Sunday, 22 August 2010

Thoughts from the moderately sunny Northwest of England.

According to comments of friends of mine on Facebook, we might have had better weather today in Greater Manchester than in Vigo. They woke up to mist and damp whereas we woke up to sunny periods which continued all day, making it a perfect day for sorting out the garden shed. We are adapting gradually to the vagaries of the English summer, learning once again to dress in layers. You have to have layers of clothing you can remove when the cloud shifts and suddenly the temperature goes up by several degrees. It is a bit if a bind though having to remember to take your raincoat out all the time, just in case.

However, we do miss the convenience of a pool available every day. I have found the necessary information for getting a leisure card so that I can go and swim at the local pool but it’s not the same. For one thing, I have to travel to and from the pool. And then, it’s not an outdoor pool – such a thing here would have us all turning blue instead of brown. You lose the social aspect of chatting round the pool in the early evening, swapping comments on the weather and so on.

I’m also missing my panadera and her homespun philosophy. There is a bakery not too far away which makes a rye loaf almost as good as the bolla de la abuela but it’s not just round the corner; it’s a good half hour’s w
alk away and the chat isn’t anywhere near as good. Still you can’t have everything. I do have proper Bramley baking apples here and real blackcurrant jam. The blueberry jam they sell in Spain is good but lacks the tang of a good British blackberry. Mind you, my daughter tells me that in her opinion the orange marmalade sold here doesn’t bear comparison with the one they sell in Eroski. Swings and roundabouts, you see, swings and roundabouts!

Flicking through news channels the other day I came across a brief item about a bullfight in an unnamed town in the north of Spain where the bull leapt over the barrier into the crowd, causing havoc all round and injuring quite a large number of spectators. Clearly no-one had told him the rules of the game or maybe they had and he had decided to take matters into his own hands instead of waiting for protestors to do it for him.

Meanwhile in Bilbao the protestors HAVE been at work. This morning, apparently, some 125 activistas semidesnudos painted themselves red or black and made a living picture of a bull outside the Guggenheim museum. They want the Basque country to follow the example of Cataluña and ban bullfighting altogether – using art to protest against what I am given to understand is not a sport but another art form!

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