Sunday, July 05, 2015

Adjectives; John of Gaunt; More Ponters closures; & Cartoons.

Reading - as you do - a bit of Chaucer last night, I came across 3 adjectives which no longer exist but which should: unmerry, unsweet and unsoft. Why on earth did they disappear while 'unhappy', for example, remained? I guess we'll never know. But I will attempt to reintroduce them. I also came across 'dispitously' (unpitifully) but I might give this one a miss.

A bit more on the role played by Galicia in the life of John of Gaunt. . . Not a lot of Galicians know this but he was actually king of Galicia for the year 1386-7. This came about as by-product of his invasion of Iberia, en route to meet the Castilian king, Juan, in battle for the latter's throne. John was expected to land in Portugal, where the Castilian army was waiting for him, but he sneakily landed in La Coruña and set about occupying and taking the kingdom of Galicia. Which at that time belonged to Castille and was 'the most distant and disaffected of Castile's kingdoms.' John set up in Ourense - famed for being both very hot and very cold, albeit not at the same time. Anyway, John's successes didn't last long, as the Castilians eschewed battle and his army succumbed to sickness. Possibly as a result of the Ourensean climate. In early 1387, JoG met the Portuguese king (another Juan!) in Valença, it seems - on the other side of the river Miño from Galician Tui. There he married off his daughter to the Portuguese monarch, as a prelude to a joint attack on Castile. This, though, was an 'ignominious failure', as the Castilians again declined to meet and the invaders were reduced to vain attempts to find food in arid Castile, harried all the time by French mercenaries. Eventually, JoG sailed back to England, having renounced his claim to the Castilian throne in return for an annuity.

Funnily enough, in almost 15 years here, I don't recall seeing or hearing anything of JoG in La Coruña, Ourense or Tui. You think they'd be proud of having had an Englishman as a king. Even if he was hated back in England. Sometimes I just can't understand these people.

The Chinese restaurant in Pontevedra I used to patronise closed down a couple of years ago. This week the wine shop opposite went out of business. Which is a shame as it had a better collection of (national) wines than anywhere else. This makes me even less optimistic about the future of our 2 new delis than I was already. I wonder what the owners know that I don't. But, anyway, the good news(?) is that the ex-Chinese restaurant has re-opened as a pizza place, under the name Rebusca 4G. Or Rebusca 46, if you have better eyes than mine.

Finally . . . H. M Bateman was a British cartoonist of the early 20th century, renowned for his brilliant draughtsmanship and his hilarious portrayal of social gaffes in British society of the time. Which were potentially legion. Here's a typical example:-


THE MAN WHO LIT HIS CIGAR BEFORE THE ROYAL TOAST
Why do I mention him now? Because I realised last night he'd have been perfect for the young woman I cited who wasn't wearing micro-shorts in Pontevedra the other day. Imagine your own cartoon. If you can put it to paper, please send it.

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