Saturday, October 03, 2009

I’ve made numerous references to Spanglish over the years. Here’s an article about a comprehensive web page on this.

It’s reported that the traffic police have hit a ‘goldmine’ with fines for the use of a mobile phone while driving, though the amount collected for this offence still comes a long way behind that for speeding. Is this the time for me to make my proposal they fit me with a small camera in my shirt lapel so that I can snap dozens of perpetrators each day as I walk into and out of town? Especially on the roundabout. The commission should cover my own fines.

And talking of speeding . . . No great surprise to read the police are going to massively increase the number of radar traps next year. And that they forecast a very significant increase in income from this source, when everything else is falling. Nice to know they expect to cop 2.2 million drivers next year, some of whom may well be committing an offence at the time they are ticketed.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Pontevedra continues to delegitimise parking spaces in the city for no apparent reason beyond forcing cars off the road. Or perhaps into the fee-generating car parks.

Finally . . . Over on Wednesday’s Comments Section, Mr Cade continues to show he can get at least one hand out of the straight-jacket.

Publishing Note

These are the final additions to Galicia: The Switzerland of Spain . . .

Chapter 8: The Cathedral of Santiago
Chapter 9 : The Portico de Gloria
Chapter 10: Sculptured Capitals
Chapter 11: The Royal Hospital
Chapter 12 : La Colegiata de Sar
Chapter 17: Livestock of Galicia
Chapter18: Padron
Chapter 25: Galicia’s Great Monasteries
Chapter 27 : Dives Galaecia

The first four of these are really only for those who have a deep interest in buildings. Or a fascination with the question of whether the master-sculptor Mateo was French, Spanish or even Galician. Miss Deakin does give a masterly – if lengthy – description of the wonderful Portico de Gloria in Santiago Cathedral but, to do it justice, you need to be standing underneath it with a print-out of the chapter in your hand. And with an hour or two to spare.

But the chapter on the Royal Hospital (now the hotel of Los Reyes Católicos) is not such heavy going. And that on the Colegiata de Sar is delightful. While that on livestock is mildly fascinating on the subject pigs in Santiago. Even the chapter on the great monasteries has its charm at times. And has certainly given me one or two more places to visit.

In her final chapter (27), Ms Deakin takes an impassioned leave of Galicia, possibly going overboard in the process. In doing so, she shows I was wrong to think she was at her most lyrical in an earlier chapter. If you read no others, give this one a go.

It’s a great shame we don’t have Ms Deakin’s 1907 photos so good luck to anyone who tries to track down a copy of the original book.

5 comments:

Ferrolano said...

Colin, at www.archive.org you can download “Galicia, The Switzerland of Spain” as a large (24mb) PDF. This come complete with the photographs and as a number of them are of Pontevedra, you may find them of interest when trying to gauge the changes to the city during the past 100 years.

From the chapters of the book that I have read and looking at the photographs, Ms. Meakin was very much into the churches, cathedrals and monasteries of Galicia, perhaps more so than the language!

Nowhere within the book could I get a feeling or understanding of the author and did not at the front that she did write others:

A Ribbon of Iron (The Great Siberian Railway)
In Russian Turkestan
Russia: Travels and Studies
Woman in Transition

These were up to the date of publication (1909) of Galicia and from their titles, the first three are travel related, as is Galicia. I downloaded the last title, Women in Transition and briefly, skip reading through it, I would suggest that she could well have been a member of the Women’s Suffragettes. In 1909, she was 42 years old and certainly wrote more books, one of which was a biography (Hannah More) and another travelogue (What is America Doing). I have just learned that she was a Fellow of the Anthropological Institute and years of birth / death as 1867 (or 8) to 1959. Annette Mary Budgett Meakin did bequeath her papers to the Oxford University and was thought to have been born in the Bristol area. I have also found reference to a book, “Model Factories and Villages” published in 1905 by a Budgett Meakin – for me, the name is too coincidental for it not to be the same person. So, anthropologist and traveler is my summary.

ointe said...

Colin. Whenever possible is good to download the text version (sometimes with errors, probably due to OCRs or human errors)...and the PDF version of the same book. The text or html can help you on fast search of items, the PDF is more accurate. That´s the way I do, I forgot to tell.

Cade said...

Hilarious these Franco and “Príncipe gitano“ guys videos, but again, Mr Davies, you are only showing us one side of the story. What about those Emglish speakers who also murder the Spanish tongue, even if not as ruthlessly as the above mentioned chaps? Don’t they exist? I give you an idea: why don’t you send them, or post it here in your blog, a video of yourself karaoking in Spanish (or even in Galician!), I am sure there’ll be people willing to pay to see that (your ratings could skyrocket, believe me). That would go too a long way to show us your self-effacing sense of humour!

By the way, i hope you don’t take my lunacy as an excuse not to purge yourself from your compulsion to exhibit your ignorance and bias. Is that a promise?

chrisfourtune said...

Colin, keep up the good work.
I came across this blog after doing a search for weather statistics in the galcia area.
its a very nice insight into your life in galicia, well writen and gives me the odd chuckle.

top marks

Colin said...

Very many thanks, gentlemen/ladies.

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