canaletas, cules and ketchup

Regular readers will have noticed I like to give a cryptic preview by way of the title, then attempt to weave the three threads together, hopefully into an entertaining read. For the newbies, it goes something like this.

Sat at the top end of Las Ramblas is an unremarkable water fountain with a street light plonked on top. The inscription encourages the passer-by to take a sip and thus guaranteeing a return trip to the Catalan capital. Now either the water has some special mystical power, similar to that used on professional footballers, resurrecting them after seemingly being at death’s door, in horrible agony, after one of their opponents sneezed near them or it is just a cunning plan dreamt up by a very forward thinking marketing executive in the late 19th Century, I suspect the latter.

Barcelona Canaletas Fountain Barcelona Canaletas Inscription Barcelona Canaletas Cules

What is true however, it is where the FC Barcelona fans gather to celebrate victory, protest defeat or just engage in passionate discussion about the events of the day. You see back before the interweb, faceplant and twatter, in the days when news travelled as quickly as a Brit faced with two millimetres of snow on the ground, the Barca fans would wait by the fountain for a chap (presumably with a booming voice) to announce the footie results. It was especially important back then, since to travel to an away game would have meant at least a four day donkey ride and selling some of your children.

FC Barcelona Cules FC Barcelona Les Corts FC Barcelona Cule

The Barca fans are known as ‘Los Cules’ or ‘The Arses’ in English money. You might suspect this nickname was born in the smoky offices of Franco’s fascist government, but in fact, it comes from when the club played at its old Les Corts ground. The main stand had no rear wall and if you walked passed on match day all you could see were rows of backsides.

This week Los Cules were hit by three FC Barcelona bombshells. Superhero Pep Guardiola announced he was off to drink beer, wear tight shorts and manage Bayern Munich, first team goalie Victor Valdes said he was bored with winning trophies and watching Messi and wanted a transfer and on Saturday the team lost 3-2 away against Real Sociadad, who on recent form couldn’t spell goal, let alone score one. As you can imagine, it was one busy fountain on the Ramblas come Sunday.

Bayern Munich Pep Guardiola FC Barcelona Victor Valdes Heinz Ketchup

You might now be wondering, OK so you’ve covered the first two threads, what about the third. Well if all this Barca bad news wasn’t enough, my bosses added some more. I am sorry to report dear readers you will be hearing less frequently from me in the future. Apparently some techie wizard who has a bigger bottle of Heinz ketchup than me will be taking over the blog, and consequently, I will only get to scribe once a month from now on. I have been officially out-sauced!

See you at the end of February.


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