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John McDonnell as Sancho Panza?

(Photo: Kolrobbie at Wikipaedia)

(Zaqarbal, Wikipaedia)

Augustus Snodbury, Senior Master of St Birinus Middle,

grimaced at the Junior Master’s pronunciation.

Nigel had just informed his elder and better that he was taking

his paramour, Drusilla to a Ciudad Real Parador for the October

half term break.  They would not be joining Gus and Virginia at

the Pele Tower in the Borders.

On enquiring what Nigel’s- he refused to call him ‘Nige’- holiday

reading might be, he was given to understand that Cervantes was

on the agenda-or at least, on the Kindle, abridged, naturally.

Nigel, more or less, had identified the novel as Don Coyote.



Another instance of that annoying expression.

Nigel put his hand in his tweed jacket, to draw out a handkerchief

and, to his surprise, pulled out-not a plum, like Jack Horner, but a pair

of castanets.  He flushed and raised them above his head, attempting a

confident Ole!

What’s going on? muttered Snod.

Oh, Dru and I have been preparing for our forthcoming trip by attending

a Flamenco Club in Suttonford, on a Wednesday night.

Cervantes and the duende. Hmmm, you are studying the chivalric form of

The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, I take it?

Snod patted his paunch sagely, as if he were Simon Russell Beale playing


Privately, Nigel thought Gus could do with some exercise himself.  He could

lose some of that grandote.

Flapping his hand in a hidalgoesque manner, Snod indicated that he was

terminating the conversation.  He picked up a newspaper and gave the

impression that all discussion on the picaresque was at an end.

But Nigel, noticing a front page photo of Jeremy Corbyn, could not help

commenting that the politician was another example, like Tony Benn, who

was given to renunciation of the caballeros class.

Snod lowered his paper and pronounced:

I think he feels Fortune has arranged thirty or more monstrous giants, all

of whom he means to engage in battle and slay in righteous warfare.

What giants?

No, Mr Milford-Haven.  The quotation is ‘Que gigantes?’  But, yes, Corbyn has

something of The Knight of the Rueful Countenance about him.  You see, he

wants you to believe what he claims to have seen in the Cave of Montesinos.

And that is all he has to say.  His words are like manure spread on barren

ground. He might as well be speaking Castilian.

(Photo: Garry Knight)

You think he is just telling some groups of goatherds about a Golden Age?

ventured Nigel.

He believes he can heal society with an equivalent of the Balm of Fierarbras, 

Snod nodded.

But at least he seems to be for the poor, Nigel qualified.

Fools think there is bacon when there is not even a hook to hang a haunch of

Serrano on, persisted Snod, beginning to enjoy the exchange.  I suppose in

office he might wake to sanity.

The bell rang, concluding the exploration of the romantic forthcoming trip

with Drusilla, or Dulcinea, as Snod was beginning to think of her.

Back to the galleys, Snod announced.  His identification with Cervantes

was complete.

La Mancha's windmills were immortalized in the novel Don Quixote

(Photo by Lourdes Cardenal, Wikipaedia)

This particular collocation of Don Quixote and Jeremy Corbyn is copyright

to Candia Dixon Stuart.