The Way of a Pilligrim

While I did suggest yesterday that I would have little time just at the moment for silly pointless blog posts, as I am now engaged in much more portant work, there was the little matter of doing something interesting while eating my breakfast of porridge, three cups of tea and two rounds of toast with marmalade made from my own trees.  (Should I re-phrase that?  It sounds as if, when the oranges have all been picked the trees may be shredded and made into a tasty preserve…  well you know what I mean.)

So I wanted to help puzzled readers with some of the comments in the previous blog pages, with exchanges between the good reader Jabbapapa and good Rubí donkey; and then between the good reader Jabbapapa and my ungood self; and why he refers to me as De Pesant.  So I’ll republish the correspondence here and take you through it step by step while I am eating my toast and arborial preserve.  And then I must get back to working on more serious matters of Covid-19 preparations. Here is Jabba’s comment:

Well Dearest Rubí,

Over at Camino forums I’m being put in the rood’n’norty box simply for adverse reactions on my part to being called a “fundamentalist” and “an enemy of peace” — that’ll teach me to post comments about the religious sphere being deliberately excluded by British pilgrim organisations !!!


Dear Jabbapapa,

Thanks for your information sent to deerest Rubí (attention to spelling please.) This is serious news and requires urgent action by us, Jabbapapa. We need to set up immediately an alternative pilgrim association, so I suggest we go for the Popular People’s Confraternity of Saint James (Catholic-Dogmatic). This will distinguish us from two other schismatic break-away pilgrim confraternities that have been set up during the present apocalypse: the People’s Popular Confraternity of Saint James (Marxist-Jesuitical); and the Unpopular People’s Confraternity of Saint James (LGBTQ-satanist).

The real “enemies of peace” are, as we know very well, those pilgrims who sneak out of the pilgrim refuge at 5.30 a.m. and quietly disappear up the track in the half-light, having packed into their rucsack the last communal toilet rolls from the refuge’s bathroom. We really should make some effort to video-document all of this in a hard-hitting exposé. I suggest the working title: Carry on up the Camino.

The Peasant

Then readers may have noticed there followed an uncharacteristically brief comment from Jabbapapa:

De Pesant : “I am having a quick lunch” Paella ?

So, you deer reader may have wondered, at this stage, “What is this “De Pesant”? We find this a much amazing and curious language.  Is it speaking in tongues?  A sign of the daily apocalypse which we see on breakfast TV?  A sign of the end-times, and ruin that is not quite de end times and ruin we had been hoping for when we voted for Brexit?”

De Damien

Yes deer readers: clearly dis needs explainering, as I suddenly find myself drawn into dat mysterious lingo of old.  We had a special lingo, as pesant pilligrims, which was developed while sockpuppeting[i] on de now defunct and famously forgotten Holy Smoke Daily Telegraph blogue columns.

By de way, dat lingo owed some small influence to de UK Teachers Staffroom[ii] – born in de early days of de Interweb – and brought to de Catholic blogging sockpuppet world by a certain Scatterbunny wot became de Frere Rabit, much to de extreme annoyance of Damian Thompson[iii] becuse it ruined his blogue.  And he shuttied down de reader commentings and dere was a grate wailing and a gnashing of de teeth.  

So de lingo we developied was wastied on Mr Thompson, and instead gave birth to de famous Bruvver Eccles blogue[iv] in 2010, when a sockpuppet finally got his own satirical platform. But de Bruvver Eccles doesn’t much like de Pesant anymores becuse de Pesant was rood and norty to him on a very portant dodgematic point and dere erupted a long a bitter freud…

But everyone long ago forgot wot de dodgematic point wos and de freud seems to have been overcomed as de honourable sockpuppet Eccles now once again allows de Pesant to do de occasional stupid comment on his blogue but has removied de link to de donkey blogue becuse it is heretical. But who could have thort in 2010 dat Eccles blogue would still be going in 2020 in de age of Chinese-pangolin-bat-plague? Eccles is a Catholic comic genius and is de only ever recorded case of a sockpuppet becoming de first port of call after Private Eye for de English Catholic bishops when dey urgently checks de press to see dey hasn’t been caught out in some new sexy misdemeanour.

Now you may ask, why doesn’t de Pesant always reply to de Jabbapapa using de lingo and de answer is quite simples: becuse mostly in dese days he has put childish things behind him, as Saint Paul said about de Judaism, and writtied a more intelligent blogue called  (Dat is de Pesant wot writtied de blogue, not Saint Paul wot writtied epistles instead, becuse de hypertext was not so popular in dem days.)  But here for once, on de main blogue and not in de comments below, I will writ a quick friendly note to Jabbapapa about his new project to form a break-away confraternity of pilligrims.

Hello Jabba, dis is de Pesant writting here.

I hope things is going well, organising de Popular People’s Confraternity of Saint James (Catholic-Dogmatic), and if we take it that you are CEO or General Secretary, den I’ll happily volunteer to be de Communications Officer and National Conference organiser.

I suggest we has our first National Conference in Compostela itself (after de Covid-19 crisis of course) and with my legendary networking skills, I has a key contact to organise a venue: Cardinal José Carbolico[v] former Franciscan Minister General and since 2013 de Secretary for de Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which is de longest job title in de Roman Curia (look it up) and de sort of job title that, when de Queen walks down de line of dignitaries saying, “Hellay, and what do yo do?” he gets only half way through telling her his job title only to discover she is already talking to de next person in de line,  Cardinal Becciu, Prefect of de Congregation for de Causes of Saints, and saying “Ay, hiy interesting. One always wondered, vicar: what exactly causes saints?” 

But I digress.  José can hire us de conference centre in de plush 5-star hotel[vi] that de Franciscans have next to de church of San Francisco, only three minutes walk from de Obradoiro. 

 De hotel has all a pilgrim needs, sauna with attractive Galician masseuses, a money-laundering service, and indoor go-karting.  If dere’s time after all that, Mass is available in de distressingly draughty dimly-lit church next door with de coldest pews in de Christian world (see critique by de Mystery Worshipper.)  But we could always take in some comfy velvet cushions from de hotel cocktail lounge. 

Let me know, and I’ll speak to my mate Cardinal José.  If dere’s anyone left alive in de town after coronavirus and de tapas bars is open again, we can do de traditional conference team-building event and get pissed on Estrella Galicia beer, eating de tasty mejillones, den stagger back through de dark rainy streets to de 5-star hotel, insulting de smelly pilligrims as we pass de steps of de cathedral on de way, under de ever-watchful eye of Saint James de Great, apostle of Jesus, wot deserves our supplications as de first organiser of mass tourism.

Buen Camino,

De Pesant

[i] Sock puppet – in the Internet usage – is best defined (by Ian Maxwell in 2003) as “An account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.” 

[ii] Charter of the usenet UK Teachers Staffroom still can be seen on the Internet, though the many exchanges over the 1990s-2000s seem to have disappeared. It is a tribute to the online bonds created in the Staffroom in the 1990s (when we were still using floppy disks in pooters) that there are three members of it who comment on this blog more than twenty years later: hello Liz, Sheel and sometimes Tuppence!  J  There are digestives in the sink, so help yourselves to a cup of banda fluid and sit down on the broken sofa to watch the flying gerbils.  The Meerkat Chaplin will be along anytime to tell you who is going to lead the prairs in morning assembly at 9.30.  What you never knew, girls, I’m sure, is that the Staffroom was a place for de Scatterbunny to develop de portant skills for sockpuppeting that would later cause Damien Thompson to seek psychiatric help and abandon his Daily Telegraph blog.

[iii] Damian Thompson is assistant editor of The Spectator and he is a traditional Catholic. Traditional Catholic sockpuppets liked annoying him because it undermined our own religion, as people always do (cf. Monty Python’s Life of Brian.)  Note: it is standard practice to illustrate a blogue with the most unflattering photo of Damien we can find and when he protests, call him vain.  He enjoys it all really and he can’t complain because the photo above – although completely awful – is one he uses for his own blog. Best Damien Thompson quote in past year: “It’s now obvious that Pope Francis is deeply implicated in terrible scandals. My concern isn’t theological: it’s the spectacle of a corrupt pope, something I never expected to see in my lifetime.”

[iv] Eccles Is Saved:  What is it, exactly, with late middle-aged climate-deniers and Nordic teenage girls with pigtails?  (Answers on a recycled postcard please.) No, that was below the belt really. I find her a bit irritating too. But the argument that the girl should stop sailing round the world and get back to school is now a bit passé isn’t it? Kids won’t be going back to school till prolly 2022.

[v] Cardinal Carbólico: the man whose job it is to speak for religious orders. He helped destroy the traditional Franciscans of the Immaculate, the most flourishing religious order since Vatican II destroyed all flourishing religious orders. Thought I’d just mention that, since the Apocalypse is upon us and the Day of Judgement is next Wednesday.

[vi] Hotel Saint Francis, Compostela, the 5-star palace of poverty. What would Saint Clare make of this? Well probably a doily, as that was her main craft. It was a rhetorical question anyway.

4 thoughts on “The Way of a Pilligrim

  1. Hmmm… It is easy to see why your Spanish-English public safety advice announcements might lead to concerns about the English taking their sofas out for a walk!… Only a matter of time before they start appearing along the Camino de Santiago…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ho hum. Religious references to the Traditional Catholic seem to run almost along the lines that I suspected. I wonder from where you are able to obtain such insightful knowledge!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, deer bruvver Francis, I has much experience of being in de monasteric life and swanning about in de cloisters. (Enough of this nonsense. I have a Whatsapp database to finish for the Covid-19 local information group and you are on it!) But thanks for telling me I had an insight. I might have missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here’s some fun :

    No there isn’t! Netiquette please. Blog owners post content including musical videos that reflect their own tastes, not having others’ tastes inflicted on their blog readers. In any case this blog writer always hated the Bee Gees, and what have they got to do with anything in the above post?

    Blog commenters write comments. Is we all all going mad in the lockdown? Prolly yes, so you is excused this time. 🙂


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