Not everyone will be aware that the Cabernet Saugivnon grape of France’s great red wines has an older sister in Cabernet Franc. Or that the latter has been used for more than 2,000 years up in Galicia’s hills to produce a wonderfully fruity red wine, called Mencia. I mention this not just to bring this under-valued wine to readers’ attention but to endorse an earlier point that an imminent recession reveals its colours in all sorts of ways. Walking past a place with a higher-than-average menú del día yesterday, I noticed the board said you’d get a glass of Mencia with it. Which is another way of saying you won’t be getting a glass of more-expensive Rioja. How much lower can things sink?
Bullfighting is something I can take or leave but, whatever else can be said about it, I’m in no doubt that the men who go up against the enormous beasts are brave. I was hoping to bring you a photo of one of them with about 6 inches [15cm] of horn in his thigh from the Culture page of yesterday’s ABC but it’s not on its web page. So here's a video clip instead.
And a photo I did find. By the way, the bullfighter [Frascuelos] is 60 years old. Possibly his last corrida, if he’s got any sense. Which he obviously hasn’t.
Here’s a final reference to the Eurovision contest, albeit in the context of geo-political developments. Specifically, Europe’s eastwards drift. Which should at please the British historian Norman Davies, who’s long argued that our Continental perspective is too western-centric.
The organisation which impounds cars in Pontevedra says it towed 371 vehicles between 1 January and 20 May. Or about 2.6 per working day of eight hours or more. On the face of it, this seems to justify the obvious belief on the part of drivers here that the cost of using an underground car park is not worth it, compared with the miniscule risk of getting your car towed. Even, apparently, if you use ambulance waiting bays, bus-stops or zebra crossings. Or if you double or triple park but have hazards lights which make your car invisible when they’re flashing.
Why aren’t there parking meters, you ask. Because an earlier scheme failed when the entire population declined to put coins in them. Or so they say.
The Anglo Galician Association – open to all who speak English – now has a Forum on the web. If you have a query about Galicia, why not register and post it.