Pause + Antonio Fuentes anecdote

An expedition to examine the remains of Moorish castles and drink village wine on the Albacete-Jaén borders means that things will be fairly quiet around here until perhaps September 5, when last minute preparations will commence for the launch of a revolutionary new communications model at the Albacete Fair.

The Feria de Albacete is not only the best in the world but also one of the finest in Spain. One of my favourite Feria de Albacete anecdotes is in Julio Escobar’s 1965 Itinerarios por las cocinas y las bodegas de Castilla. Renowned bullfighter Antonio Fuentes, active at the beginning of the twentieth century, leaves Atocha station in Madrid on the morning of the day of his first engagement carrying a large pot of his favourite stew made for him by his landlady on the Calle Príncipe. At Alcázar de San Juan the party has to change trains, and Mr Fuentes heads into the station kitchen, warms up the stew and sits down to enjoy his meal. The Albacete train comes in, but he is not to be budged and the train departs without him, leaving the impresarios with an apparently insoluble problem. Fuentes calls over the station master, invites him to coffee, cigars and brandy, and the good man, overwhelmed by the attention, puts on a special train consisting of one wagon and a fast locomotive which overtakes the normal service and gets Fuentes to the ring on time.

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