Friday, 7 August 2015

Eating out and preserving things.

Last night we WERE going out to eat in Las Nieves, a little place near the Miño, in other words the Portuguese border. An hour's car-ride away. At the last minute the plan was changed and we went instead to Combarro, only around a quarter of an hour away from where we are staying in Pontevedra. 

Combarro is apparently famous for its "hórreos", those strange constructions that were used to store grain, constructed in such a way that rats cannot climb in and eat the grain. I'm not sure what people store in them nowadays. some seems to be full of firewood.

Our eldest granddaughter's reaction was similar to my own on first seeing them. She asked why there was a sort of tomb in someone's garden. Understandable! Today I found a cartoon depicting an enterprising Galician couple who had decided to rent out their "hórreo" as tourist accommodation. Mrs Galician person measured the tourist seeking accommodation and called out his height to Mr Galician person who then answered cheerfully, "He fits!" 

In the harbour at Combarro we saw a kind of canoe, made totally from empty Coca-cola bottles strapped together. An astounding bit of recycling! 

The old street on the edge of the Combarro waterfront has been developed into an area of restaurants and tourist tat shops but if you ignore the tat (witches with red eyes alongside would be Celtic jewellery) it has a certain charm. 

There is always a kind of conflict between maintaining old places as they used to be, maintaining their historical integrity as much as possible, and developing them to attract as many tourists as possible. In Rome there is apparently a plan to rebuild the Colosseum. Reading the article about this in further detail, it turns out that the plan is to give the arena a new floor, a refurbishment that will cost more than €18m!!! The writer of the article was getting quite angry about it, calling it "history betrayed". 

As a matter of factor, I agree with him. It's more interesting to see places as ancient as the coliseum in a rather dilapidated state, but one which lets you see how they were constructed, rather than "restored", usually with modern materials. This is especially so in this case as it may well be that the main reason for doing it could be to please people who go to the Colosseum because they’ve seen it in movies and HBO dramas and expect it to look like it does in digital special effects. 

Another little item I read in the news is that the actress Jennifer Aniston has got married. Good for her! A journalist writing about this, a certain Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, wondered what the tabloids would be able to write about from now on. One of the odd things this journalist said was, "In marrying, Aniston thwarts the belief that a woman, divorced and long-unwed, is forever sealed to such a fate. Aniston’s marriage is Trojan horse-proof that – gasp – a woman can make her own happiness on her own time, personally and professionally." 

What on earth does she mean by this stuff about the Trojan horse? 

And where on earth does the name Uffalussy originate?

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