Monday, 7 September 2015

Dressing up.

On Saturday we travelled to Pontevedra on a train half-full of people in fancy dress. They were going to take part in the medieval fair that was going in there. We were going to meet a friend for lunch and the fair was purely coincidental. 

People of all ages had dressed themselves up. Little tiny boys dressed as crusaders strode alongside their fathers dressed as monks. Ladies who were old enough and stout enough to know better wore long skirts, pulled in their waist with broad leather belts and bared their shoulders for all the world to see. Young girls who were too young, far too young by at least fifty years, to have been hippies were taking advantage of the fair to put some flowers in their hair. 

What did it matter if the green reflective sunglasses didn't quite go with the medieval outfit? Medieval babies were pushed along in medieval all-terrain buggies. Medieval selfies were being taken all over the place on medieval iPhones. A vast amount of effort had gone into erecting artificial fortifications around the centre of town. The main square had become a kind of medieval market place selling sandwiches, cakes, craftwork of various kinds and, inevitably, tat, also of various kinds. 

 We met our friend Colin in a bar behind the Peregrina chapel. Not one of his usual haunts but a place where he had managed to find a table in the shade away from the main hurly burly. Nowhere seemed to be selling their normal range of tapas but a more expensive spread, taking advantage of the carnival atmosphere to make people spend more money. Our chosen venue had bought in a supply of locally made empanadas so we polished one off together with a bottle or two of Ribeiro wine. All of this served by a charming young waitress, in medieval costume of course. 

As we made our way back to the station towards the end of the afternoon the knights and damsels and friars were still walking into town. The medieval jollities would continue into the late evening. But by yesterday all would be back to normal. The straw will have been swept up from the floor of the taverns that spread onto the streets. The wooden palisades around the cafe tables will have been dismantled. Are they stored for next year? I wonder. Or do the cafe proprietors hire them and does the provider now chop them into logs and sell them for people to burn in their stoves in the winter? Now, that sounds like a sensible solution. 

Nonetheless I remain amazed at the ability to restore order after ferias and fiestas. Who would think these were the same people who are supposed to put everything off until tomorrow?

No comments:

Post a Comment