Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Views of life!

We walked up to A Guía late this morning, aiming to get some exercise before the day grew too hot. All the way up to the chapel atbthe top of the promontory they were putting up bunting and street decoration in preparation the Festas da Guía, in honour of the Virgin but also involving quite a lot of sardines, judging by the posters that have been put up everywhere.

We walked back through the woods where there was further evidence of fiesta preparations. Stalls and concert stages are being erected. This suggests that the fiesta is imminent, probably this coming weekend. Time to find some earplugs as the music will start at about 11.00 and go on into the small hours.

 I must say that I like the way Spanish fiestas combine remembering the saints and other holy folk with a good feed!

There is a story going around in the news about members of Donald Trump's cabinet attending a weekly session to study the bible. Regular attendees are said to include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This news comes originally, I think, from Christian Broadcasting Network, a radio station not much heard of worldwide until the Trump administration came along. The president himself does not attend, it seems. Probably he is too busy tweeting. The vice president is said to oin in when his timetable permits him to do so and once a week around a dozen members of the inner Trump circle gather to look at scripture.

And they are very good apparently. Ralph Drollinger, the founder of Capitol Ministries who leads the weekly Bible study, told CBN: "It's the best Bible study that I've ever taught in my life. They are so teachable. They're so noble. They're so learned”.

I am sure this is all very commendable although I find it hard to see exactly what it has to do with government, especially in a country where, unless I am mistaken the church and state are separate. The cynical part of me wonders if it a ploy to keep the Christian right on Trump's side. And do their studies include Christ's teaching of tolerance and acceptance?

Six months into the presidency and still it has the power to surprise!

And here we are in August. Pretty soon another cycle race will be in the sports news: la Vuelta a España. Like so many of these big national races, this one begins outside the country, this time in Nîmes in France. CHris Froome, Tour de France winner, is hoping to make it a double win this year, having had a few weeks to recover from the Tour. Froome could become the first British rider to win Spain’s national race. He does like a challenge. And his aim for the double win is another one; no rider has won the Tour and Vuelta in the same year since the latter was moved to August and September from April in 1995. We shall see. He is up against some big names, as you might expect: Romain Bardet, Fabio Aru, and Alberto Contador all expected to ride. Vincenzo Nibali, who missed the Tour, may also be a strong contender.

Nobody said it would be easy!

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