Sunday, 16 October 2011

Others say it was laid out by the dinosaurs.

This is from a leaflet about the small Portugese town I am in today:

'The year in which Loule was founded is unsure. There are historians who attribute its foundation to the Carthaginians (404 BC), while others defend a more contemporary origin, accrediting responsibility to the Romans.'

Wow. Like most unbearably smug Englishmen, I have in my time scoffed at American or Australian 'historic buildings' from the 1920s. But the boot's on the other foot now. Round here, if your town only dates back to Roman times, it is disappointingly contemporary...

(The leaflet also tells me, to my inexpressible disappointment, that the town's Museum of Dried Fruit is not open on Sundays.)

21 comments:

Sabina said...

Am terribly upset there were only 4 episodes in the John finnemore's souvenir programme! Sunday evening's have lost their lustre!

Just wanted to say that the series was brilliant!! Though all of it had me cackling with laughter I have to admit the The three little pigs & Romulus and Remus ones will always be my personal favourites!!

Hope the pilot goes well! Can't wait for a tv series from
You!!

Sarah-L-B said...

I'd like to believe the dinosaurs theory :P that's way more hardcore...

Anonymous said...

Ha! I spent a few terms at the U of Sussex through a study abroad program, and our first morning in the cafeteria, one of my fellow Americans picked up a bottle of water - Ballygowan, I think it was called - and started giggling upon reading the label. I asked him what was funny, and he said, "We're so proud of Poland Spring [a brand of bottled water in America], right? But those guys found the spring like twenty years ago by following a bear, right? But these guys [pointing to the Ballygowan label], they were fucking Crusaders. That's it. Their water wins. Everything here is so old."

Yes, he was jet-lagged, but he had a point, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the water story was from me - can't seem to log in today.

- Rajani

theficklepickle said...

Those old Romans and Carthaginians didn't bequeath them any of their business sense, did they? Fancy not having your Museum of Dried Fruit open on a Sunday! OTOH I'm delighted you're (presumably) having some time off and even more delighted that you found the time to post. Hope you're recharging the batteries and will come back afterwards in your usual dazzling form.

Ross Bennett said...

Some of the very best Portuguese towns are in Portugal, I'm told.

Daedalus said...

And Pick of the Week does it again! This time it was the zoo song about the meerkats. Actually I had to look that one up. We're not privy to UK ad fads in the USA. And as in the way of things, Count Orlovsky's Wikipedia entry is much longer than that of a certain comedy writer...

As for founding ancient settlements, England has Stonehenge!

Nance said...

If you cross the pond, you will have to plan carefully your trip. Alas, the Lobster Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine is closed most Sundays. I guess not many lobsters holiday during off season.

Jane Russ said...

1. The Souvenir Programme was fab and way too short at 4 episodes but I guess the stress to write it is too great to do any more.
2. PICK OF THE WEEK AGAIN!!! Only sorry it wasn't The Emperor's New Clothes which was my fave.
3. Please, please don't let your head be turned by TV. Your radio progs are the best.

perian said...

If the dinosaurs laid it out, it wouldn't be that small of a town, would it? Unless it was just one loner of a dinosaur... Okay, over here will be a square -- that'll make a fabulous bedroom. Next to the river will be the kitchen, and this dip over here will be the toilet. I'll call it the Museum of Dried Fruit.

Lotte Straightman said...

I grew up on the Isle of Wight. That wasn't open on Sundays either.

Anonymous said...

Hi John

I just wanted to ask whether we can expect a Cabin Pressure Christmas Special this year?

I'm a big fan of Cabin Pressure and of this blog! Keep up the good (+exceptionally funny) work!

Gordiana17 said...

I'm spoiled and monothematic. Instead of "Others", I saw "otters".
I miss Cabin Pressure...

Sarah-L-B said...

In 'John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme' episode one, the doors...one tells the truth and one lies...is that inspired by those funny door guards in 'Labyrinth' by any chance?

Pauline said...

Hi John,
We only JUST discovered Cabin Pressure, and it's been a delight! Thanks so much! Sadly our second oldest son has nicked our third best iPod to listen to it. Good thing we have more iPods than sons.

couchbarnacle said...

That's just tragic. How is one supposed to function without an entire afternoon filled with dried fruit?

Katy said...

New life goal: become a curator of dried fruit.

A.W. said...

Coming from the US, it's a bit mind-boggling to go to the EU and hear all about places that are 1000+ years old, with buildings that have foundations dating back to the year 901. Coming from a town that's oldest structure is the railroad (the town still rents land from the Union Pacific - robber baron contracts...) anything older than 1900 is considered ancient history. There just really isn't much in the way of ancient history to be found out here, especially in the West (unless you count some of the fossils they sometimes dig up. They found part of a mammoth once! We have ancient history, too! We're still cool...sort of...)

Carolina said...

I have nothing to add except my excitement at knowing you were in my homeland. :)

Koshinokinsho said...

There's a museum on the outskirts of the French town of Clairac that is even more specialised than the museum of dried fruit - it's dedicated to prunes. To be fair, their chocolate-covered prunes and prunes in armagnac are rather tasty.

Anonymous said...

The tiny town of Homer in Alaska has the world's only hammer museum. I was dumfounded by the sheer variety of specialist hammers-- if the only tool you have in your tool box is a hammer, don't worry: according to the problem, there is a designer hammer to hit it with.

The cruise ship I arrived on was bigger than the town of Homer. The biggest industry there is the --wait for it-- totem pole factory. They will take a sitka spruce and from its trunk custom make you a 2 -4 story high totem pole to put in front of your house, or on your village green. On this giant wood sculpture they will carve the stylized totem animals of your family, town, or portraits of your ancestors --all standing atop each other's heads. Then they paint the totem pole in bright colours and ship it to you, any place in the world. (Postage costs extra) The rest of the populace of Homer depends on fishing for a living.

As for the antiquity of the town of Homer, it is a non-question above the arctic circle. The real question is: can you make it through the winter without starving or freezing to death ?