Saturday, July 04, 2015

Headlines; Desserts; John of Gaunt; A Ponters shock; & 60s songs.

A couple of recent headlines:-
  • There are now more Spanish speakers in the U.S. than in Spain.
  • Spain is home to a quarter of new European citizens.
By and large - not being averse to plenty of grease, garlic and chips - I enjoy Spanish food. But I can't say I was astonished to read this scathing comment of the Times' restaurant critic, A A Gill: The Spanish make the least attractive desserts of any cuisine in Europe. For people who bought chocolate back from the new world and were the first to think of mixing it with sugar, they’ve never done anything terribly exciting or exuberant with it, except make sludge. 

And don't get me started on Spanish cakes and pastries - which offer a great deal more than they deliver. And are a bit of a joke compared with French stuff.

You may have heard of the 14th century character, John of Gaunt. And maybe of his wife, Constanza of Castile. To which region/nation John pretended to the crown. But how many recall that he came to Galicia en route to battles against the French on 'Spanish' soil? Well, here he is in our region/nation in 1386, receiving a letter from the king of Portugal, to whom JoG's daughter  - bottom left - was due to marry. Funny thing - no gaitas (bagpipes) in sight. But the Atlantic features top left.

Don't know what the guy in the yellow jacket is trying to do.

Walking through Pontevedra midday yesterday, I received a singular shock. There was a young woman in front of me who wasn't wearing micro-shorts of one sort or another. Clearly a rebel. Or a late starter.

Finally . . .  For those of a certain age who fondly remember songs of the celebrated 60s, the BBC's Radio 2 has 2 hours of these every Saturday morning between 8 and 10 UK time. You can listen to this show live at their web page, where you can also catch previous editions. The DJ is Brian Matthews, who had his 123rd birthday last week. Today's show was particularly good, if you want to catch up. Butterfly Child . . . .


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Scrutinizing the picture with my expert eye (did I ever tell you I used to appraise medieval art for Sotheby's New York back in the old days??), it is my guess that the fellow in the yellow shirt is hiding a bagpipe behind his back.


Colin Davies said...

No wonder you lost the job.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Well, lost… lost… We settled and parted amiably after the Watsonville (Ca.) circuit court decided that the Medieval Expert could not be expected to recognize that Van Meegeren as a fake Vermeer, even if he was a personal friend of good old Han…. (And before you get any ideas: may I remind you that I already successfully sued three art critics who spread public slanders about my actuation in that affair - to the great benefit of my bank account??)


Colin Davies said...

Bullshit perenniAL,

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