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With opening words from the elegant and almost unintellibly literate Francisco Umbral, El Pais columnist and self-ordained “public scandal,” the Festivals of San Isidro made May in Madrid a memorable and musically delightful experience. Calling on the Madrileños to join in the festivities planned by the Madrid City Hall, with blessings from the tender Tierno Galvan, mayor and host for the week-long fiestas, Francisco Umbral delighted the crowd with his assonant, consonant, alliterative and onomatopoeic prose lauding Madrid for its beauty and dignified decrepitude
News Briefs. Madrid: May Polls. Madrid: Dalí exhibition; Zaragoza: Ecologists save el Galacho
My daughter Teresa who is nearly nine has suffered from severe cerebral palsy since birth. In 1986 I saw three or four programmes on television about the Peto Institute in Budapest. And there we went at the end of June. Although Teresa is only supposed to be affected physically, the first assessment classed her as ‘severely mentally handicapped’. I have no guarantee that the Peto method is the best the world can offer but studying their theories it seems to be a fairly logical type of treatment for a child like mine. But perhaps Teresa’s saving grace is her great sense of humour and her large brown eyes that try to make up for her difficulty in communicating. Her brother and sister spend some time fighting together but they also look after Teresa wonderfully, in an extremely unselfish way, and they try to make sure I do the same – they certainly let me know if I don’t.
The irrepressible tendency of citizens to risk a bit of their hard earned cash in the hope of gaining a sizeable piece of real estate in the Milky Way has been turned to good advantage. In the form of National Lotteries it provides the only form of taxation where the tax payers queue up to contribute their share of the National Expenditure and get quite a thrill out of doing so.
Thirty-two years ago, this lovely article was published in Guidepost. Age hasn't dimmed its vividness. And Spain at Christmas, as the writer described it, still is very much the same despite Santa Claus, the Christmas trees and the Christmas lights which, on the other hand, are welcome imports. FELIZ NAVIDAD everyone!
Iceland is a land of misconceptions. There are neither polar bears nor Eskimos on the island, and Detriot gets more snow than Reykjavik. New Yorkers shiver through lower January temperatures than residents here in the world’s northernmost capital. And the landscape’s predominant colour is not white but green
AKUREYRI, Iceland’s second largest town, lies just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle. at the end of a deep fjord, with the surrounding hills and sheep pastures seemingly coated in green velvet. It’s a place for lovers of clear water, blue skies and the great outdoors
This article was first published when the Franco regime was still on. Hence the strictures on the Halloween celebrations you'll be reading about. ("The Spanish police may be expected to take exceedingly dim view of Halloween hi-jinks in public. And remember that masks or costume disguises in public are against Spanish law. . .") Other than those, the article is as timeless and fun to read today as it was 47 years ago. It would be; this is the third time it is being reprinted!
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (7) Poverty, Suffering & Gracia »
"Not all is so rosy. To some Spain is the pagan, murky land of cowled monks and Inquisitional torture racks, of lugubrious piles, of hunger and despair, the España Negra of Emile Verhaeren. Yet in this flood of impressions by foreign travellers, it is striking to note the complete absence of certain themes. Has any traveller ever written a book on Spanish humor? How many are capable of seizing and understanding the Spaniard’s gracia, which, like his casticismo is impossible to translate"
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (8) Which Then is the True Spain? »
Indeed, which is the 'true' Spain? And as to the Spaniards, "who" and "what" are they? On this you might want to check out THE SPANIARD AND THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, probably the most succinct symposium of Spaniards’ shortcomings and virtues ever published. It says much for Spaniards that the book quickly became a best-seller in Spain, despite the hard line and painful truths that the author brings to the fore.