2012/10/25

Shiteways Cider Company Ltd

The first phoneme of the subject of this splendid story by the Diario de Jerez appears to have colonised the first of the (long defunct) Whiteways Cider Co. Ltd., and they probably deserved it.

For Whiteways et al in 1966 sought a ruling allowing them to market as sherry beverages that used the Jerez process but that were not specifically of that district. González Byass managed to get away with staging an initial hearing in its own bodegas by claiming that Tío Manolo was too old to travel, and Mr. Justice Geoffrey Cross, after
29 days, 74 witnesses, 3,000 price lists, 1,600 bottle labels, hundreds of bottles, glasses, advertisements, photocopies from the British Museum archives, a reproduction of a 17th century English comedy, ... letters of state between Queen Elizabeth I and her ambassador at the Spanish court, [and] a fragment of the map made in 1154 by the Arab poet and cartographer Al-Idrisi ... on which appears the town of Seris
... decided, perhaps somewhat wearily, that Shiteways could continue to ply its wherry as long as that term was prepended by a disabling qualifier, e.g.
'British Sherry', 'English Sherry', 'South African Sherry', 'Australian Sherry', 'Cyprus Sherry', 'Empire Sherry'
... as well as, presumably, Most Vomitsome Sherry, which led in one's teenage years to frightful scenes in and around a fenland discotheque, followed by rapid ascent of a wall and precipitate flight, at a moment when quite other business was anticipated of one.

(H/t to your man for all your Jerez business, in English or Spanish, should anyone be looking for such a person in these sober times.)

2012/10/16

Una serie de articulos han aparecido

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Torygraph believes a Basque nationalist blog has misquoted a conversation between him and a Catalan nationalist journalist. Unfortunately he struggles a bit with the Spanish, and since his articles often bear a sketchy relationship to basic fact - if fisk is still a verb then maybe someone would like to employ it here - mewonders whether he doth not protest rather much.

If you want to read something sensible about Spain's constitutional crisis from a generalist, you could try Gideon Rachman, a journalist of vastly superior calibre, but I think that even he doesn't fully understand the implications of Catalan independence and exit from the EU, which would immediately be followed by the Basques.

Leaving aside the imperialist ambitions of both new entities, one aspect rarely mentioned is that, despite efforts in the past decade to increase the role of sea transport, roughly 70% of Spain's European exports continue to travel by road and to an insignificant degree by rail via those two regions, and there is no alternative to hand - central Pyrenean connections are a joke. An armed, vengeful, bankrupt, unproductive rump (when did the aftermath of 1898 cease?) being held to ransom (some of the locals have been impressed at the success of miners' blockades of motorways in Asturias and León) by an unarmed, bumptious, bankrupt, unproductive mini-state isn't exactly a formula for peaceful coexistence. Referendum or no referendum, I continue to think something rather nasty's going to happen.