We were having a peaceful menu the other day when, on the table to the right, a middle-aged Frenchman finished off the bottle that had accompanied his lunch, became overwhelmed by sentiment, and, the waitress having retired beyond reach, decided to shout his views on the recent constitutional referendum to the two elderly couples chatting away quietly in a mixture of Catalan and Spanish on the table to my left.
The essence (imagine non-stop upper case with the odd spot of spit): he was from Montpellier (in what the imperialists call Northern Catalonia), had been coming here for 40 years, loved Catalunya, was enamoured of my neighbours’ physical appearance and desired to kiss hands all round, and agreed with president Pasqual “Flat on his Back/Face” Maragall (with whom he was, of course, great friends) that we need a Europe of the peoples (which is how the nationalists currently market ethnic division), not states or citizens, as of course desired by the president of the accursed République Française.
First the old man directly in the firing line ignored him, and then he shifted in his seat and muttered quietly, “There are good people and bad people in every country,” which seemed a fairly sane thing to say, until I recalled Karim. Even if Karim’s blog weren’t such a pleasure to read, I would be an addict simply because of the odd spelling blowout in what is probably at least his third language. Yes, I thought, the drunk is right: what we need is a Europe of the peapoles (cf Google), with Lathyrus odoratus blooming on flag-less poles from Galway to Grete.
This pacific vision brings to mind my glorious days, nay daze, as chairman of the Mole-Hunting and Pagan Burial Committee of Casteroil Council. Many was the quiet afternoon spent sipping Anglican plonk with the sexton in the old churchyard, exchanging and contemplating artfully Photoshopped montages of Joan Baez’s head and various farmyard animals of our libertarian delight, and chanting one of Ms B’s early successes in the Authorised (Dorset) Version:
Make it both long and narrow.
Sweet William died [sob] yesterday,
And I would plant some marrow.
You did know that the deity’s instruction to us was, in fact, to go forth and freely associate, didn’t you?
Huge numbers yesterday on this walk, on some very quiet meadows at between 400 and 600m. First Gonepteryx rhamni, our Brimstone: Next
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Homage to Catalonia achieved the double-whammy of focusing attention on the Stalinist terror that followed the 1937 coup while whitewashing the
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There are no reports in the English-language media, and NYU’s agenda doesn’t list the event.
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Drinking, driving, cursing.