year of the pig

We are now officially well into the Year of the Pig. And, frankly, if the Year of the Dog was a bitch, this year has already been a pig of a year.

Back when I lived in Spain, pigs loomed large in my life. So here I’m just going to gather together some old blog posts that have featured pigs and pig products, boars and other related issues, and also re-post a few relevant images, starting with this little pig who went to market and half startled the life out of me as he nestled in among the reconstituted crab sticks.
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sporting blues

The first time I posted the poem 21st-century pugilist to the blog, I didn’t really have the right picture, so it was accompanied by a photo of the wrestler, Stan Roberts.

Now, though, I have a photo of the statue of Randolph Turpin, the boxer, so I think it’s a good time to re-post the poem, which was written in Spain around eight years ago:
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it depends

I like the idea of Chinese New Year. I am always running late with things and I generally forget to post Christmas cards or buy presents in time and just end up assuring people I simply have no interest in the whole festive season.

So to have a chance to catch up and send people New Year wishes around a month later suits me quite well – particularly when the celebrations fall in early February as it means there is a vague chance I may be nudged into remembering the multiple birthdays of friends and family that fall at that time.
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home to roost

In the Chinese calendar, the year of the rooster starts today, 28th January 2017, so it seems a good reason to have some cockerels, roosters and chickens on the blog this weekend.

The photo at the top was taken at the Bristol Balloon Festival some ten years ago. I feel it’s a bit cartoonish to go with this poetry vignette of dawn breaking in the Spanish pueblo where I used to live, but I don’t seem to have many photos on file that are right for the topic.
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it’s complicated**

“[T]here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

As Shakespeare clearly understood when he had Hamlet say the above line, everything in life is affected by our personal perspective.

And our perspective depends very much on where we were born and brought up, and on the social and family values we were exposed to as children. Even beauty is a learned concept.
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second post

This post dodges about a bit between the UK and Spain, so it’s probably not unreasonable that although I start off talking about the UK postal service, the lions in the picture are actually from the post office in Avila, Spain.

Back in the dim and distant past, you could post a letter in the morning at one end of the country and know it would be delivered at the other end of the country the next day. Indeed, I think that if you caught the early collection, or if it had to go a shorter distance, it would be delivered that same afternoon.
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autumn memories

Despite the glorious flowers still to be found in window boxes and tubs around the town, summer is officially over: the days have been getting shorter and Thursday was the Autumn Equinox.

I think all the local churches have either had their harvest festival or have it scheduled for tomorrow and the thought of harvest has reminded me once more of Spain. We didn’t pay much attention to the garden but even untended trees produce blossom and fruit as the year turns.
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