Thursday, 15 October 2009

Homage To Caledonia

The post title's pockled straight from the book by Daniel Gray about Scotland and the Spanish Civil War. I first spied it on Tocasaid, whose most recent post is the sorta thing i wish i could write masel. Well worth a peek.

It got right up my substantial hooter that the folks were way too staunch to ever take a family holiday in Spain while Franco ran the show. We hadnae been taught much about fascism at primary school and i couldnae see why a few "lucky" pals came back from summer holidays wi sun tans, sombreros and those big bull fight posters while i got a stick o rock and a Beaver's Club badge fae Butlins. To be fair, family holidays (even in Leven) were barry as a bairn, but i was ay a bit jealous o the crew who got to Spain.

Like my close shave wi private education, i'm now well chuffed (and unjustly smug) that i never went to fascist Spain. 34 years on, private education still puts a brake on equality but Spain's now an apparently shining example of modern, secular democracy (despite, or maybe even because of its King Juan Carlos). Nae doots, many citizens of Basque and elsewhere in Spain would argue that point.

But enough o that stuff.

We took our freebie in Spain last week to eat, drink, swim, read and run (a wee bit). The scran was ace, the wine was €1.85 a bottle, the sea and pool were refreshingly cool, i finished James Robertson's fantastic Fanatic and knackered ma good knee in the hilly terrain around La Cala de Mijas. We also took road trips to Ronda (pic'd above, looks no bad if ye click and enlarge) and to Nerja and we saw wheens o great graffiti, a wee selection of which is shown below.

Al and Mel D reckon this dude was on telly in the 80's but i've nae idea:

I like this even if my picture's a bit pish:

this is good anaw:

and finally, tis guid to note that the bullfighters arenae as macho as they mibby like to think they are:

Hats off to Enrique!


  1. Ah, Ronda - that's the place where they ran hundreds of fascist sympathisers offa the cliffs in Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. The townsfolk just line em up and tell em to run and jump... think it was at the end of the Civil War in real life. Well worth a read, by the way...

  2. I thought for whom the bell tolls was a right good read, took me a wee bit to get into but well worth it once i did. The Fanatic on the other hand I really struggled with. Put it down about a year ago and still not quite got round to picking it up again. But i did pick up Tom Weirs autobiography for 25p in a charity shop the other week and it's pretty good so far.
    Anyway, glad you enjoyed yer wee freebie to spain, I'll get maself there one day.

  3. Aye I sortofae ken the wee ghost fella anaw but I cannae mind where fae. I wid say it was a computer game but awebody kens I'm no up on thon hings

  4. Jo and Johnny, i'm gonna bite that Hemingway bullet and read FWTBT's as soon as i've finshed ma current (William Boyd's The Blue Afternoon - Boyd's been ma new favourite for a while, gonna run outta his soon).

    If i was ever gonna run a fascist off a cliff (and, though i sincerely hope not, there could be a time in all our lives when that would be necessary), Ronda's a good spot for it. It's a scenic wee place, has some right steep cliffs and muchos cheapness tapas bars.

    Burd, keep on thinkin, run it by yer chums, let aes ken. AKB.

  5. Yon wee ghost fella was from the cartoon He-man and the masters of the universe. Which is also where castle greyskull comes fae.

  6. Johnny, yer a genius in an obscure kinda way. Cheers, bro. If you can be ersed, gie the Fanatic another bash, it made me weep, spesh the second last chapter.

    Just watched the Coen Bros' Man Who Wisane There which has elegiacally reminded me that even fascists should nivir be flung off cliffs. Capital punishment's even pisher than stingy stingy pish flaps. Every time.

  7. Good to see you had a gid time, were you staying in cala de mijas? thats Marta's ma's neck of the woods if you were.

  8. Aye man, Drew, we were about 1.5km east o Cala, just up the hill from the mental main road. Cala was cool, well chilled for a total tourist resort. I even scored Paella Verduras - get in!

    Marta's ma's spawny as.

  9. Yon felly from the 80's with the pointy hat is Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

    catch ye! x

  10. A bit pish? Love all the new words. Spain is to Britain, what Mexico is to Americans - inexpensive hols amongst the swarthy, with wine cheaper than Perrier.
    Glad you had a swell time and why wouldn't you?

  11. Ta for the tip, Jules, but erm...Johnny beat ya to the punch. Have you seen much o Fotoburd lately?

    Wolynski, "pish" was probably just a drunk pronunciation of "piss" but it's now firmly established in the lexicon of Embra and beyond. Spain's a huge draw to North Europeans and its proximity to Africa gives it a rich Moorish heritage and a wee tingle of exotica.