Posts Tagged ‘Carnaval’

Las Memorias

In Practice, Production on February 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Las Memorias

I text L to see if we’re doing the intercambio, suggesting the usual Sunday afternoon at the alameda, or perhaps a copa tonight in the old town, as Tarifa celebrates Carnaval this weekend and we could do a bit of people watching and practice our Spanish and English respectively. He gets back to me and agrees to the latter so we arrange to meet at the old mudejar arch that leads into the little pueblo.

We’re not at all in the mood for revelry but at least pitching up and enjoying the others in their costumes comprises some kind of participation. We’ve been living very quietly recently and it’s good to take part in these things, especially I think in Spain where festivals and celebrations are given such great importance in a community.

We stroll towards the archway, anticipating the titbits of tasty historical information that L habitually drip feeds us. Tonight they’ll be Carnaval themed no doubt. When we see that his friend, P, has come along it confirms our expectations; they’re both real history and culture freaks. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a conversation with either of them that hasn’t, at some point, involved the Phoenicians.

K often finds herself an amused observer, sitting back as three men who may or may not know what they’re talking about talk about it in broken English or stuttering Spanish. More

Gran Día

In Presentation on March 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

October 23rd, 1958 was a big day.

It was a Thursday, and at around eight o’clock that evening something bad happened at the No.2 colliery in Springhill, Nova Scotia. Bumps are underground earthquakes and are probably set off by our infernal digging. They are common enough and were often ignored – there had already been a bump an hour previously. The eight o’clock bump, though, was huge.

A hundred and seventy-four miners were in the deep, deep shafts of No.2 and only a hundred would see daylight again. Under the circumstances this was good going – rescue teams came from far afield. It even became the first major international event to be broadcast live.

After the bump, the Dominion Steel & Coal Corporation shut the mine down and it never reopened. Lives had been lost, others devastated and a town robbed of its principal source of income. The disaster is now an entry in the annals of North American folklore. It has been written about in any number of books and sung of by artists from Peggy Seeger & Ewan McColl, to Peter, Paul & Mary, to U2.

That said, most people are probably more familiar with the other thing More

Seriously, Carnaval?

In Practice, Presentation on March 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

Regular readers will be aware of the tendency that Tarifeños have to string a celebration out – to squeeze every last possible drop of moisture out of any opportunity that blows in on the Levante to throw a bit of a party, to flog the living shit out of a dead horse named Celebration.

After a seemingly endless Feria in September followed by very respectable turn outs for Halloween and a couple of churchified thingamibobs I didn’t understand through November and December, a determined effort to mark each of the twelve days of Christmas and the Andalucia bank holiday in February half the town, it would seem, disappears up the road to Cadiz for Carnaval in the spring when that city goes ape shit for three weekends (and the two intervening weeks).

When do these people get any work done?

When do they sleep?

Do they sleep? More


In Presentation, Production on March 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm

It’s all about the mask.

We spend an afternoon in Cadiz, bickering. This one is my fault; I buy a cheap and simple mask for the night ahead in preference to the rather ornate and dandyish one that K had bought for me. Big mistake. Never mind that at Carnaval one is supposed to be ornate, dandyish – I have to feel my usual self-consciousness and hurt her feelings.

Or it isn’t about the mask at all (I end up wearing neither). We’re like cranky children – having been looking forward to this for so long but tired – over-tired – and both feeling the pressure: It’s Carnaval! Have a good time! Now!!

So we don’t.

Until we implement that most Spanish of solutions; the siesta – and as the sleep haze lifts a couple of hours later so do our moods. We put on some smarts and go out. More