Monday, 27 July 2009

Puppies, People, Pontevedra and Pilgrimage...

Saturday July 18th: Loli the cleaner works seven days a week. We discuss the various separatist movements in Spain and Loli doesn't approve. When they need help they will go to a central government, she tells me. I try to stay apolitical. We have the same thing in Canada. It's something better not talked about.

Now I have a confession to make. I decided some time ago that I would take the train or the bus from Redondela to Pontevedra. I am not given to such things normally but I have already given more than 2000 kms of shoe leather to Saint James and felt I could justify this especially since I hate walking into a big city. As it was I might as well not have bothered as the bus station is right across the road from the Albergue and it is on the south side of Pontevedra anyway (and the next day I was to find walking in this compact city a real joy).

But that is how it was.

I was waiting across the road at the Bar Peregrina when a man came in with a puppy. I love animals of all kinds and this one was just too sweet to pass up. As it turned out she was only 6 weeks old and was already a good size, a cross between a husky and a boxer which I think is an excellent match. I got talking to her owner. The pup's name was Laika and the man was Carlos. He gave me his phone num,bver and said if I needed any help at all to give him a call. These were the first two of the Very Nice People I was to have the good fortune to meet in Pontevedra.

The man-with-the-long-grey-hair tied carefully two inches from the ends that I heard complaining in Torres is complaining again, this time because he believes that the man in the corner is drunk. Admittedly this man sleeps all day and is moved into the reception area by lights out. I don't know and don't want to know. I am fighting with Righteous Indignation on this Pilgrimage.

The Albergue has a few interesting books and I come across a play about Priscillian by Daniel Cortizon. It is in Galego but I decide to give it a try. I find if I read it out loud many of the words sound familiar and I really get stuck into it. Cortezon follows the familiar line that, having been seduced by Procula, Priscillian then is accused of aborting her baby (in the play Procula "uses herbs" to do this herself. I personally don't buy this as what we read of Priscillian from the Wurtzburg tractates (which were only found at the end of the 19th century) shows one man very much commited to his principles, one of which was celibacy. But the "Usual Story" comes via Sulpicius Severus and with his Roman Catholic bias (he was the biographer of St. Martin of Tours) his comments have to be taken as spurious. I have my own ideas about Priscillian, Procula, and her mother Euchrotia as you will know if you have read Pilgrimage to Heresy.

I meet Patrick from the Aquitaine who looks and sounds as if he "knows life", and who is talking with Martin from Glasgow about whom I will write more tomorrow. I go to bed eary and take Priscillian with, maybe in light of what I have written I had better rephrase that...

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