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Horseshoes and Holy Water

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Published: 2006-01-01 By Murrough O'Brien


In a sense, the subtitle says it all: "Two women, two horses, one pilgrimage". Mefo Phillips and her sister, Susie, decided to travel from Canterbury to Santiago de Compostella on horseback. Mefo is a sceptic, Susie a mystic. There is a sombre backdrop to their journey, but chins are kept up, reins tight, and the predominant note is major.
What, nowadays, constitutes a pilgrimage? Perhaps, Mefo Phillips suggests, what has always characterised it. You'll get believers (like her sister and some they meet on their trail), charlatans, doubters, honest sceptics (like Mefo), sighing Sancho Panzas (Mefo's husband, Peter); above all, you will meet kindness in unexpected places. These two pilgrims were lucky in the people they met; I simply don't recognise the France she portrays. Phillips has great charm as a narrator, and it's easy to see how she could match it in person. But the reader is soon punch-drunk on the succession of events: gîte succeeds gîte, charming host succeeds charming host; churches are visited, but never for too long; breezy observations are offered.
Sooner or later, though, the spiritual has to intrude on a pilgrimage, however much practicality may be required for its successful execution. Otherwise, what's the point? It seems rather mean to ask of this delightful book where its substance lies, especially when its actors are nothing if not substantial - but you have to. I was left humbled by their dedication, but puzzled by what drove them on.

http://artsandentertainment.independent ... 55950.html
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Mefo is a sceptic, Susie a mystic.

That says it all! They were a riding ying and yang. Where one saw the chance for failure...the other said...'just one more km...just one more turn in the road" and POOF...there was dinner, a roof and a bed.

I have a friend that continually asks me to see this "dark" movie, play or one person act. I always decline. I have enough going on in and around me that offers plenty of drama for free...why would I chose to spend money to see a performance that will leave me sad,feeling helpless or questioning my world view. No thanks.

Besides, my own Camino threw me enough curve balls to last until my next Camino.

Arn
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I just found this book locally for almost nothing.
I'd like to read it then will be happy to pass it along to anyone who'd like to read it for the price of postage. Just let me know via PM. It shouldn't take me more than a week to read once it arrives.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
We found this in our local library and read it last year some time. I think the review is rather off the point. We know that pilgrims are varied and consequently so is 'the point'. For me, what has stayed with me from the book is a sense of how the Chemin (its the french bits I recall mostly) provided, and also the pairing of the believing sister with the unbeliever - again we know that the camino has meaning for all of us, whatever our explicit inspiration or none.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I take my hat off to the sisters for riding 1800km.
Its difficult enough finding your way by foot, finding a bed at the end of the day, finding a place to eat, caring for your own aches and pains. I can't imagine the strain of caring for two large animals who depend on you for everything!
 

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