Saturday, April 29, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 29.4.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.

First off . . .  Jack has now kindly sent me the video of the leghón ensemble doing their stuff in Pontevedra last week. That said, I'm not convinced it's been uploaded properly. Despite several attempts:-

I've just started reading A Stranger in Spain, written back in 1955 by H V Morton. Arriving in Madrid, he notes the usual stuff - the noise, the smoking, the paseo, the elegant women, etc. - but adds that the late eating hours are not a long tradition in Spain. (Or, rather, it wasn't in 1955. It's 70 years older now, of course.) So, one wonders why the custom caught on. And when exactly. 

There was a program called Spectacular Spain on British TV last night, featuring an episode on Madrid. Somehow I managed to miss it, having confused myself about the right channel. But it's available here on Channel 5 catchup(My5). You need to be in the UK or to have a VPN to watch it.

Iberia doesn't really do soups. If you see sopa on a Portuguese menu, it at least means a form of vegetable soup. But in Spain - or Galicia at least - it means merely a thin liquid with some noodles in it. Unless its the caldo from the traditional cocido pig stew. I was tempted to conclude the concept of a range of real soups was unknown here but, truth to tell, I've had garlic-bread concoctions in Castilla and there's always the gazpacho of Andalucia. And this site suggests several more. Perhaps I've been a tad harsh, then.

Spanglish Corner: Reader Gardener has suggested a leghón is really a mattock but the latter seems to need an extra pick-like bit as well as the 90 degree spade, as seen here. Reader Paideleo (sceptically?) asks which English word might provide the base for a bit of Spanglish: Well, there's the leghorn chicken and a variety of hat. In the latter case, the word seems to derive from Livorno. You learn something every day . . .

Go Galicia again!

Talking of Galicia . . . Our president has asked why the responsible Spanish ministry has been quick to clamp down on the private renting of holiday homes but not on the high prices of petrol/gas. But, of course, he knows as well as the rest of us that the common element is the protection of existing corporate interests. Something which Madrid is particularly good at. For whatever reason.

Finally. . . Just a couple of fotos from camino of this last week:- This one gave me a smile when I came out of our Barcelos hotel after the sleep less night. Some imbecile had been daft enough to park his/her car in spaces reserved for police cars. Right in front of the - hardly invisible - police station:-

A friendly beast outside Vila do Conde:-

Consolatory views from the Casa do Campo B+B, in the wilds of Vitorino de Piães:-


Alfred B. Mittington said...

It is my educated guess that late eating hours came in as soon as there was food available…


Diego said...

Clamping down on private rentals = more taxes
Not lowering the price of fuels = high taxes

So no ambiguity in their actions.

Colin Davies said...

Agreed, Diego.

Maria said...

Late eating hours came in when Franco changed our clocks to match Berlin time during the War. Once upon a time, we were on Greenwich time, and meals were eaten earlier. But once Franco declared his love for Hitler, the day lasted longer because the sun set later. So, the tradition of stopping for a long lunch began, to avoid working in the harsh sun. That meant that the work finished much later in the evening, so dinner came late.

Perry said...

The beast outside Vila do Conde, put me in mind of Tim Curry in "Legend".

paideleo said...

No galego da costa hai palabras galinglesas porque sempre houbo contacto con mariñeiros de todo o mundo.
Existe brus e brosa que veñen de " brush " e son a mesma cousa.
" A todo filispín " significa a toda velocidade e procede de " full speed ".
Bichicoma, home que vive dos demáis ( vén de beachcomber ).
Raqueiros: homes que recollen restos de naufraxios na costa. Vén de " wreck ".

E seguro que hai máis que eu descoñezo.

O de leghón é galego e hai a variante legona e creo que en español tamén existe. Non sei a orixe da palabra.

paideleo said...

Acabo de preguntar ao Sr. Google e legón vén do latín.

Sierra said...

Vienna convention and residence rights - not as simple as you stated, apparently: