Humble and sweet poverty

Rubí has been writing the occasional Tuesday blog post for nearly three years now.  She first suggested the idea in December 2014 in an inspired moment when she decided to address Pope Francis on the subject of global warming.  Since then, she has written blogs about Big Things and little things and today’s blog is like a little thing that is really a Big Thing.  Rubí ponders the passing nature of all earthly things including the Interweb and carrots.  And she contemplates Paradise. 

We thank Luisa Navarro for sending the poem by Francis Jammes.


Morris tells me he and Aitana are now famous on YouTube since their rood and norty antics were videoed last February; and they have had more than one and a half million views.

“Is this true?” I asked our Peasant.

The Peasant said it was true: “More than one and a half million: we’re coming up to one million seven-hundred thousand views.”  And it must be true because a boy in Year 9 told the Peasant while he was on lunch time duty in the dining hall. And boys in Year 9 know more about computers and the Interweb than anyone, or so they think.  They don’t know as much about computers as the girls in Year 9, but they don’t realise that yet. They will find out when they are competing for jobs some time in the future.  Then they will realize that the girls were not wasting their time seeing how many views their teachers’ videos were getting on YouTube.  But I digress…


I’m not quite sure why anyone needs so many views: I am quite happy with a view of the valley and a view out of the stable where I can see if our Peasant is bringing food.  On our old field I had a sea view.  I used to enjoy looking down to the sea and imagining the Phoenicians arriving on a white-sailed galley bringing exotic carrots from Tyre and Sidon.

Although I can’t see the sea any more, there are mountain views from our field and it is possible to see several different views from the same spot, by revolving.  I do this every day and I can get twelve different views an hour.  Which is not quite one and a half million views but it is quite enough.  More views than that and you’d get quite giddy.

This morning our Peasant saw that Luisa Navarro had put a French pome on the comments.  The Peasant liked the pome so much that he said I should put it on my blog.  “To do this,” he announced, “we must go for a walk in the valley and video the pome.  This will symbolise walking to Paradise with a donkey.”


That seemed like a good idea to me.   A walk is an opportunity to eat things. Eating things symbolises donkey Paradise.  So we had a clearly agreed plan.

I’m not too sure about the Peasant’s French accent, but here is the video of the pome.

In Paradise I think the number of views increases very fast.  In fact, if I was to turn round and round and round in Paradise, going through 360 degrees, then turning through four dimensions, I would get millions of views and it would last for eternity.

That makes me feel quite giddy, so I’m going to eat a lemon.


Francis Jammes: Here is the full poem.  And a very poor English translation: Prayer to go to Paradise with donkeys.

12 thoughts on “Humble and sweet poverty

  1. Yes, of course: but it gets complicated. The instruction in Matthew 21:3 was to bring two donkeys. “Go to the village ahead of you,” He told them, “and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to Me.”

    I wonder what happened to the second donkey?


  2. Was listening to the radio recently and a contributor who had been called a donkey (as an insult) replied that a donkey was the only thing Our Lord has been recorded as saying he was in need of, so thank you very much for calling me a donkey! 😆

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There are two errors in the RIFT document, though generally it’s a good text.

    They describe as “not included” in the agreement the following items :

    1) Future healthcare arrangements (eg EHIC for future travellers).

    erm, these are under the provision of the French social security, so that once you’re in the system, under whichever conditions, the right to healthcare whilst travelling in other EU countries is easily obtained. There is no reason that there should be special provisions in this matter for UK Nationals, given that these rights are afforded regardless of nationality.

    They’re just plain wrong about this one, though to be fair this is a matter of French Law in its relation to EU Law that many expats here, and French, misunderstand, rather than being anything involving Brexit and the future UK/EU Treaty as such.

    2) The right to be joined by a future spouse or partner – ie one that you weren’t in a relationship with on Brexit day

    My understanding from a report in The Times today — — suggests a more complex settlement.

    Any EU citizen living in the UK on March 29, 2019, will be allowed to stay indefinitely with the same rights they now have. The same will apply for UK citizens in the EU. The partners and children of those citizens will have the same rights, even if they are not living in the UK/EU at the time of Brexit. Wider family members (such as parents) are not included and future legal partners will not get automatic rights.

    That the rights might not be “automatic” does not mean that they won’t or don’t exist. Existing bilateral or multilateral arrangements from the period earlier than Schengen may also still enjoy force of Law, just as the pre-EEC and pre-EU treaties between the UK and the Republic of Ireland have never been abolished.

    A major problem that I can see in the RIFT document is that it seems to view these matters through the prism of an English understanding of the Law — where Case Law is the core of Law as such. But French Law is governed by the underlying principles of Roman Law, and by the specifics of the Napoleonic Code. French legal provisions towards those domiciled and/or resident in France are not so affected by Brexit as they seem to think.


  4. Hi Jabba. I touched upon some of the above matters (but not much) in the new post

    I’ve been involved in the last minute lobbying on citizens’ rights. Such a lot of effort for little effect. MEPs are a waste of space.

    How the outcome affects you in France is presented in this summary from one of our British in Europe members living in France who is also a member of RIFT (Remain in France Together) which is an unfortunate acronym…

    As for Catalonia, the damage is done. The Spanish economy has been severely set back. The social damage in Catalonia is enormous. The wave of patriotism thaqt swept Spain in September and October has now given way to competing seperatisms. The only good to come out of it all is that Podemos – the extreme left “Chavistas” – have taken a nosedive in popularity. They now seem to be the most unpopular populist party in the improbable rise of perfunctory purple populism…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Gareth back on the lovely donkey blog, though sorry not got much to say about donks this morning, except that I do find that Rubí donkey has a very lovely bridle.

    I’m glad anyway to hear that the existing rights of we expats here in the EU and of EU expats over in the UK seem to have been more or less settled in the midst of all this Brexit — and I’m intrigued that Spain is requesting an extension of the forthcoming 2-year transition period to three years, precisely for the cause of expat rights !! Does this also signify a shift in the Spanish position over Gibraltar, a hive of expats from both sides if I’ve ever seen one ?

    It is anyway very unusual for National Governments to be this much concerned over expats, as mostly in my life my impression has been that we’re barely tolerated.

    It’s also interesting to see, in the Catalonia situation, that Podemos, whose electorate created the hung parliament politics in the first place, is likely to see massive voter defection on December 21st, so that Catalonia is now that much more likely to have a functional majority after the elections, even though whichever stitch-up coalition group is likely still inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes it was Matilde. She doesn’t like Rubí going off without her and as we were just down in the valley – not too far away – the sound carries. I think she heard me reading the poem. Of course Rubí doesn’t bray, but also I don’t think she even took aby notice. There were no twitchy ear movements!


  7. The great donkey adventure! Thinking of Matilde sticking her nose in… Is that Matilde braying in the distance, part way through the poem? It makes for quite a haunting sound effect!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.