Monday, August 09, 2010

It being summer and the height of the tourist season, bagpipers and dancers in traditional Galician dress are thick on the ground down in Pontevedra’s old quarter. As they’re always voluminously dressed in what looks like a very heavy black material (serge?), I always feel rather sorry for these performers even when the weather’s cool. But, when it’s as hot as it’s been for the last two weeks, my heart goes out to them. No wonder they never smile.

Speaking of bagpipe players . . . The nationally-popular group, El Sueño de Morfeo, came on stage last night to the sound of a violin and bagpipe duo. As the group hails from next-door Asturias, my first thought was this was a reflection of Celtic traditions there. But then I recalled that only Galicia is allowed to lay claim to these and immediately banished this traitorous thought from my brain.

On Sunday, El País devoted two and a half of its first three pages to information on Cuba’s President Castro. Can he really be that important?

Talking of odd news items . . . I see that over in Britain the Catholic Church will be charging up to 25 quid for entry into Masses being celebrated by the Pope. OK, it’s not as bad as selling indulgences but it still seems pretty mercenary to me. I was tempted to say the Church had hit a new low but half a second’s thought about its recent history knocked this notion firmly on the head.

Finally . . . My friend Alfie – who I thought only read my blog when he knew I was going to publish something from him – has sent me this note about last night’s reference to the bullfights:-

Dear Colin,

Shame on you! All it takes is the promise of free booze for you to sit through a show of open air butchery. Together with the rest of the beastly crowd.

You say that yesterday’s score was 6 bulls down against 0 toreros hurt. Some surprise. Last time I looked, the annual score stood at some 7,000 bulls against 0.13 toreros. Which ratio will not equal out until the bulls are trained as well as the men. For let’s face it: the bulls have no idea what they are getting into. They do it for the first time and the last. The toreros, on the other hand, can predict every move and every behavioural feat of the bull. Some Fair Fight!

Let’s make a collection and train a few bulls to go for the man rather than the mantle! And let’s see how ‘courageous’ and ‘heroic’ our butcher-apprentices in a clown’s costume then turn out to be! Not one of them will dare to step into the ring!




Alex said...

Come on, Colin!!
A well educated man like you surely should know the difference between "Orfeo" and "Morfeo".

Rudy Vinyl said...

I personally think, that bullfighting is repulsive,uncivilized and sincerely a lot of BULLOX! sir

Colin said...

@Alex. Well, even Atlas nodded, as I recall.

@ Rudy

It's "Davies"

Lenox said...

I'm going to the 3rd annual lunch of the Club Taurino de Mojácar on Thursday. They are a fast-growing British club and have about 300 members.
Do you suppose that one day... nah - impossible!

Adrian McManus said...

I was talking to the ex-president of the La Coruña César Rincón Fan Club last weekend. The man has appeared on TV programmes locally and nationally, defending what he considers a sublime art form and he's of the opinion that the people who'll eventually bring the 'Fiesta Nacional' down will be the 'mafias' that control it, citing landowner-bull rearing 'sinvergüenzas' like Francisco Rivera whose primary motivation is 'hacer caja'. These means doping the animals so they are prone to falling on their knees, the shaving of horns etc.
All these practices are apparently designed to reduce the torero's downtime through injury in that injury translates into fewer corridas with the consequent loss of revenue. He concluded that the zealots in the Catalán parliament were 'anecdoticos' when compared to the other 'tropa'. José Blanco was also in attendance in Coruña last Sunday, and like Montilla, he believes that it's an attack on one's 'personal freedom'. The bull's personal freedom doesn't enter the equasion, evidently. This reminds me of the UK fox hunting debate. By the way, is Dave going to repeal the law?