Over the past week or so there has been an increase in the number of e mails and press releases arriving here at my office offering details of current and forthcoming events that promise a return to some semblance of normality. However, reading between the lines of their texts and looking at the accompanying photographs we are also reminded of how far we have slipped from what we regarded as ´the norm´. I know that many readers of Lanzarote Information are looking forward to a return of live arts events. Today’s related news items and photographs show us there is still some way to go before we re-enact, for instance, the halcyon days of last year´s Manrique 100 Festival. Nevertheless, there is cause for optimism.
The Cabildo recently hosted ´The Jura Act´ to welcome fifteen newly qualified national policemen who will help ´ensure citizen security and a more egalitarian society´.
The Vice-President of the Cabildo, Jacobo Medina, who attended the event with the sub-delegate of the Government in Las Palmas, Teresa Mayans and the Chief Commissioner of the National Arrecife Police, Manuel Rodríguez Diez, congratulated the fifteen new agents on behalf of the entire Corporation.
Jacobo Medina welcomed the new agents, ´who have before them great work to ensure the safety of all citizens, especially fighting against gender-based violence, illegal violence or cybercrime.´
The Vice-President also wished to thank the ´magnificent work done by the National Police and especially the work carried out, by his own and other State security forces, during the state of alarm decreed by the pandemic due to Covid-19.
I feel sure most law-abiding citizens would agree with The Vice President´s observation that ´the police have been an example of responsibility, dedication and solidarity´.
My wife and I have lived on the island for five years now, and enjoy our hobby of attending live arts and music events and reporting on them for English speaking readers on Miguel´s Lanzarote Information on-line platform, as well as for my own Sidetracks & Detour daily blog. Nevertheless, with only a smattering of Spanish language whilst seeing some pretty scary images from the UK as lockdown began (and ended) we felt a slight apprehension of how the police might react to any non-indigenous folk setting one foot out of line, however inadvertently.
Indeed, we did, inadvertently step out of line but whenever the police have spoken to us they have done so politely and courteously. They have shown no impatience with our language difficulties and have been always helpful.
The longer lockdown went on over here the more we realised what a remarkable lightness of touch the police constantly showed all that vast majority of the population who have behaved so well throughout these troubled times.
As new live arts events take place, and more venues open there is bound to be a frantic search for whatever the new normal is. Its good to know we have police officers who seem to understand that and want to help us do so.
As the nations of the world pretty much had to close their doors to each other during the height of the virus it would have been easy for such a small island as Lanzarote to lose sight of the status and reputation it and the rest of The Canary islands actually enjoyed on the global stage.
It was good, then, to read another Cabildo press release telling us that ´The reputation of Lanzarote wines is growing, both inside and outside the Canary Islands, which is also a recognition of all those men and women of the countryside and our winemakers.´
The Cabildo press release was to publicly congratulate Bodegas Vega de Yuco and Malpaís de Máguez for recently acquiring prestigious awards
The Director of Agriculture and Economic Promotion, Angel Vázquez, highlighted ´the quality of the Lanzarote wines that are increasingly recognized inside and outside the islands´ and said the awards were won ´in various wine competitions, both regionally and nationally´.
Award winning wines included the dry malvasia 2019 La Grieta de Bodegas Malpaís de Máguez that has won the Gold Medal in the 4th edition of the National Wine Competition of Small Denominations of Origin. Furthermore, the Lanzaroten Caldo Esencia Yaiza red 2019, of the black listán variety of Bodegas Vega de Yuco, also managed to win the Silver Medal. This was in the Official Competition of Agricultural Wines 2020, organized by the Canary Institute of Agricultural Quality of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands.
The Director of Agriculture and Economic Promotion, Angel Vázquez, noted that ´these are very important awards that reward the quality of these wines and that represent an outstanding promotion that will undoubtedly benefit the commercialization of these and other wines of the island´ .
Anyone who has read Larry Yaskiel´s treasure-chest of a book, The British Connection To Lanzarote, will know that his words skip off the page a lot more easily than the title trips off the tongue. We have previously reviewed the book on these pages but would remind you that Larry also points out how entangled are the roots of the vine between The Canary Islands and the British Isles.
Larry details favourable references to Lanzarote and Canarian wine in Shakespeare´s works, which reminds me, I must go and dust-off that bottle of 1598 Malvasia. If it was good enough for Shakespeare and Henry 1V then I can certainly and raise a glass of it to the surely-forthcoming return of live arts events here on Lanzarote.
Whilst celebrating the wine of the island and looking forward to live arts events we should also cheer for the owners of those restaurants that have recently re-opened after lockdown. Another press release received this week gives us good reason to do just that.
The director of Economic Promotion, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Cabildo de Lanzarote, Angel Vázquez, recently delivered this morning a basket of local products to Alessia Mora, winner of the #SaboreoRestaurantesLocales draw that was held during the last Month of June through the social networks of Saborea Lanzarote.
´The aim has been to promote the local gastronomy and reward the loyalty of those people who visit the restaurants of Lanzarote and taste the dishes made with native products´, explains Angel Vázquez. Participants only had to upload to social media a photo of a dish with a local product and tag the restaurant and Saborea Lanzarote.
The director appreciated the contribution of the Lanzarote producers who participated in the initiative and congratulated the winner, who as a prize obtained a varied basket of products, among them, salt of Salinas Janubio, products of Cactus Bartolo, vegetables of Agriculture Hermanos Duarte, Vermut Primo de Lanzarote, wine from Bodegas Vega de Yuco, Malpeis beers, gofio and flour of La Molina José María Gil S.L.
One of the aspects of Lanzarote life I seek to identify on these pages is the way the phrase arts and culture is seen as indivisible. Arts thrive and co-exist in a culture of slow, fine wining-and dining, classic CUISINE and low key but efficient policing. Whilst we await a flurry of news about how the arts will re-emerge from the lockdown we are happy to report that the culture half of the partnership is ready and waiting.