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An Ovine Incident - RIP

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
An ovine (or hircine) incident. (RIP)
or Can you name five famous Belgians?

I'm separating this, but I'll link to it from my Live from the Camino thread.

First of all a little bit of background. I was born in Liverpool which could make me English. I come from a100% Irish background, which could make me Irish. I live in Ireland at the moment. I'm delighted to say that I am not participating in the sadness and madness which is Brexit. [Very seriously I want to add that I fully respect the decision of those who voted in the referendum.] I am neither a 'west Brit' nor a 'little Englander'. You'll need to get an Irish person explain to you what a west Brit is.

I can tell you about little Englanders.

More than 40 years ago as a student I was attached to an eminent surgeon. One of his fields of expertise was something which is not meal time conversation. He had developed a technique for dealing with recalcitrant and recurrent piles (haemorrhoids). He had received a knighthood, it was widely believed, for bringing long sought relief to a member of the Royal Family.

Britain joined the EEC in 1973 and an early result was reciprocal health care. 'Sir' - let's call him that - did a monthly clinic in Germany to see their most difficult cases. So it was that strangely in those insular days there were usually three or four Germans on the ward receiving the very best of British surgical care - by royal appointment. The little Englanders were in the adjacent beds, complaining bitterly. Less than 30 years previously they and the Germans had been bombing each other. And indeed the East End of London where I trained had suffered grievously - though less, for instance, than Dresden. You can imagine for yourself some of the conversations that went on on the ward. The milk of human kindness was not flowing too freely.

Being international was still quite a new idea in those days. At school for instance we learned French, but never with any great notion that we might ever meet a French person to say hello to. Some of the press in UK remains a little insular. And the attitude to foreigners is not always, even now, terribly open. There is still a fading sense of empire, sustained sometimes by putting other nations down. It can sound unkind, thought perhaps there is also a sort of grudging affection as well.

A simple example of this I think is the question which crops up for instance in the "silly season" in some newspapers is "Can anyone name five famous Belgians?" - the implication being of course that we can all name 500 famous Brits.

The answers are commonly 1. Hercules Poirot 2. TinTin. er......3. Jean Claude Van Damme 4. Vincent Kompany 5. Forum members here can add in our own @SabineP (Of course there are thousands!! We just are not good at recognising them). OK. In case you don't know neither of the first two actually exist, but they are undoubtedly very famous.

In my "live on the Camino thread" on the Camino de Madrid forum, you can read about my discovery, loss and re-discovery of five famous Belgians. On this very day. The excitement of reuniting was a pleasant event, I venture to say, for all of us.

In the afternoon, after our lunch at the bar, we went back to the albergue in Villeguillo. The girls played cards for a while. I had a little nap. The girls went out and sat on the step, watching life go buy - they hoped - In a very small pueblo.

One of the neighbours walked along outside the albergue accompanied by either a large white goat or a medium sized non-woolly white sheep. I have explained elsewhere (a bovine incident) my own views on, and lack of rapport with, farm amimals. Across the road a dog barked, but was not worrying the sheep. Or goat.

What happened next will probably sound like it is made up, but it is not.

The sheep (or goat) dropped dead. Just like that.

On the doorstep of the albergue.

Finally and definitively.

To paraphrase Monty Python, "not resting, dead." To directly quote Lady Macbeth "Woe alas! What in our house?" Well, yes; or at least on our doorstep.

The old man with the sheep was stoic, but obviously a bit upset. It seemed not appropriate to pin him down on whether it was a sheep (ovine) or a goat (hircine) in the circumstances. He covered the sheep with a cloth while he went off to get a trailer and his car to take away the body. That was that. In the midst of life we are in death. Country folk take this sort of thing in their stride I guess.

So it was a day of mixed emotions. Like the prodigal son's father, I rejoiced that the five Belgian women who "were lost have been found."(Luke 15:24) But we were saddened a little at the fate of the sheep. Or goat.

The bar closed early (8pm) and we retired early. There was a full moon that night. Next morning sunrise was long before moonset, making for a beautiful morning photo. Life goes on.

I will always now know 'five famous Belgians': Els, Annie, Marie, Brigitte and Marleen. For full disclosure, I will again state that Marleen is not 'a famous Belgian', she is a famous Dutch lady. And indeed a successful and famous author. But that would be to complicate the story.

Again, no animals were treated cruelly during this account. But one did die. RIP.

You can read here about an unrelated bovine incident.
 
Last edited:
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timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Freaky :eek:. Maybe it was a Scape Goat (Leviticus 16.8)
Please look out for Porcine, Canine, Feline and Murine incidents now. Would be so pleasing to get the full farm set.
Hi. I'm just catching up on my trip. I am back in Liverpool now for a week, doing a bit of nursing and TLC.
But I will return and look for the others in due course.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2017)
Caminho Português (2018)
VDLP 2019
Freaky :eek:. Maybe it was a Scape Goat (Leviticus 16.8)
Please look out for Porcine, Canine, Feline and Murine incidents now. Would be so pleasing to get the full farm set.

Now, Now. Let us not forget our Plumate friends.
Great writing timr.


More please
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
:D
The Baztan is positively boring by comparison. Some normally behaving but very wet sheep and horses. It was pouring today and the earthworms and snails were out. But no-one (from worms up to horses) was dropping dead, nor were they too friendly.
The rain on the other hand...
Well...wecome home, Tim!
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I've been thinking about your dilemma between sheep and goat and my conclusion is that the deceased was a sheep. My reasons are:
In Castilla León in 2015 there were 3.000.000 sheep and 140.000 goats. So the chances of being a sheep are 96%.
In the Valladolid province I think that the probability is even higher because the tradition is roasted lamb.
So, what you saw was a white non-woolly sheep without horns. In case of horns (you don´t explain that point) it was a ram.
The sheep had been recently sheared to face summer heat, therefore it had a brilliant white colour. I wonder if the stress suffered in that operation caused its dead.
 
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timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Tim, if you had taken a picture of that poor ??? like you did the bull, this matter would be cleared up!:0).
I thought of it, but really felt it was a little insensitive!! Like taking a photo in a funeral parlour;)
In Kenya, I was always told that the tails went up for goats and they went down for sheep. Sheep and goats in Kenya very similar indeed to look at.
But I am not sure how this would apply to a deceased animal.........
 
Last edited:
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
Tim, if you had taken a picture of that poor ??? like you did the bull, this matter would be cleared up!:0).
I should probably also mention that David's cattle-mesmerizing method doesn't always work (before you try that at home and worry people). I must've run across a particularly high-functioning herd the other day, and although it got their attention, they weren't drawn in.
 

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
I should probably also mention that David's cattle-mesmerizing method doesn't always work (before you try that at home and worry people). I must've run across a particularly high-functioning herd the other day, and although it got their attention, they weren't drawn in.
awwwwwwww. :(I will be back with the herd at the end of the month and was looking forward to giving it a go!
 
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H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
I thought of it, but really felt it was a little insensitive!! Like taking a photo in a funeral parlour;)
In Kenya, I was always told that the tails went up for goats and they went down for sheep. Sheep and goats in Kenya very similar indeed to loo at.
But I am not sure how this would apply to a deceased animal.........

:D:D:D:D:D - these little green guys aren't laughing hard enough.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
An

I can tell you about little Englanders.

More than 40 years ago as a student I was attached to an eminent surgeon. One of his fields of expertise was something which is not meal time conversation. He had developed a technique for dealing with recalcitrant and recurrent piles (haemorrhoids). He had received a knighthood, it was widely believed, for bringing long sought relief to a member of the Royal Family.

Britain joined the EEC in 1973 and an early result was reciprocal health care. 'Sir' - let's call him that - did a monthly clinic in Germany to see their most difficult cases. So it was that strangely in those insular days there were usually three or four Germans on the ward receiving the very best of British surgical care - by royal appointment. The little Englanders were in the adjacent beds, complaining bitterly. Less than 30 years previously they and the Germans had been bombing each other. And indeed the East End of London where I trained had suffered grievously - though less, for instance, than Dresden. You can imagine for yourself some of the conversations that went on on the ward. The milk of human kindness was not flowing too freely.
About three years ago I had a heart attack and ended up in my local NHS hospital where they managed to revive me and remove the blockage from my artery.
Next morning when I woke up there was an Irish Nun sitting at my bedside. Being of Irish lineage I am certain that there is something Genetically inherited that make Irish people dread Nuns! She quickly disabused me of the notion that my Pilgrimage in a holy year would automatically reduce my waiting time before getting an audience with St Peter. I think the term she used was Sophistry?? I am an engineer and unused to complicated philosophical discussions. She was however a Lovely lady and knew more about my Irish roots than I did!
My next visitors were the head of Cardiology and his assistant and a gaggle of Junior doctors. The Junior Doctors discussed my case in Urdu then presented their findings to the Professor In English. The Professor was from Germany and his assistant from Austria. So I discussed my Case with the Prof in Hoch Deutsch. Later in the day my wife popped in to ask where the Insurance papers were and she discussed my behavior with my Filipino Nurse in Spanish. Later in the day the dinner lady asked me what I wanted for Lunch in a black country dialect so strong I had to get one of the local Asian nurses to translate for me and I settled for the curry which was really good. Next day my wife dropped off a West Indian Curry Goat takeaway since there wasn't a decent Indian curry on the Hospital menu that day.
My point here is that in the heart of England many of the people who keep the English alive are not actually English and how the (insert swear word of your choice) are we going to survive Post Brexit!!
 

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
About three years ago I had a heart attack and ended up in my local NHS hospital where they managed to revive me and remove the blockage from my artery.
Next morning when I woke up there was an Irish Nun sitting at my bedside. Being of Irish lineage I am certain that there is something Genetically inherited that make Irish people dread Nuns! She quickly disabused me of the notion that my Pilgrimage in a holy year would automatically reduce my waiting time before getting an audience with St Peter. I think the term she used was Sophistry?? I am an engineer and unused to complicated philosophical discussions. She was however a Lovely lady and knew more about my Irish roots than I did!
My next visitors were the head of Cardiology and his assistant and a gaggle of Junior doctors. The Junior Doctors discussed my case in Urdu then presented their findings to the Professor In English. The Professor was from Germany and his assistant from Austria. So I discussed my Case with the Prof in Hoch Deutsch. Later in the day my wife popped in to ask where the Insurance papers were and she discussed my behavior with my Filipino Nurse in Spanish. Later in the day the dinner lady asked me what I wanted for Lunch in a black country dialect so strong I had to get one of the local Asian nurses to translate for me and I settled for the curry which was really good. Next day my wife dropped off a West Indian Curry Goat takeaway since there wasn't a decent Indian curry on the Hospital menu that day.
My point here is that in the heart of England many of the people who keep the English alive are not actually English and how the (insert swear word of your choice) are we going to survive Post Brexit!!
Thanks for that @Marcus-UK . My chequered career includes working for 10 good years for the NHS, in its glory days - the 70s and 80s. Simply the best treatment, free at the point of delivery, to anyone and everyone with no questions asked. The buildings were old and grotty but the treatment was second to none. I even remember an abortive attempt once to bring in a mechanism to charge people who were ineligible for free treatment. But it was too complicated to work out and would I guess have cost more than it would have recouped. There were other issues of sensitivity

I had a later career in biblical languages and once learned Biblical Aramaic, through the medium of Italian, from an Austrian professor, who used an English textbook. This last would have made it easier but for the fact that the Dictionary of Aramaic we used went from Aramaic into Latin. A bit like your lovely polyglot experience on the ward.

I hope you have fully recovered and will be back on the road soon. I did Invierno this time last year - unbelievably awful weather which took the shine of it (a bit) for me. Other people talk of its amazing beauty I know. VDlP yes it is on the list. At the moment though I am half way from Canterbury to Jerusalem (when I am not locked down in UK).
 

Mycroft

Active Member
An ovine (or hircine) incident. (RIP)
or Can you name five famous Belgians?

I'm separating this, but I'll link to it from my Live from the Camino thread.

First of all a little bit of background. I was born in Liverpool which could make me English. I come from a100% Irish background, which could make me Irish. I live in Ireland at the moment. I'm delighted to say that I am not participating in the sadness and madness which is Brexit. [Very seriously I want to add that I fully respect the decision of those who voted in the referendum.] I am neither a 'west Brit' nor a 'little Englander'. You'll need to get an Irish person explain to you what a west Brit is.

I can tell you about little Englanders.

More than 40 years ago as a student I was attached to an eminent surgeon. One of his fields of expertise was something which is not meal time conversation. He had developed a technique for dealing with recalcitrant and recurrent piles (haemorrhoids). He had received a knighthood, it was widely believed, for bringing long sought relief to a member of the Royal Family.

Britain joined the EEC in 1973 and an early result was reciprocal health care. 'Sir' - let's call him that - did a monthly clinic in Germany to see their most difficult cases. So it was that strangely in those insular days there were usually three or four Germans on the ward receiving the very best of British surgical care - by royal appointment. The little Englanders were in the adjacent beds, complaining bitterly. Less than 30 years previously they and the Germans had been bombing each other. And indeed the East End of London where I trained had suffered grievously - though less, for instance, than Dresden. You can imagine for yourself some of the conversations that went on on the ward. The milk of human kindness was not flowing too freely.

Being international was still quite a new idea in those days. At school for instance we learned French, but never with any great notion that we might ever meet a French person to say hello to. Some of the press in UK remains a little insular. And the attitude to foreigners is not always, even now, terribly open. There is still a fading sense of empire, sustained sometimes by putting other nations down. It can sound unkind, thought perhaps there is also a sort of grudging affection as well.

A simple example of this I think is the question which crops up for instance in the "silly season" in some newspapers is "Can anyone name five famous Belgians?" - the implication being of course that we can all name 500 famous Brits.

The answers are commonly 1. Hercules Poirot 2. TinTin. er......3. Jean Claude Van Damme 4. Vincent Kompany 5. Forum members here can add in our own @SabineP (Of course there are thousands!! We just are not good at recognising them). OK. In case you don't know neither of the first two actually exist, but they are undoubtedly very famous.

In my "live on the Camino thread" on the Camino de Madrid forum, you can read about my discovery, loss and re-discovery of five famous Belgians. On this very day. The excitement of reuniting was a pleasant event, I venture to say, for all of us.

In the afternoon, after our lunch at the bar, we went back to the albergue in Villeguillo. The girls played cards for a while. I had a little nap. The girls went out and sat on the step, watching life go buy - they hoped - In a very small pueblo.

One of the neighbours walked along outside the albergue accompanied by either a large white goat or a medium sized non-woolly white sheep. I have explained elsewhere (a bovine incident) my own views on, and lack of rapport with, farm amimals. Across the road a dog barked, but was not worrying the sheep. Or goat.

What happened next will probably sound like it is made up, but it is not.

The sheep (or goat) dropped dead. Just like that.

On the doorstep of the albergue.

Finally and definitively.

To paraphrase Monty Python, "not resting, dead." To directly quote Lady Macbeth "Woe alas! What in our house?" Well, yes; or at least on our doorstep.

The old man with the sheep was stoic, but obviously a bit upset. It seemed not appropriate to pin him down on whether it was a sheep (ovine) or a goat (hircine) in the circumstances. He covered the sheep with a cloth while he went off to get a trailer and his car to take away the body. That was that. In the midst of life we are in death. Country folk take this sort of thing in their stride I guess.

So it was a day of mixed emotions. Like the prodigal son's father, I rejoiced that the five Belgian women who "were lost have been found."(Luke 15:24) But we were saddened a little at the fate of the sheep. Or goat.

The bar closed early (8pm) and we retired early. There was a full moon that night. Next morning sunrise was long before moonset, making for a beautiful morning photo. Life goes on.

I will always now know 'five famous Belgians': Els, Annie, Marie, Brigitte and Marleen. For full disclosure, I will again state that Marleen is not 'a famous Belgian', she is a famous Dutch lady. And indeed a successful and famous author. But that would be to complicate the story.

Again, no animals were treated cruelly during this account. But one did die. RIP.

You can read here about an unrelated bovine incident.
I've quite enjoyed this thread, and from varying aspects. One is internationality: I am a Yank who never knew her maternal grandfather, but two days ago I learnt he descends from Wales, complete with castle, and also his/my ancestors arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, not long after the Pilgrims. Maybe that's where I get my longing to be on the Camino.
Now to more important things, to wit, I am baffled why you would say, timr, that Poirot and Tin Tin don't exist. That's like saying there is no Santa Claus. Worse yet, it is similar to denying the existence of the Master himself, the world's first consulting detective, my second true love, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
 

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Now to more important things, to wit, I am baffled why you would say, timr, that Poirot and Tin Tin don't exist. That's like saying there is no Santa Claus. Worse yet, it is similar to denying the existence of the Master himself, the world's first consulting detective, my second true love, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Haha @Mycroft maybe I was exaggerating a little bit about TinTin and Poirot!
Large tracts of my own family left Ireland and arrived in Boston after your own people. And a little later came to Liverpool and that is where I now hale from, or 'hale back to'? How wonderful for you to find out about the ancestors. :)
I think internationality is a wonderful 'thing' - the Camino promotes it. In various places there are sadly some politicians who are not so committed.
I have lived in six countries. I would love to live in another six in the years ahead if it were possible.:cool:
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
Haha @Mycroft maybe I was exaggerating a little bit about TinTin and Poirot!
Large tracts of my own family left Ireland and arrived in Boston after your own people. And a little later came to Liverpool and that is where I now hale from, or 'hale back to'? How wonderful for you to find out about the ancestors. :)
I think internationality is a wonderful 'thing' - the Camino promotes it. In various places there are sadly some politicians who are not so committed.
I have lived in six countries. I would love to live in another six in the years ahead if it were possible.:cool:
We are of like spirit, timr!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Thank you @Marcus-UK - for your post and also resurrecting this thread! I missed it the first time around and so enjoyed it this morning.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Thank you @Marcus-UK - for your post and also resurrecting this thread! I missed it the first time around and so enjoyed it this morning.
Yes, lovely to read all this again. Having walked the Camino de Madrid since then, I can now visualise exactly where the ovine tragedy unfolded.🐑
Tim, I hope you walk another Camino soon and share you stories with us.

And PS: I'm pretty sure that Jacques Brel can be added to that list of famous (and fabulous) Belgians.
 

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Yes, lovely to read all this again. Having walked the Camino de Madrid since then, I can now visualise exactly where the ovine tragedy unfolded.🐑
Tim, I hope you walk another Camino soon and share you stories with us.
Thanks Nuala and I hope the same for you and Damian.

I am still hoping to get back to Thessaloniki and continue on through Turkey and then somehow to Jerusalem. I had hoped to be arriving in Jerusalem around now actually.

But.....let's see. I hope it might be next year, though there are some 'cows on the track' before I can get away.
However I am planning a CF walking retreat sometime next year and to repeat the CP with some friends. Camino logistics are that little bit easier than the Jerusalem way.
 

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