Gum trees grow amid the gorse and broom
Whereas back home in sunny Vic, you know,
It is the gorse and broom that leave no room
For tiny little native plants to blow.
But here in Spain the gum tree is the bane,
"Where oxlips and the nodding violet grow"
Forgive these contributions for The Oxford Book of Excruciating Verse.
They serve to pass the time on lonely roads
And help to ease the pain of heavy loads.
At the hotel as well last night were a Danish mother and son whom I have been meeting from time to time along the way.They smoke like two chimneys, either together or in tandem, making their way back and forth from the breakfast table to the porch at fifteen minute intervals. But they are pleasant company and speak English.
I haven't ranted for a while, but this morning at breakfast I read this sentence on my Globe and Mail app which made me choke on my coffee.
Chung Mong-joon, who you will never have heard of, made a statement Tuesday to announce something that would carry just as much authority coming from you or I: “FIFA … is in a total meltdown.”
I have become accustomed to the Globe's incorrect use of "disinterested" for "uninterested", or "enormity" for "enormousness", or "fulsome" for "full", or "careen" for "career", and I have to admit that when enough people use a word wrongly, it eventually becomes acceptable, although the above errors still grate on my ears. But the sentence quoted above contains a serious grammatical error which is wrong by any standard, and I'm not talking about the use of "who" for "whom" which is pretty well common usage these days, or the ending of the phrase with the preposition which is quite idiomatic. I am horrified by an error that would not be sanctioned by the Globe's own Style Guide, or any proofreaders, were they still around. It is an error which ranks with another I see in the paper from time to time, the reference to something "laying" around. O horrible, most horrible, foul and unnatural! I leave you to make the correction in the sentence quoted above.
I followed the GR E9 this morning, a wonderful, winding dirt path though the fields, bramble hedges alongside, and stands of corn with beans climbing up the stalks, and cowbells more musical than the sounds of church on Sundays. And lots of gum trees, so thin and tall, they might have furnished masts for the Armada, had they been here then.
I came to the Bufones de Arenillas where water rushes into cracks in the cliff, and the pressure forces it out and up into the air. But the sea was calm today and although I could hear the water rumbling below, there were no geysers.
I continued to follow the GR across the highway and up a steep hill with heather on either side among the gorse, and then down the hill past a chapel, and into Llanes, a lovely town with its beach, port, wide streets and plazas.
Llanes is supposed to be the hippiest town on the the Camino, but I didn't see any sign of it, unless it was this funky urinal. As I hit the target, I recalled the slogan from my childhood to be found on many an Aussie dunny.
We aim to please,
Your aim will help.
And I also remembered the proprietress of a French gite where I stayed, who was so concerned about inaccuracy that she had put a notice in her bathroom asking gemtlemen to please remain seated at all times.
In the afternoon, I continued along the coastal path past the Playa de Poo (no comment), Celorio, and Barro, putting in at beautiful beaches all the way, where I was sorely tempted to swim, but I had miscalculated my distances and was running late. I passed the spectacular Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores.
I had planned to stay at an alberge at Villahormes, but it was closed, so I had to walk another three kilometres into Nueva, arriving at seven o'clock and finding a hotel. My longest day.