Bigger and better than ever, Arrels de Vi 2013 is up and running in St Marti d’Empuries. One session down, three to go and the weather is holding. See you there?
One good thing about the end of the football season. We’ll get rid of that appalling little Italian bastard from the Ladbrokes ads.
What do you do when you find yourself freed from the daily necessity of creating a couple of thousand words of priceless prose, and maintaining a couple of diverse but complex story-lines? To be honest, I don’t really know, but this time a solution has fallen into my hands.
Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, see the annual Arrels de Vi wine fair, in the historic village of St Marti d’Empuries, near L’Escala. It was created by my step-son, Dominic, and has become a hugely popular local event in a very few years since its inception. It’s put together by friends and family, and we all know our roles, from building the tents, to setting out the tables, to looking after the grandchild when necessary. For the last three years it’s been blessed by weather that has been, if anything, too good, but this weekend’s forecast seems to be saying that keeping the wine at optimum temperature won’t be quite as difficult this year.
What is a wine fair? In this case it’s upwards of a dozen of the finest producers in Catalunya, gathered together in one place to show off their best product, with one modestly priced entry ticket giving you access to them all. There are tapas, there’s music in the evening, there’s a creche for kids, and this year there’s an art stall, where Manolo Sierra, one of Emporda’s leading pintors, will be selling original work. If you’re planning a surprise, short-notice weekend break, or if you’re in the area, it’s the place to be.
Will I be there? Wouldn’t miss it.
This will become one of the most shared videos ever, so I may as well join in.
A word to the wise in and around L’Escala. VaiVe, home to the best sandwich in town and our favourite xiringuito, is open for the 2013 season. Tragically, I am on a diet and so the Chickenpig is off limits but I will get along well enough on the salad.
The boss and I enjoyed an excellent Saturday evening, dining at La Terrassa d’Empuries, in the village of Sant Marti, yards from where Primavera’s house would be, if it existed. We know all the restaurants there and visit them by rotation. Last Saturday it was L’Esculapi, next Saturday ….. We’ll see, guys.
What’s left to say about Sir Alex? Pretty much nothing, except for me to add to the wave of reminiscence. I saw him play a few times. He was okay, but part of his genius lay in realising early on that he could achieve much more in the dug-out than on the field.
Whither Man U under David Moyes? Time will tell, but I’m hopeful.
It’s been an interesting journey, and not the easiest I’ve ever undertaken, but Skinner 24 is finished, edited, spell-checked and ready for transmission to Headline,when I’m good and ready.
It doesn’t matter how many books I’ve completed, (as it happens, S24 brings the total to 40) I always feel the same wave of relief when it’s done and dusted, just as I feel the same uncertainty whenever I switch on the computer to begin another. The day I take the gift for granted, and stop trying to do better next time, that will be the day I lose it. So far I seem to be pleasing more people than I’m upsetting, (even allowing for the guy who wrote to me today and after beginning by admitting that he wasn’t very far into Funeral Note, proceeded to tell me what was wrong with it) and that gives me great satisfaction.
What’s next? A few weeks’ R&R, then I’m on the road in Central Scotland for the launch of Pray for the Dying. Hopefully, the latest Skinner won’t get in the way , and I’ll be able to speak sensibly about it in Biggar, Edinburgh, Haddington, Glasgow and Newton Mearns. One thing I’ll tell you now, PftD will introduce you two a new detective pairing, of whom I have great hopes.
This morning an 81-year-old man was arrested in Wilmslow on suspicion of raping an under-age girl, in 1967. He hasn’t been charged as yet, just hauled in for questioning. The story would probably have gone no further than the Manchester Evening News, but for one thing. The man involved has been named as Bill Roache, who has played Ken Barlow in Coronation Street for 53 years and as such has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest serving soap actor.
If Mr Roache is eventually charged and convicted, then I don’t care how ‘historic’ the allegation is, he deserves to feel the weight of justice, and I have no pity for him. But if he is not, if he is innocent, what damage will have been done to him?
I support absolutely, the right to anonymity of victims of sex crimes. However, the present post-Savile climate has led me to wonder, given the extent to which mud sticks and even a disproved allegation can taint, whether accused persons should have the same right, at least until charged, and possibly until they are convicted. Dunno. What do you think?
I’d forgotten about Amanda Knox. I’d have been happier if that state had continued, rather than have to read that she’s made $4m from her book. Regardless of guilt or innocence, it would be nice if she used most of that to set up some sort of foundation in memory of the girl she was cleared of killing. Will she? We’ll see.