Thursday, October 26, 2006

"A ti te paguió una madge!"

De tanto en tanto, aparece en la prensa. Digamos que va un lider espiritual cualquiera (de alguna "desas" religiones planetarias) y hace declaraciones diciendo lo malas que semos lah muheres... que cómo no nos van a pegar, violar y asesinar, si vamos por los "puestos" vestidas como unas perdularias (vamos, comodas), reclamando derechos como unas golfas... vamos, que somos unos pendones verbeneros de cuidado, y que si por el fuera, ni tendriamos alma, ni derecho a salir a la calle sin pedir la venia y firmar por tripicado.

No que queda más que esperar que el Gurú del paiatú (donde solo pagas tu) o la Eminencia de turno se acuerde alguna vez del zorrón que le limpió el culete y le dió las papillitas cucharita a cucharita y tenga en consideración que ella era también un ser humano. Mientras tanto pienso pasar de ser suscriptora de sus divinidades.

Como decia un personaje de una película (o chiste, que no me acuerdo): "A ti te paguió una madge!" y está el mundo lleno de desagradecidos

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hold me tight

Don't look for naughty double entendres, the second story of this pilar really requires such solid propping

(Colla: Minyons de Terrassa)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Una de Siniestro Total

No se porqué, pero ultimamente los grandes éxitos de los genios de Siniestro Total me vienen a la memoria... sobretodo aquella canción que decía en el estribillo aquello de "...te lo pido una vez más/no me toques la pirola jamás..."

Creo que la voy a adoptar como himno:

"tra-la-la-la , no me toques la pirola,
pa-pa-ra-pa, no me toques la pirola,
doo-dah-doo-dah , no me toques la pirola máaas"

(ya "sus" habreis dado cuenta de la sutil autocensura, no vaya a ser que me lo saquen fuera de contexto, ahem)

Friday, September 15, 2006


The last post about the Tres de Deu castells has prompted me to look through my old collection of photographs and select a number of them for this and the next posts.

Featured here is an image of a castell by the Castellers de Barcelona collapsing. In casteller lingo, this is described by the expression "fer llenya" ("Timber!").

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tres de Deu (I was there)

The recent news about Castells ("Human Towers") in London's Regent Street and also the Tres de Deu (see an image here) recently crowned by the Castellers de Vilafranca in Sant Fèlix 's day has prompted me to check my photo archive, and write about the Tres de Deu towers I've had the privilege to witness.

But, what is a Tres de deu?
A Tres de Deu is a ten-story high castell. Time ago, it was discussed whether such a mammoth structure was actually achievable, as the eight and nine-story castells are difficult enough to achieve and only the colles ("teams") with enough technique, personnel and history have mastered them. Among the recent colles (that is, those founded in the recent years as the castells' tradition bloomed again and beyond its historical terrain) it is considered a feat to achieve eight-story castells, and in fact, before the nine-story towers were re-conquered in the late 20th century, few colles were capable of building an eight-story castell.

The Minyons start to build the tower

As the nine-story castells became more usual, some colles began to ponder about the actual chances of building ten-story castells, which would become a reality as the 20th century reached its end.

The first ever Tres de deu towers: November 1998
In summer 1998, word spread among castells aficionados that two colles, the Castellers de Vilafranca and the Minyons de Terrassa, were working in the achievement of that gigantic -and believed impossible- structure.
The Castellers de Vilafranca tried to treat their fans in Sant Fèlix's day by doing it for the first time ever, 1998, but their dogged efforts weren't successful. They didn't renounce, though, and in November 15th, 1998, the Tres de Deu amb folre i manilles became a reality (see the photo here). The tower collapsed before it could be dismounted, but was crowned successfully.

The enxaneta lifts her arm: the Tres de Deu is crowned (Minyons de Terrassa)

I wasn't at Vilafranca that day but was lucky enough to witness, one week after that, the second Tres de Deu ever. The day was freezing cold and snow began to fall during the act. When the moment came the Minyons started to build the tower. Everything was going fine, the structure was solid and the little enxaneta, who was to crown the tower, was on her way up. Suddenly she fell and everyone thought that the act was over. Fortunately for the little girl, she came out with no broken bones, though her mouth was bleeding, and she was understandably too scared to try again.

The Minyons dismounted the structure swiftly and without trouble, and then they started to build it up again with another enxaneta. The technique was so astounding that they made it look easy, though it is a construction of the utmost difficulty. In this second attempt, the castell was crowned and, with awesome skill, dismounted for the first time ever. It was November 22nd, 1998. A day to remember.

This was one of those occasions when one regrets not to have a proper camera at hand, but you can see their own photo here and further pictures and videos videos in their own website.

XVIIIConcurs de Castells a Tarragona, 2000

In the 2000 casteller contest at Tarragona, the Castellers de Vilafranca attempted again the Tres de Deu but failed, but after much labor, the tower collapsed as it was reaching its pinnacle. It was the Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls which, for the first time in their history, crowned the giant.

Llenya!: the tower collapses (Castellers de Vilafranca)

La Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls starts the structure

The Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls, about to achieve their first Tres de Déu

Some links about castells
Here you have further links about castells. Of course, there are more than that, but I hope these will be a good place to start with. In them you will find news, calendars, photos, videos and chronicles of tower-building feats. Some of these links have English pages.
Colles castelleres :
Colla Jove de Tarragona: the oldest webpage about castells
Minyons de Terrassa
Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls
Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls
Castellers de Vilafranca
Capgrossos de Mataró: The colla which performed in London recently.

Other links (blogs, news, reviews & opinions): : Diari electrónic de Temàtica castellera
Web Casteller, portal d'informació castellera
Món Casteller

Friday, August 04, 2006


It is said that great unhappiness lies in the search of happiness...
I have so far prided myself in achieving great satisfaction out of little things, I mean, I don't need to make a cruise to Mars to have a good time: a nice book -or comic-book-, an ice-cool glass of tiger-nut milk , watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon or a group of sparrows sandbathing in the park

One of these wee, but extremely rewarding pleasures is the daily morning ritual: drinking a tallat (1) in a near bar or cafeteria while reading the newspaper that the owner of the premises kindly leaves at the disposition of customers.
Now, the main setback of this is that I am often not the only one who wants to read the paper: I’m not the only customer. This is usually not great trouble as people usually peers through the news and articles and then leaves the rag at the bar so other customers can enjoy the read.

I have found though, some attitudes which I consider downright uncivil and deeply antisocial: Shall I mention the "crab", that is, those who read the paper backwards and make you think that they are about to finish their read… you sit in the belief that the paper will be soon available and will spend some twenty minutes nervously toying with your spoon in the cuppa.

Even a more deadly specimen is the corsswords or sudoku aficionado: their antics are fiendishly tantalising, as these passtimes are usually in the end pages. You think, again that they are a coupla pages away from the finish, but no, suddenly they will stop at the ******* crosswords page and thus hold the newspaper in ransom fror a handsome three quarters of hour. (I’d suggest bar owners to cut this page so these addicts can enjoy their vice without disturbing the pleasure of newspaper junkies such like me)

I thought that I had seen it all, but this morning I had the back luck of coming across a most redoubtable coffee-table-reader: it is a lady, who has come to my regular caffeine haunt in the last days, at the same hour that I do. She has successfully managed to spoil my early morning ritual: she not only reads the paper at the speed of an aged snail with accute reumathism, but takes the TWO newspapers that Jordi leaves at the disposal of customers, and keeps in a way (hiding one under the other) that one can’t request the unused newspaper without feeling one is invading someone else’s privacy. Thus she keeps any other customer without a read for nearly an hour…. My goodness! What is she doing with the papers all that time… memorize them??!!

Quoth Don Furcio Buscabollos"¡A morte os cebollos cocidos!"

P.S.: Now you will say "Why don’t you just BUY the paper?!" Ah, my friends, this would take all the fun out of it :p

(1) Express cofee with a bit of milk in a small cup. What the Italians call machiatto and the Castilians dub cortado

Friday, July 28, 2006

Coplilla tradicional

Me voy a hacer un rosario
con tus dientes de marfil

por que 'e haf hefo un rofario
con mif 'ientef de marfil

Friday, July 21, 2006

Orders are orders...

This one's by film critic Antoni Gasset:
"Yo detesto mandar, prefiero que me manden. Así me puedo dedicar a una de mis ocupaciones preferidas: desobedecer"

or, in rough translation:
"I hate to to be in command, I prefer to be ordered. Thus I can indulge in one of my favourite activities: to disobey"

Friday, June 30, 2006

Anything but Laughton

Oh, yes, there's a blog o' mine there devoted to Charles Laughton. "Devoted" comes from devotion, in that case...

Since the other place is intended to be a monothematic shrine (or sort of), I just thought that maybe I would feel the compulsion to drop irrelevant thoughts on other assorted issues. Just to let some steam off.

Tiger-nut milk, Hideko Takamine or downhill races on ball-bearing wheel carts have been mentioned, but then anything goes here, and that should include Setsuko Hara, fallen sparrows and swallows, Toshiro Mifune, unorthodox uses of hairclips, Hayao Miyazaki, Alan Booth, Bill Tytla, Fridtjof Nansen, Clausevitz for dummies, Ortega y Pacheco (los Madelman pueden con todo), Llorenç Villalonga, Paul Chadwick, James Mason, Robert Stewart Sherriffs, Arriki-town ventures, Polar regions, Manel Fontdevila, Mikio Naruse, Pompeii and the list could go on...

o-zure, o-tsure...
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