Friday, June 26, 2015

The Spanish media; Homes and the homeless; Economic growth; A considerate cleric; A Poio saint; & Pirate Drake

The Spanish press is reported to be the least believed in Europe. I wonder why this is. Maybe it's the obvious government control of the public TV channels. And the recognition that old habits die hard.

A shocking statistic - Spain is said to have nearly a third of all empty homes in Europe. And another one - The government says there are now 3.4 million empty homes in Spain. Apart from speculative building during the boom years, this reflects multitudinous evictions by banks who have rights and powers long taken from their counterparts in other countries. Spain, as they say, is different.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Spain says the economy will grow by 3.1% this year, making the rich even richer. Nonetheless, the Spanish are not yet revolting.

I was taken aback today when someone not only seemed to be aware we were going to bump into each other but actually took measures to avoid this. But, then, he was a priest and, so, possibly used to thinking of others.

It wasn't only Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón)who was born right here in Poio. It was also the 7th century birthplace of Santa Trahamunda. Sadly, information on her is only available in Spanish, here. Or here, if you read Gallego. Coming from Galicia, it's only natural she should be the patron saint of nostalgia (morriña). Legend has it she was taken from a convent on Tambo island by visiting Moors (on a day trip from Santiago) and imprisoned for 11 years after refusing to convert to Islam and to join a Granada harem. Finally fed up with this, she prayed for help in getting home to Poio and was taken back there on a palm branch handed to her by an angel. She planted this - the branch, not the angel - near our monastery, where it lasted several hundred years.

Incidentally, and finally, . . . Francis Drake (Draké) also visited the Isla de Tambo, in 1589, and - as he was wont to do - destroyed its church, irreligiously chucking a statue of the Virgin into the sea. Fortunately, it rose from there of its own accord and placed itself back on the altar. Around which the church was rebuilt. No, we certainly don't want for legends in Poio. Though some spoilsports say the statue was caught in the nets of fishermen.

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

It is my guess that the priest avoided a collision because he recognized in you a diehard heretic and did not wish to risk spontaneous combustion. Which is proven beyond all doubt by the use of 'San' for a female saint. Mend you ways, ye renegade!


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