Friday, June 24, 2011

Another sign of tough times – One of Poio's three brothels – the charmingly named Factory Girls - is resorting to fliers on car windscreens. These boast of new management and 'Erotic spectaculars'. Not to mention a free second drink. One can only guess at the cost of the first.

Hearing the bell at my gate buzzing repeatedly last evening, I took my normal precaution of checking who was there before answering it - to see a gypsy girl of six or seven climbing over the gate, presumably on the assumption there was no one at home. When I asked her what she wanted, she said “Something to eat”. I told her to get down from the gate and depart. At the same time, Tony next door was telling her companion “Yes, I do have food but I'm not going to give you any. Go and ask the mayor of Poio. There's free sardines tonight”. Desperately trying not to be racist, I'll merely say I assume the young girl wanted to get into my garden to have a closer look at my hydrangeas.

Anyway, there were free sardines down in Poio because 24 June is the feast-day of St Juan/Xoán and the tradition is to eat sardines, drink some wine and then jump over bonfires. Health'n'Safety considerations are so conspicuous by their absence that the surprise is that more people aren't killed or injured than there are, and not that one can read something like this the following morning - According to witnesses, the young man was jumping "small" bonfires when he fell onto a larger one, that was almost three metres high and 'there was just no way to get him out' and he was engulfed by the flames.”

That said – and well before this tragedy in La/A Coruña – my guests, Spanish friends and I had a great evening out in Combarro, a place just along the coast famous for the number of horreos in what was, ten years ago, still a small fishing port. Great company and lots of excellent seafood and Albariño and Ribeiro white wine. Galicia/Spain at its best.

As my guests again slept in this morning, I went down to the bottom of the hill to take a coffee and to go on the internet. Only to find all three cafés were closed. I put this down to the owners sleeping in after fiestaring all night but I later realised it was because, while it might not have been a holiday in Pontevedra today, it was in Poio. The reason – St Xoán is our patron saint.

I'm reading Hugh Thomas's “Rivers of Gold – The rise of the Spanish Empire”. He naturally takes the view that Christopher Columbus came from Genoa and not Poio. But I was interested to read that CC probably learnt his Spanish in Lisbon and so littered his discourse with Portuguese words. I guess these might be the source of the 'Gallego' words found in his notes and on his maps. Just a thought.

This article “explains how the EMU works, why it is failing, and why it will resort to fiat money printing to solve it.” Opening para:- “The eurozone is in serious trouble and Greece is just a symptom. Whether or not it defaults on its debt may not matter as similar problems plague Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and even Italy. The European Monetary Union (EMU) is built on a house of cards and it doesn't have the time for needed radical reforms. Like all sovereigns that owe more than they can pay, it will resort to monetary inflation to bail itself out.” Nice to have a real prediction.

Finally . . . We went down to town this evening to see the European Junior Mens' Triathlon race. While there we got chatting to a 16 year old English Girl who'd competed in the earlier Women's race. Asked how she got on, she pulled a face and said she'd had to retire with heat exhaustion. I suggested this was better than retiring because of hypothermia, as happened in a race here two years ago, but she seemed less than convinced. So, I stressed it was ironic we were being hit with a heat wave this weekend. With similar success. Hey, ho. Kids today!

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