Tschiffely’s Ride

“Being the account of 10,000 miles in the saddle through the Americas from Argentina to Washington”: read with great excitement and no little puzzlement as a small boy in a dusty 30s edition, then completely forgotten, now reissued (free reg).

I guess that that sensation of great cathedrals being built in one’s mind is now achieved with digital gaming, and none the worse for it, but it’s curious to go out into the physical countryside and find on the one hand industrial farming, on the other abandoned wilderness where be sacred bears and wolves, and not a young person in sight, except at symbolic locations where flags can be raised or cliffs be climbed, even by the grossly obese.

The noose hung for thieves at Las Bayas, Elche suggests however that we are not all dead yet. From the Menéame reference:

En una pedanía de Elche apareció una soga colgada en el pino de la plaza central tras producirse varios asaltos a viviendas en los últimos días. En 1984, en esta misma pedanía intentaron colgar a un ladrón pero la Policía lo impidió. Y en 1938 una multitud mató a dos gitanos tras violar a la mujer de un agricultor de la zona. En Elche hay un dicho que advierte “En Las Bayas te veas”.

Which reminds me of the don’t Venture Inn in Knowle West, Bristol. Apparently KW is now gentrified, with Theodore Dalrymple’s Lionel Asbo clients being driven to haunts ever more remote.

It’s only me from over the sea, it’s Barnacle Bill the sailor.

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