Friday, August 19, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 19.8.16

Spanish (non)Government: Reportedly a step has been taken towards the formation of a (minority) centre-right administration. Acting-President Rajoy has accepted a list of anti-corruption measures provided by Ciudadanos, one of Spain's recently created new parties. Doubtless everyone in Spain will heave sighs of both credence and relief, now that we 'probably' won't have a 3rd general election, in November. The PSOE socialist party, though, is still declining to provide any support to Rajoy and his PP party. So life for any minority coalition is going to be precarious. Hey, ho.

That Old Risk Calculation Again: Bull-running isn't the safest of activities, as this shows. But "It was just an unfortunate accident". Of course. One that might be said to have been just waiting to happen.

Galician Tourist Twits: The various tourist offices around the region have reported these errors from visitors from (I guess) other parts of Spain:-

  • Mistaking the Roman walls of Lugo for those of a bullring.
  • Confusing Combarro with nearby Cambados. [Been there, done that].
  • Likewise, mistaking Formentera for Fisterra/Finisterra.
  • Asking why things in a 50 year old guide book can't be found.
  • Believing that the famous huge botafumeira (incense burner) in Santiago cathedral contains a priest who's hauled up and down and swung from side to side. And only brought down if the attendees at the mass pay for this. This is very far-fetched, of course - the idea of the Catholic Church wringing money out of the faithful.

Visitors have also asked the following dumb questions:-

  • In Verín, high up in the inland mountains: Where's the beach? 
  • In La Coruña: Is there a lift in this [Roman] lighthouse?
  • In Vigo: Where's the bridge to the Atlantic Islands?
  • In Santiago de Compostela: Was the cathedral built by St James?
  • On entering Galicia: Where can we find the witches?
  • On visiting a meat-grilling churrasquería: Can we get churros here?

The final mistake - Calling said botafumeira a putafumeira.

I guess locals will find these things funnier than most readers.

Galician Fires
: I went into the hills yesterday, to introduce my visitor, Jack, to a great menú del día and to show him the house I used to own there. I was rather shocked to see how close the recent fires had got to the place. I'd have been terrified.

Galician Cuisine:  Jack, by the way, thoroughly enjoyed his first experience of the Galician 'national' dish - cocido. But he drew the line at the pig's ear, having tried it while I left the room for fear of vomiting at the scene. Here's his snap of  his own version:-

And here's the bloody ear:-

Finally . . . A poem fit for a king? John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, a chap known for rather racy stuff, wrote something about king Charles II. Before I reproduce it, I should stress, firstly, that you shouldn't read on if you're easily upset, and, secondly, that the Spanish word for the relevant body part is used here in Spain as a term of endearment. Honest. Finally, you should know that Wilmot sent this poem to Charles in the mistaken belief that it was the one he wanted to see. He was lucky to be only exiled, and not executed:-

I did warn you . . . I imagine both the Dutch Peters will have enjoyed it. Not to mention Dutch Suzan.

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