The Resurrection of the Cob: The Millo Corvo (The Black Corn)

Brilliant black, shiny like a crows feathers, a black deep as azabache, the Millo Corvo lies locked away in a stone grain store, an horreo, drying through the wet Atlantic winter. This black corn is an ancient strain of maize, brought to Galicia countless centuries ago from the New World, and lost not so long ago to the Old World,  disappearing against the march of sterilised and genetically modified strains of corn. Continue reading “The Resurrection of the Cob: The Millo Corvo (The Black Corn)”

Galicia against the Eucalypt: Remedying an Australian Curse

In Galicia, October 2017, thousands of hectares of forest went up in blaze. Fires engulfed the hills of the provinces, even encroaching upon the industrial city of Vigo, in the region’s south-west.  The scenes were cataclysmic; a smoke-covered city, rings of fire crawling toward the suburbs visible from afar, the smell of ash ingrained into clothes for a week after the event. Continue reading “Galicia against the Eucalypt: Remedying an Australian Curse”

Sea Fever: The Traditional Sailing of ‘Os Galos’

I went to sail with Víctor, and I fell totally in love with it – I said to myself, “this is marvellous!” – and it was a day in which there was a very soft breeze, and the boat it moved, but slowly, it was all super peaceful, and how marvellous, no? The silence, going about through the water, without the motor grinding eeeeerrgh, it seemed to me so good…” – that is how Lidia describes her love-at-first-sail experience with the traditional boats of Bueu, a marinero town on the north-facing peninsula of Morrazo, Galicia. Continue reading “Sea Fever: The Traditional Sailing of ‘Os Galos’”

Atlantic Island Explorations (Part One): The Cíes Sublime

Insulae Deorum, Islands of the Gods, that is the name Plinio the Elder gave to this island archipelago, this pearl of Galicia’s Rías Baixas. He named it well, for this island should be worshipped and adored, protected from the profane secular sciences which have so corrupted so much of this planet’s jewels. Monteagudo, Illa do Faro, and San Martiño: these are the Cíes, hallowed be their names. Continue reading “Atlantic Island Explorations (Part One): The Cíes Sublime”

Pulling the Plug: Reflections on One Hundred Days without a Refrigerator

Today, the 2nd of February 2018, marks the one hundredth day I have gone without a refrigerator, and it has been, I can report, a non-event. In my kitchen the fruit continues to repose in its bowl, the leafy greens slowly wilt, their chlorophyll slowly fading away as the days pass by, and the pumpkin sits still, glowing bright in the sunlight. Even the butter and cheese remain fresh, tucked away in an insulated bag, absent of any mould blossom. This is the state of the kitchen, and it is good. Continue reading “Pulling the Plug: Reflections on One Hundred Days without a Refrigerator”

The Fixed Fight: Reviewing Robert Reich’s “Saving Capitalism”

Everybody knows, wrote the old maestro Cohen, “everybody knows that the dice are loaded, everybody knows the fight was fixed: the poor stay poor and the rich get rich, that’s how it goes, everybody knows.” But though we know it, though we feel it and see it, we might not know the how or the why. Robert Reich wrote Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few for this very purpose, to show us how it is and ask us, pointing his finger out of the book towards our nearby faces, “now whadaya gonna do ‘bout it?” Continue reading “The Fixed Fight: Reviewing Robert Reich’s “Saving Capitalism””

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