Last night, Ian and I watched what some believe to be the worst film ever made. It's called Jaws The Revenge and thus gets off to a bad start, as it should be titled Jaws: The Revenge. Or something similar. Actually, it really should be called Jaws 4, because that's what it is. But, anyway, it's truly dreadful and is best watched with a printout of the review which lists the many inanities and cock-ups as they occur. Including a shark which can follow one individual right down the east coast of the USA at the speed of a Formula 1 racing car. Into waters far too warm for it. But I'll leave it at that.
As everyone knows, astrology was once regarded by the very best brains as a valid field of study. Some people still take this view, allowing unscrupulous charlatans to coin it by playing on their gullibility. But, anyway, at the turn of the 13th century, there was in England a bright philosopher-cum-astrologer called Michael Scot. Using the stars, he determined that he would die of a small stone falling on his head. So, irrationally if he believed his own prediction, he took to wearing an iron skullcap beneath his hood. But just once, when entering a church, he took it off so as to avoid offending the faithful. Whereupon a small stone fell on his naked head and cut his scalp. Michael picked up the stone and found it to be exactly the weight he'd predicted. Now certain of his death, he put his affairs in order, took to his bed and duly passed away. Surely the best ever example of the power of negative thinking.
It must be August. In the UK, I used to get The Economist on Friday, the official day of publication. Here it's usually the following Monday. This week, here we are at Friday and it's yet to arrive.
There've been a few arrests here in Galicia this week of Mexican and Colombian drug dealers, over here to pursue growth in the cocaine market. Plus their local confederates. One of the latter turns out to be the police chief of the town of Corcubión, who was known locally, it emerges, to have become the proud possessor of a number of shops, bars, flats and even – rumour had it – a hotel. All in the last ten years. But none of this, it would seem, came to the ears of his superiors. So, imagine their surprise when he was caught in the net.
The world of Restored Historical Memory meets the world of commerce. A family is demanding 1,500 euros to allow the authorities to enter their land and dig where they think is a grave of republicans shot in the civil war. Nice.
One of the daftest things about Galicia is that – for a population of 3m - it has not one but three airports – in La Coruña, Santiago and Vigo. Or 'coffee for all', as it's called in Spain. This is a dire situation in the best of times – when none of them can effectively compete with the vast new airport in Oporto in North Portugal – but in the worst of times it's little short of ludicrous. Needless to say, they are losing passengers in the thousands, one reason being that Ryanair tossed its toys out of the pram when the airport wouldn't play ball with them. On Ryanair's term's, of course. Oporto, though, has no such problem. Which is why so many of us end up going down there.
In Combarro on Wednesday night, Ian and I joined the procession from the church of San Roque (St. Roch) to wherever it was going. We were possibly the first foreigners to do this and felt good about all the fotos being taken of us. But we did have a bit of the problem with the various statues and finally came to the following conclusions:-
This is San Roque. I think.
This is St James(Santiago), without whom it wouldn't be a show in Galicia,
This is San Sebastian, but I've no idea how he got in on the act.
And this is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We didn't start the procession with her but met her on the main road and processed back to the church with her. Or we would've done if Ian and I hadn't taken a short cut to get to the front of the procession and completely missed them in the narrow, winding side streets.