Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The rain in ...

We’ve all been moaning about the rain. It just keeps falling and falling. Last Thursday I went into Manchester to a friend’s retirement party where we sat outside and chatted in the sunshine.

En route I s
napped a photo of a Red Bull Cavalcade on Deansgate, Manchester – a very strange sight!

Since that delightfully sunny occasion, summer seems to have done a bunk, gone awol or turned itself into a premature autumn. Friday was just dull and showery but Saturday, Sunday and Monday were just a washout with torrential downpours almost all the time.

Still, I suppose it could be worse; you could be hurtling down a steep mountainside in the rain in the Tour de France. Quite how they keep going at
those speeds on wet roads I do not know. My Spanish hero, Albeeeerto Contadoooor, has moved himself up to 7th place (not bad from 75th on day one) but he is still 4 minutes behind the leader and needs to do some serious catching up in the stages in the Alps, starting today, if he is going to make it onto the podium in Paris. I notice that the newspaper, Faro de Vigo, advertising its online coverage of the Tour, still talks about Alberto Contador’s chances of winning once again. There’s still almost a week to go, however, so anything is possible. Our almost local boy, Manxman Mark Cavendish (well, the Isle of Mann is off the coast of the Northwest of England), is doing well. He’s not a contender for the big prize but he may walk away with the green jersey for best sprinter.

Even my friend Colin in Pontevedra has been complaining about the weather. Reading between the lines, I think someone pinched his umbrella. You wouldn’t think you would need to do that in Galicia as there are usually umbrellas on sale EVEYWHERE!!!

I looked up the weather forecast for Vigo and Pontevedra – I like to know what I’m missing but also if the forecast if for cloudy sun with temperatures of 15° to 20° like today it makes me feel slightly less bad about our delightful British summer.

Scanning the Galicia newspapers, I discovered that the rain had also got in the way of the Festival de la Virgen del Carmen on Sunday. Now, most people associate adoration of the Virgin with the south of Spain but in fact the Virgen del Carmen is the patron saint of fishermen and so it’s logical that the Bouzas district of Vigo should have a procession for her.

Normally her statue is taken out to sea in a fishing boat, accompanied by a number of other boats all finely decorated in honour of the Virgin. Julio Vazquez had his boat Rebeca all organised to take her out but in the end the sea was running so high and the rain was lashing down so hard that they had to cancel the boat trip until next year.

They had to limit the celebration to
a short precession through the streets with the faithful under their umbrellas. Better luck next year!

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