People we meet

The other day, on this walk, an elderly Englishman from G. Speaking with an Andalusian accent, he claimed to be one of a group of Brits who, following the abortive Algiers putsch (aka putsch des généraux) against De Gaulle in 1961, fled the Marseilles barracks of the French Légion étrangère and crossed the Pyrenees to join mad Millán Astray’s La legión in Barcelona. He served in jeeps in the Sahara in the mid-60s, following instructions from reconnaissance planes to intercept caravans coming from as far away as Saudi Arabia with supplies for opponents of Spanish rule. The Legion was better-paid and more accessible than normal service. I don’t know whether any Spanish regiments became as notoriously British as the French 2ème Para following Thatcher’s military budget cuts in the 1980s.

On the bar terrace outside the first chapel on this walk, in the company of Frank’s Magic Gravel, Inc, a plump young gent with long black hair who revealed that he had taken the day off from the local mill to think about life, the view, and, more specifically, about his great affinity with Native Americans (not the ones who run the casinos and the salmon rackets). He showed us some impressive tattoos, elaborated on various historical and ethnological details, and then wandered off to get paid for the week. Frank thought it might have been a set-up: not so, unlike our final item today.

Attempts were made persuade various resting actors to put on a tarantula costume, travel out by moped, and surprise us on this walk, but unemployment benefits are clearly too high.

Similar posts

  • People we meet: the ornithophile matricide
    The long, narrow bar connects the folksy-chaotic gypsy street on one side of the block with the folksy-chaotic payo shopping street
  • Finches for sale
    I’m beginning to suspect that some people come out walking principally for the bizarre drinking opportunities encountered on the way. This
  • review
    I’m terrible at collecting testimonials, but here, with permission, is an extract from a thoughtful longer piece by a Chicago woman
  • El Barça, Franco’s favourite team?
    There is no statistical evidence for claims that the Franco government worked for Real Madrid and against Barça.
  • Terminal Germinal
    The pros of walking to Barcelona Airport.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *