Blogs & Archives
Responsible bloggers who have something well-thought-out and interesting to say are welcome to share their thoughts.
Paco was not a pedigreed, aristocratic dog such as those that used to swagger down the Prado with their haughty masters. But Paco was an exceptional dog. He had a sharp eye for benefactors such as the Marqués de Bogaraya. As the marquis ate regularly in Fornos, so Paco too would drop in at dinner time and be assured of at least a modest meal and not a few pats on the head. Paco might have continued his libertine life to ripe old dogdom had he not been the unfortunate victim of an amateur novillero who was making a mess of his bull. The spectators were indignant and Paco jumped into the arena, ran up to the clumsy amateur and barked at him from closer range. The matador, furious at the bull, the public and specially at the nagging dog, directed his sword at Paco and ran him through with one thrust. Paco died. His death constituted a veritable day of mourning in Madrid.
The situation in the United States is dire. Many are sorry that they voted for the Biden-Harris ticket. The Biden Administration points to the increased job figures as a sign of recovery but families go to food banks for help. One wishes you could warn the migrants heading for the US southern border that the American Dream is almost dead.
If you are not careful, you’ll miss spring in Spain altogether and spend most of your life wondering how you did it. It’s not hard, because the meteorological border is pretty indefinite; one day it is a dull, cold, rainy winter day and POW… suddenly it’s summer. There are ways to catch it though, and it all depends on how much attention you pay and where you are in the very changeable land of Spain.
During my thirty years as a TWA flight attendant, I spent many a layover at the Hotel Plaza. Whether coming off a new Boeing 707 in the sixties, the whale-sized 747 in the eighties or a sleek 767 in the nineties, the Plaza was my home away from home. The hotel was nestled inside the Edificio España, wrapped in a cozy cocoon of cafeterias, bars, restaurants and watering holes that catered to all tastes. There always seemed to be fruit floating in the water of the pool in the top floor from someone's sangria. And once in a while, a naked Maja was seen running across the balcony chased by a Don Juan Tenorio.
A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: The Spanish Scene, Spain’s Massiel Wins Eurovision Song Contest, 12 April 1968 »
The Spanish song entry "La, La, La" took top honors in the 13th edition of the continent-wide Eurovision Song Contest held in London last week. Twenty-year-old pop singer Massiel belted it out with enough energy to squeak through with a one-point victory over the English song "Congratulations" sung by Cliff Richards. It was Spain's first Eurovision triumph. When the results were announced, Massiel lit up like a Christmas tree in her sparkling mini-skirt outfit and launched into a real knock-out version of the tune.
US fuel prices have surged by 51% in the past year and by more than 90% since President Joe Biden took office in January of 2021. Biden is thought by many to be purposely grinding down the middle class. He praised high gas prices as part of an “incredible transition” away from fossil fuels. If you plan on traveling by car this summer, expect to pay more for gas, and if you plan to fly, tickets may be more expensive.
Although some passages in his book are dated, they make us realize what hardships The Original Tourist endured in roughing it on horseback across torrid plains and hostile mountains. Much has changed since Ford's day, but among the trifles of which he wrote so well remains unaltered today. "Gatherings from Spain" is more than an extraordinary eye-witness report on Spain in the early 19th century; it is more than a travelogue teeming with adventure and erudition; it is an honest record of a remarkable Englishman's reactions to a country he described as "the most romantic, racy, and peculiar of Europe, which hovers between Europe and Africa, between civilization and barbarity".
Rich with racy flavour, "Gatherings from Spain" is the earliest comprehensive account of Spanish travels that exists in English, written by Richard Ford, the master of vivid description of the country, Spain, that he loves so deeply, and the singular people who are "scarcely European living on a neutral ground between the hat and the turban". With characteristic zestful perspicacity, Ford would underscore above others the "Orientalness" of the Spaniards.
George Borrow: "How the rage for scribbling tempts people to write about lands and nations of which they know nothing! Vaya! It is not from having seen a bullfight at Seville or Madrid, or having spent a handful of ounces at a posada that you are competent to write about such a people as the Spaniards, and to tell the world how they think, how they speak, and how they act." But there was one, an erudite traveler, Englishman Richard Ford, who did justice to the endeavor. Living in southern Spain for three years and traveling across the peninsula on horseback, he wrote "Handbook on Spain" in 1845 and the even more riveting and timeless "Gatherings from Spain" published the following year and proved immensely popular.
Josep Borrell: "Many voices are warning of the recession that the war against Ukraine could cause. The war against Ukraine has been accompanied by a sharp rise in inflation which is leading to significant increases in interest rates. We have also observed in recent weeks a rapid fall in share prices on financial markets and a spectacular loss of value on cryptocurrencies. This could trigger a new financial crisis. But faced with bleak economic outlook, we should avoid false solutions. We must keep trade open, as trade barriers would only worsen affordability and have an asymmetrical impact on the poor. We should help stimulate local production. . ."