrong about this and, if evidence is available to prove the contention that some or all Galician cuisine is of Celtic origin, I will happily eat a huge slice of humble pie. Which, by the way, should be called ‘umble pie’ and which very definitely is a delicacy which the Celts enjoyed. Trust me; I’m an ex lawyer.
Of course, the other type of cove who amuses me is the one who screams that absolutely nothing in Galicia can have anything to do with the Arabs, as they never came here. Except to sack the city of Santiago in 997, of course. And to leave us with a few suspicious place-names.