On Friday we had a special dinner here for the chess players and wives and camp followers. Arroz con bogavante - a bit like a paella made with lobster. We had copious starters:- serrano jam served on little, crispy toast rounds with a kind of sweet chutney, croquetas, prawns or maybe crayfish on kebab sticks. Then came the main pcurse. It was pot luck whether you got accessible bits of lobster or just claws you couldn’t get into. All very good though and served with very nice albariño wine.
The evening finished with a bit of a singsong. Someone had brought a guitar along. It’s amazing how many ways you can mispronounce John Lennon’s Imagine!
At some point in the evening some Belgian friends asked us about the pronunciation of the letter V in Spanish. Is it V or B? Well, it depends on the word but usually it is somewhere in between. My brother in law Avelino used to fall about laughing at my brother calling him Abelino.
But even the Spaniards have difficulty. Written Spanish shows the confusion. Country places will advertise that they have Bino for sale, when they mean Vino - wine. (Is it significant that v and b are next to each other on the keyboard?) On the sea front here there is a bar called Bulebar, which must be a corruption of Boulevard. The Castelao bar/restaurant across the road from the hotel has “patatas bravas” on their tapas menu but it is printed “patatas brabas”. And yesterday at lunch we were offered something which sounded like “bolobón”. I was rather pleased that the Spaniards at the table next to ours had difficulty understanding it as well. Then I worked put it was “vol au vent” but not really like any vol au vent I have ever been served before. Most curious!
June 24th is the feast of Saint John, celebrated here with bonfires on the beach on the eve of San Juan, bonfires that you are supposed to jump over to bring good fortune! It’s really an example of Christianity swallowing up a pagan festivity, in this case the summer solstice. ( Look out for the nights growing longer from now on!) Traditionally sardines are served, presumably grilled on the bonfires, but this year there is a shortage and sardines will be more expensive.
A noisy San Juan party appeared to be going on not far from our hotel but fortunately it ran out of steam at about 11.30 pm. Thank heavens! I thought we might be kept awake into the small hours.
And so another Sanxenxo tournament comes to an end. One final game this morning. We await the result!