Sunday, 19 July 2009

Summer odds and ends

As the summer gets itself properly into gear, the usual sorts of seasonal oddities are reported in the papers, such as the metre-long iguana spotted, sedated and captured on a Vigo street recently. Notices are pinned to lamp-posts asking passers-by to look out for a grey parrot which has escaped. If seen, please phone mobile number ......... People are clearly NOT looking after their pets properly!

On Príncipe a new musical attraction has appeared. An elderly gentleman sits next to a music system blasting out Ode to Joy at top volume. He accompanies this on a set of what look like bamboo pipes, rather like extra-large Pan pipes. Alongside him there is a notice: Esta música viene de Australia. I am amazed, puzzled, bemused, gob-smacked even. Exactly which music comes from Australia? Certainly not Ode to Joy. As for musical instruments, I always associated Australia with didgeridoos and wobble-boards. Maybe it’s the music system, shipped over at great expense, which explains the need to ask for money on the streets.

Closer to home, a baby seagull seems to have fallen out of its nest and is confusedly trying to talk to its reflection in a shop doorway. Maybe it is a victim of a campaign I read about to remove seagull nests from inner city buildings in an attempt to rid the city of a nuisance – or at least reduce it. Be that as it may, we shoo the little fellow into a more open area, hoping that its fearsome parents will manage to rescue it.

Just off Príncipe a new and futuristic-looking building has been completed. I have no idea what it is but the new square created to accommodate it is already in use by young men practising their skateboarding skills, leaping over low walls and careering dangerously down steps.

Possibly they are practising for the skateboarding competitions that we can hear going on in the Castro Park. From the purpose built skateboard area the clunks and bangs echo throughout the park and beyond, followed by the cry of ¡un
aplauso para el chico! This must be part of the organised activities for young people, noisy but obviously fun, that is if you like that kind of thing!

In other sections of the park, things continue much as normal. The refurbishment of the pre-Roman settlement goes on apace – well, at a slow pace.

In the
afternoon exotic (exotic to me at any rate) butterflies are spotted.

The (separate)
groups of old ladies and old gentlemen who gather to play cards are seeking shady places away from the glare of the late afternoon sun. The old gents usually stick it out longer than the old ladies.

A stray wedding party looks for a romantic setting for their photos. And the Islas Cies look strange and unreal out to sea in the evening light.

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