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The Ibizan, Thursday 12th November 2015, Issue 809


El Caganer, “The Crapper”, Explained

Have you ever studied a Local Nativity scene? The Belén, as it is called in Catalan, will have the usual range of animals, shepherds and wise men sharing the stage with the main protagonists, but there is one cheeky chappie you wouldn’t expect to find. El Caganer is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation who is a mainstay of any self-respecting nativity throughout Catalonia and the neighbouring regions. The name "El Caganer” literally means "the crapper" or "the shitter". Traditionally, the figurine is depicted as a peasant, wearing the traditional Catalan red cap (the "barretina") and with his trousers down, showing a bare backside, and defecating. In recent times El Caganer has taken on the role of social commentator, with each year bringing a new range of public figures from the world of politics, sport and entertainment doing just what the little fellow does best. Though his use may be limited to Catalonia and its surrounding parts, (plus Naples for some reason), the inspiration for the model knows no such bounds. Brits a plenty include David Cameron the PM and representatives from all sides of the house. Such even handed satire gives us another reason to think our hosts have got it right in one more aspect of life. You have to vote for them, but be sure to have a laugh at their expense on an annual basis. The exact origin of the Caganer is unknown, but the tradition has existed since at least the 18th century. According to the society Amics del Caganer (Friends of the Caganer), it is believed to have entered the nativity scene by the late 17th or early 18th century, during the Baroque period. An Iberian votive deposit was found near Tornabous in the Urgell depicting a holy Iberian warrior defecating on his falcata. This led to a brief altercation between the Institut d'Estudis Catalans and the Departament d'Arqueologia in the Conselleria de Cultura of the Generalitat de Catalunya as to whether the find can be regarded as a proto-caganer (which would place the origin of this tradition far earlier than previously thought) or just a representation of a pre-combat ritual. However old he is, we like him.

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Christmas Time, Sticky Kids & Twine Bondi Kids Craft Sessions

Praise for Toy Firm’s Christmas Message

Toy Planet has published a Christmas catalogue that deliberately tries to avoid the stereotyping of boys and girls in gender-specific roles. It is their second year of publishing the gender neutral publicity in which the Spanish toy chain shows boys playing with dolls and pushing prams with girls riding motorcycles and building models. The initiative began three years ago with pictures posted on their social media, said Toy Planet general director Ignacio Gaspar. The response they received was so positive that executives decided to take the concept through to the Toy Planet Christmas catalogue. “We were hoping that others would join our initiative, but so far we’re not seeing that,” he explained. But the gender-neutral photographs only involve the chain’s own toys. According to Toy Planet other makers have so far been slow to come forward in wanting to change their own campaigns. “They’ve congratulated us a lot, but the support has been more about attitude than about behaviour,” says Gaspar. Some change is visible. Play kitchens, for example, are now a unisex product for many makers. This is thought to be a direct result of fathers cooking more at home and male TV chefs breaking down that particular stereotype. Some studies also show that girls are increasingly interested in superheroes, which until recently had been considered an all-male territory. And thanks to advocacy work by groups such as Let Toys Be Toys, a growing list of British toy stores and retailers are dropping the “girls” and “boys” signage on their toy aisles. In fact, The New York Times points out that “toys are more strictly gendered today than they were 50 years ago, when adult gender roles were much more separate, according to research by Elizabeth Sweet, a sociologist at the University of California, Davis.” According to that study, a 1975 Sears catalogue showed that only two percent of toys were labelled as being specifically for boys or for girls, while in 2012, all the products at the Disney store were gender-specific.

We arrived early and were pleased to see that crafts were already being prepared. Blue was rather excited and being the first child there he sat at the large table inside and awaited instructions. He was given a choice of crafts to make – some Christmas related - pine cone Reindeers and others not quite so – a Minions pot (carefully crafted from a toilet roll). Of course Blue chose the Minions pot and was given instruction on how to complete it. The kids are given the pieces to cut out, pens to draw and any more help they need whilst helpers are there to use the glue gun) an absolute must in the tricky art of sticking kids craftwork together. Within the hour, the club runs from 3.30-4.30pm, I was the proud owner of 2 Minions pots and a pine cone pig, ok Blue´s may not have been Christmassy this week but a great idea for little gifts for the family. It took me back to my childhood Blue Peter days, just without the need to save toilet rolls and wait for ´that washing up bottle´ as materials are covered by the 5€ cost per week. A great hour spent and we´re looking forward to next weeks creations. Sign Up via Bondi’s Facebook Page

Mariposa Continued From Previous Page ing heat of the Summer. I know lots love it but for me Roast Dinners come on the agenda at the same time as the Christmas ads on TV, September. This was my first eating out post summer and so really looking forward to it. Everybody had plenty of meat, the portion control used being my favourite measure of ‘just a bit too much’. Way too much is wasteful and if deliciousness dictates may demand overeating. Too little means you are probably somewhere with ‘bistro’, ‘gastro’ or God forbid ’fusion’ in the name that will have me muttering complaint when presented with the bill. This was in the Goldilocks ‘just right zone’. The chicken came both light and dark, the pork with some special crackling. Mint, apple, horseradish, whatever my chosen meat in the Sunday sauce trinity, I want lots of it and do not enjoy having to ask waiting staff for three more thimbles of a restaurant’s efforts at epicurean economy, so the broad dishes with copious supplies of each were a welcome sight. Home made Yorkshire, we are ticking all the boxes, and then of course it comes, the gravy. Sitting in such a brilliant setting in the brilliant sunshine, it would have been impossible not to pour that so very British brown embellishment without realising that it certainly is, “it is all gravy.”

Even the vegetables were gravy/ brilliant depending which of the article’s metaphors you prefer to go with. I can’t think it is often I specifically seek out the name of a veg supplier. So tasty, so very tasty. We all know that one thing the BBC will never be telling relatives at home is that their food tastes better than ours. The British supermarket force grown, perfectly formed abominations on the memories of our allotment owning grandparents do not come close to even our most standard supermarket fruit and veg. But these were that bit more. Remarkable even by Ibizan standards. Funny how visitors remark at how our children are really good at eating their vegetables. Yes, that would be because they can taste them. Our son clicked on the extra specialness of these with no less than 3 return for Brocolli and Cauliflower, whilst dad used his rusty silver service for no one but himself in ensuring no carrot was left behind. It is often said that without finding criticism you cannot consider yourself to have been objective in a review. Well there was one actually so we may as well get it out of the way. Comedy forks. In what had all the hallmarks of one of my most frequent personal failings, being tempted by a ridiculously good price direct from China, the Mariposa seem to

have got themselves some Yuri Geller props, though to be fair their failings only came up in the process of the child plate cut up, which is of course undertaken with some gusto to allow a return to the table’s temptations now flooding the senses with their savoury scent that demands taste follows in hot pursuit. Anyway, you can probably tell by now that a floppy fork was not going to spoil what was a brilliant return to the Sunday Roast. Our order for desert could wait. Time for some basking, and chatting, and sipping with a little gulping. Talk turned to the success of the raft race the day before (they hadn’t organised anything for a couple of weeks obviously), and plans for the chaps of Cala Llonga to follow their much more photogenic spouses in a forthcoming ‘Calendar Boys’ production. From what the ladies had already told us of the freezing conditions modesty demanded in their very early morning photo shoots, we fear the gents noble efforts run the very real risk of the village being renamed Cala Shorta when their version hits the shops. As we were enjoying the afternoon you couldn’t help but notice the sucession of puddings pass by to other less patient patrons. Apple Pie created with an outlook of ‘now that’s an apple pie’. Syrup Sponge

Pudding smothered in creamy custard that had been created with an outlook of ‘now that’s a childhood memory’. There were others but I only had eyes for these little beauties and was wrangling over my inevitable infidelity as choosing either over the other seemed wrong at a spiritual level, when I discovered that demons were afoot. No pie! No pud! In hindsight of course I was an idiot. You don’t keep watching these be served assuming there will be one left. Why would there be any left, look at them. And so your humble reviewer who has some modest claim to eat professionally, revealed himself as a rank amateur. Cheese was suggested. I like cheese. But still salivating over my sweet cravings it felt, well, it wasn’t pie and it wasn’t pud. Was the day to end on a low? But the there were angels. Sweet, well savoury, cheesy angels. What we got was not the afterthought of something served to the tortured souls of pie and pud deprivation. The platter of Stilton, Brie and Red Leicester flown in by our winged guardians was enough to provide tasty nibbling for a long time to come. Whilst still on transit from first sight to being set on the table, my mouth started to form the words of any British man less crackers than those on his plate. But my vocal

efforts were not required, as a glass of port arrived automatically as part of the course. Classy. One thing missing. No butter. As if projected by angels on high, or Joe behind the bar who understandably didn't want to miss any of his Crystal Palace holding their own at Anfield, the butter came from nowhere and required the instinctive catch of a long retired slip. Then again why would should that come as a surprise, Mariposa, where the Butter Flies. Brilliant. See advert for all contact details including information on Mariposa’s forthcoming Christmas fair on December 6th. Our thanks for a great afternoon to hosts and the team at Mariposa, Joe, Di, Brian, Michele, Jeremy and adding some native authenticity, Molly, 13 knocking on 21. We left with morning school in mind, probably half way through the second half with Palace having scored first and Liverpool bringing it back to a draw at the break. Kinda wished I could have stayed when I heard the final score. Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 2. On Joe’s behalf, one last time, brilliant.

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The Ibizan 809 eissue 12 Nov 15  

Issue 809. Space, the final Cox year, Carl Cox on why he quit. Space Ibiza, alternate dimension, the observatory. Space between ears, spirit...