Category archive for God, the angels and the orders of the faithful (RSS)

Peasants who don’t know how to cross themselves

Posted: October 22nd 2008 13:10. Last modified: October 22nd 2008 12:45

Apparently we anglocabrones used to think that crossing oneself was prerequisite to being Spanish. Here's Juan Goytisolo in La Guardia, a short story written in the early 1950s, partly available in GBS: From the window I saw a group of conscripts in parade dress. It was Sunday and the officers' room was deserted. Its furniture […]

More bad pronunciation in Andalusian schools

Posted: October 20th 2008 12:26. Last modified: October 20th 2008 12:33

Re Erasmus students returning from Spain with an incomprehensible Andalusian accent, here's Rafael Alberti learning how to tort proper at the dame's school to which he has been sent following some inappropriate excretion chez the Sisters of Carmel: With Mrs Concha I learnt some Biblical History, being very impressed by Joseph, who was sold by […]

Two dwarves

Posted: October 17th 2008 11:09. Last modified: October 17th 2008 11:11

I'd write about tiny stockbrokers, Liliputian interior designers and pygmy chestnut vendors, but I've never met any. The only dwarf I've ever known (slightly) atoned for his main job in the midget porn industry with cameos in Disneyoid kiddies' films. I would have liked to have been acquainted with A Rapetto, frustrated tenor soloist of […]

Barcelona, la gran puta

Posted: October 14th 2008 12:37. Last modified: October 14th 2008 15:41

The definite article is used to indicate that the object of one's disapproval is a superlatively scaggy prostitute. In this case we're talking Barcelona council, which has taken to impounding cars in dubious circumstances to make up its revenue shortfall: Local Marxist-Papists are not introduced to criticisms of their shameful heresy at school, but closer […]

Don’t crap here, we’re full already

Posted: October 6th 2008 13:08. Last modified: January 13th 2009 21:49

I've often flippantly wondered whether the taboo on excretion at holy sites so thoroughly documented by Michael Gilleland is the origin of the old joke about the antiquarian who locks his shop during absences to prevent folks depositing even more Dan Brown. Here's Melchor de Santa Cruz de Dueñas' take (Floresta española, 1574) on Mark […]

Extraordinary effects of a solar eclipse on the population of Tripoli on June 4 1788

Posted: September 22nd 2008 07:30. Last modified: September 22nd 2008 09:28

Tully, Letters written during a ten years' residence at the court of Tripoli (1819): June 12 1788 To you, my dear friend, who are always alive to the beauties and effects of nature, I cannot omit describing what an extraordinary impression an eclipse makes on the uninformed part of the inhabitants of Barbary. Of this […]

Patron saint of Barcelona swapped because of climate change?

Posted: September 20th 2008 12:40. Last modified: September 20th 2008 13:26

When the original cathedral was consecrated in 1058, it was dedicated to the Holy Cross and to St Eulalia, who on February 12 303 was put in a barrel lined with knives or glass, rolled down the hill out of Roman Barcelona, and unbreasted, crucified and decapitated near one of my favourite bars, whereupon a […]

August storm in la Manchuela district, on the Albacete/Cuenca border

Posted: September 19th 2008 12:30.

A beautiful sequence of photos, videos and radar images from nbsjose.

More iconoclasm in the Catalan pre-Pyrenees

Posted: September 15th 2008 19:43. Last modified: November 2nd 2011 23:00

Re yesterday's post on the Santa Majestat in Caldes de Montbui, here's some anti-Catholic propaganda from the time of George Borrow, taken from the The life of Ramon Monsalvatge: On the 8th of December, 1832, I was sent from the convent of Sabadell to that of my native town, Olot, to study philosophy. I continued […]

Beware gypsies bearing gods

Posted: September 14th 2008 15:59. Last modified: November 2nd 2011 23:00

The Santa Majestat in Caldes de Montbui.

Walk search tool at

Posted: July 23rd 2008 13:08. Last modified: July 23rd 2008 12:45

The Emperor Wu is very pleased with his new toy. Now all that needs to happen is for someone else to enter all the walks we actually do and correct the details of the ones already in there. The purpose of this kind of stuff is to enable inclusion of walks and similar activities run […]

Prostitution in 16th century Rome

Posted: July 12th 2008 21:30. Last modified: July 12th 2008 21:37

There was a lot of it: Mirá, hay putas graciosas más que hermosas, y putas que son putas antes que mochachas, hay putas apasionadas, putas estregadas, afeitadas, putas esclarecidas, putas reputadas, reprobadas, hay putas mozárabes de Zocodover, putas carceveras: hay putas de cabo de ronda, putas ursianas, putas güelfas, gibelinas, putas injuinas, putas de rapalo […]

10 sensational revelations concerning Étienne Cabet and his Journey to Icaria, with a biography of the author

Posted: June 6th 2008 09:40. Last modified: September 5th 2008 15:24

Étienne Cabet's Voyage en Icarie (excerpt) is his novelised idealisation of Napoleonic nationalist totalitarianism: if not exactly a New Jerusalem, then certainly a New Paris, built around a New Seine, designed by its dictator, the Icar. This book and its hype led hundreds of families, mainly French, principally artesans (sez James Chastain) to doom and […]

New great mosque for Barcelona in historic building on Tibidabo

Posted: June 2nd 2008 09:58. Last modified: June 2nd 2008 10:03

Three South Asian-British professionals (down from four last time, one having fallen to feminine wiles in the intervening biennium) emerge blinking from the forest at the end of this walk. My God, says one looking down, is that a mosque? And then remembers seeing a photo of it during his physics degree: The idea seems […]

Spanish funeral service

Posted: May 26th 2008 22:45. Last modified: May 26th 2008 10:56

Spanish insurers Fiatc have a fairly grisly reputation for health provision care in general. Here's how they deal with you once you're dead: "When we arrived at the crematorium we were taken in through the rear entrance, down a long corridor, where we passed someone else laying in a coffin, a woman walking down the […]

In praise of toads

Posted: May 14th 2008 13:28. Last modified: May 14th 2008 21:05

George Sandford has left a fascinating comment on this post, which deals with an amusing 19th century literary-historical hoax--purported correspondence between Ferdinand the Catholic and an esoteric global selection of fellow-monarchs. George is family of the alleged editor, Brother Antonio the Goth, and thus of the Christian clan kidnapped by the Moors when they invaded […]

Pentecostal woes

Posted: May 11th 2008 16:49. Last modified: May 9th 2008 16:57

Today in 1565 the True Cross was taken and dipped in the sea in order to assuage the great drought. Doesn't look like that's going to be needed this year after all. (Kalebeul's History of Barcelona now does moveable feasts, although not quite in the way it would like. It is also unsure to do […]

Barcelona monument mistranslates Celan, misrepresents the Holocaust

Posted: March 27th 2008 13:50. Last modified: May 13th 2008 17:02

The monument is a quality marble tomb round about where the sea gate was, on which Habsburg general Josep Moragues' head hung in a cage for 12 years from 1715-1727, his body having previously been quartered on the Ramblas. This for surrendering on a Bourbon pardon at the end of the War of the Spanish […]

Outrageous anti-clerical comment of the week

Posted: March 17th 2008 11:23. Last modified: March 17th 2008 11:36

--Uncle, I've decided to get baptised and celebrate my first communion next week. Will you be there? --Only if you buy yourself a buttplug. I'm not that easily shocked, but etc etc

Continuity in voodoo needle magic in Barcelona: 1800s Inquisition records and 1900s crime reports

Posted: March 14th 2008 13:20. Last modified: March 14th 2008 13:24

Antonio Gascón Ricao: Es de sobras conocido que una de las habilidades más comunes de las brujas consiste en clavar agujas o cortar con unas tijeras un corazón, el hígado o los riñones de un animal, y así, el daño causado en dichos órganos animales se puede reproducir de igual forma en la persona a […]


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