Una representación de alumnos, padres y profesores han posado frente al Ayuntamiento de Pamplona con el cartel que anunciara San Fermin 2016

19 April 2016

The kids from the public primary school of Buztintxuri in Pamplona are the creators of this year’s poster to announce the Sanfermin 2016 Fiestas

For the past six years this school has been sending in their work to the official annual competition to find a poster for the Sanfermin fiestas. The kids have done this as part of their drawing and art classes at school in the Public Primary School in the Pamplona neighborhood of Buztintxuri. Up to this year of 2016, this activity was just seen as a bit of fun, or a game, but now this year they have become the authors of the official poster, which will display everywhere the fiesta program of Sanfermin 2016.

With a total participation of 6, 078 people, (19% more than in 2015) 25,9% of the choices -1, 575 votes- went to the entry entitled “San Marrazquin”, which received 471 more votes than the second choice. In this video, you can see the faces of the kids when they learn that now they can announce to the whole world that they are the creators of the winning poster.

The poster was entered for the competition by Eneko Huarte, Patricia Martiartu, Mikel Mendibil Ainzúa and Mikel Santos “Belatz who are, respectively, members from the school head office, the teaching staff and the parents’ representative from the school board. In the small details found on the poster, the contribution from the kids can be clearly seen.

The Mayor of Pamplona, Joseba Asirón, was pleased to find an increase in the voting participation and equally pleased to find that most of the finalists were from Pamplona.

Eneko Huarte, a representative from the Public Primary School in Buztintxuri emotively revealed the excitement with which the news of the win was received in the school. And he explained how the work on the poster was done with the cooperation of children and parents to complete the work that will now announce the forthcoming fiestas of San Fermin.

Check for more details on the web page of Pamplona City Hall.

20th of April
The Government of Navarra congratulates CP Buztintxuri Primary School for winning the poster competition for Sanfermin 2016. See the Government news page.

Los ocho carteles finalistas para anunciar Sanfermin 2016

5 April 2016

The finalist posters for the 2016 Sanfermin Poster Competition with fewer entrants than previous years

The eight finalist posters have now been selected and the winner from these eight will become the official Sanfermin 2016 poster. Votes for the winning entry will come from citizens who are on the Pamplona census list and they can cast their vote in various ways: Votes may be cast up to the 18th of April through the Pamplona City Hall web page , and also by way of the City Hall Call Number for Citizen Attention 010 (948420100 – when calling from a cell phone or from outside Pamplona). It is also possible to cast a vote in person by visiting any one of the network of Civivox centers. In this latter case, the final day for voting is the 16th of April.

In 2016 the Sanfermin poster competition has had a novel jury composition. The eight finalists were chosen from among 376 entries by a technical jury composed of the Director of Culture, Linguistic Policies, Education and Sport, Maitena Muruzábal as well as the participation of different professionals namely, Leire Urbeltz,Antonio Laíta, Maite Canto and Iñaki Cabodevilla, from the fields of design, communication and Fine Arts. Also on the jury was: Javier Erice, the winner of last year’s competition and the municipal technician for Fine Arts.

Iñaki Cabodevilla, designer and member of the jury, has stated that in the selection process they purposely avoid going for “zeros and “10s” (maximum points) and rather preferred to go for an all-round evaluation of each piece which showed a certain level of competence, although this might be more of a “fives” evaluation. Reaching decisions was no easy task and the reasons for making the final choice often came down to the effort shown as well as the technical abilities, among other things. Above all, it was not a question of looking for and choosing only what looked like a winning poster at first glance.

Another member of the jury, Leire Urbeltz, pointed out that she was very pleased about the team work carried out by the jury which meant that a wide selection of works that offered more than just the classic themes of religion and bulls were evaluated. She went on to state that there were bulls and saints among the selected works, but also themes like, Basque, Women, Children and Equality.

According to figures released by Pamplona City Hall, “This year there were 376 entries. From these, 166 came from Pamplona, which comes to 44, 15% of the total – a percentage very similar to last year’s figure. From other locations within Navarra, 69 entries were submitted. In other words, entries from within the Province of Navarra totaled 235, – 62. 5% of the total entries. Of the remaining entries, 135 came from other provinces of Spain and just 6 were sent in from abroad, which comes to just 1,6% of the total.”

The significant drop in overall entries stands out in this year’s competition. With these 376 total of entries that means that there were 86 entries fewer than last year and 181 fewer than 2011 (the year with the highest entry figure over the last six years)

Participation over recent years
2016: 376
2015: 462
2014: 546
2013: 430
2011: 557
2010: 518
2009: 458

Finalist Posters 2016:

Cartel Sanfermin 2016, número 1. Zezena. Autores desconocidos hasta la finalización del concurso.

Cartel Sanfermin 2016, número 2. Txuribeltz.

Cartel Sanfermin 2016, número 3. Los colores de la fiesta /Festaren koloreak

Cartel Sanfermin 2016, número 4. Ama a tu madre.






31 March 2016

An illustration of the Running of the Bulls to publicize a Sony camera in Indonesia

Sony recreated an image of the Sanfermin Running of the Bulls from the summer fiestas of 2012 to publicize its new camera endowed with a projector, in Indonesia. Probably the Sony DCR-PJ5 video camera does not mean much to you, but the possibility of recording film and being able to project it at the very same time was a real advertising challenge for the Y&R creative publicity agency from Jakarta. The team was directed by Kevin Le and the artistic task was in the hands of Supriatin Kurniasari who decided that the Sanfermin Running of the Bulls had everything that they needed for their publicity campaign. They knew that the Pamplona Running of the Bulls was an internationally known spectacle and just the right kind of outlet to demonstrate the ease of use of the new Sony camera. We might add that the task in this case was not to make a video or shoot a film, but rather to make a publicity advertisement aimed at press and magazine outlets and which had to succeed in conveying its message at first glance.

Y&R developed their idea using the Sanfermin Running of the Bulls event where the user of the Sony camera is filming the bullrun as the cameraman is actually taking part in the actual running of the bulls and, at the same time, projects a live image on a wall. The bull stares at the image projected on the wall rather than at the live runners, thanks to the camera projection. The person responsible for expressing this idea was the illustrator Rahmat Handoko. This drawer is well-known in Indonesia for his work in comics. The publicity agency liked his work and the advert appeared in the press media in Indonesia, China and Japan. Handoko has a high profile in the world of comics and has even worked with Marvel publications in a special edition of Iron Man, which was published under the title “No End In Sight: Part 2 of 3”..

In his work for the Sony advert the illustrator displayed a street that could well be a Pamplona Street or not, at first glance. The water potholes do not look like those normally found in European cities but two details on two premises along the Street make it very clear that we are in Pamplona. We can clearly read behind the bull the name on one of the premises – Cervecería Bávaros, which is an actual premises in Pamplona, although, curiously enough, it is not located on the stretch of the Running of the Bulls. And in the rear part of the image we can also read the name – La Mallorquina, – which indeed is the name of an actual cake shop in the town of Estella, close to Pamplona.

Obviously, this whole thing is a recreation and, of course, the by-laws for the bullrunning in Pamplona forbid by law any action such as this with a runner carrying a camera as he participates in the bullrun. However, it is true that on certain specific occasions, permission has been given to take a camera onto the course of the bullrun. One such occasion was the year of this announcement, that is to say, during Sanfermin 2012, when permission was granted to some runners to use a camera so as to obtain some 3D images for the Burn advertisement. In this promotional video the system used can easily be seen.

Pilar Mayo, Ayuntamiento de Pamplona

8 March 2016

The campaign against sexual harassment in Sanfermin is a model reference

Image from fsyc.org

Today, the 8th of March is International Women’s Day and a good day to remember the good work being carried out by Pamplona City Hall Equality Entity against any kind of sexual harassment and in favor of equality for all, through the collaboration of different institutions in the city to promote true equality during the Sanfermin fiestas. And indeed, just two weeks ago the Noctámbul@s watchdog which is given over to a study of the relation which exists between drug consumption, sexual harassment and abuse within the milieu of night-time leisure events and diversion chose a talk about the campaign against sexual harassment in Sanfermin to close its annual conference just two weeks ago.

Pilar Mayo, from the Equality Area of Pamplona City Hall was given the task of describing how the work of this City Hall has managed to create an appropriate awareness within the Public Institutions and it has had an important impact on the different associations and groups that exist to run the fiestas. This task has managed, among other aspects, to improve the attention protocol in cases of this kind of sexual violence with the daily presence of expert lawyers within the Citizen Protection Group during the period of Sanfermin fiestas. The Media also include within their agendas the need to create awareness among the public and visitors alike on these themes of sexual aggression and equal rights among all the public.

The main conclusion reached by the watchdog group from the Health and Community Foundation is that alcohol is the most prevalent drug in cases of sexual aggression within the context of nightly diversion and partying during fiestas, although this does not mean that a relationship of direct responsibility exists between the two things. Neither directly responsible nor mitigating. Rather, is the erroneous beliefs about peer relations which emerge from this scenario of diversion and partying and so it is by means of preventive action and awareness measures being taken against these beliefs that will help change things and hopefully make sexual harassment disappear from those spheres of fun, diversion and enjoyment. .. In this respect, the campaign against sexual harassment in Sanfermin is based on an excessive consumption of alcohol and drug taking and fits perfectly within the premise of this kind of work which makes the awareness work being carried out by Pamplona City Hall so pertinent and interesting. Pilar Mayo told Sanfermin.com that the most important thing was to transmit this awareness to the different groups involved in the annual fiestas. The two focuses lie in the identification of the problem and a proper awareness of this problem in order to prevent it from ever taking place.

As a result of this work, the association Gora Iruñea recognized the initiative of the movement “In favor of Equality in Sanfermines” with their award in 2014.
Presentation of the Equality Award in 2015.

Read the sanfermin.com section about Sexual Assaults

Siempre quedará sanfermin

4 March 2016

SANFER-MEANDERINGS, We’ll Always Have Pamplona…, by Tim Pinks

The Dutchies have that famous song, ‘When it’s spring again, I’ll sing again, tulips from Amsterdam…’ Well, up here in the Northern Hemisphere, in the Land of Middle Earth on the Mountains of Mordor where I sit upon the Throne of Pinks, writing this, it’s March and the third countdown of the Escalera to Fiesta is upon us, the 3rd of the 3rd, and that cloven hooved, stampeding Game of Horns is rapidly approaching, as it were. As Bogart might have said in that long lost famous film, ‘Caballo Blanco’…

We’ll Always Have Pamplona…

Well, for me, when it’s spring again, it’s San Fermin again, greetings from Pamplona… And thus it gives me the perfect excuse to write another puli (for that is what I call these articles) for Los Lokos of Kuku, and their Sanfermin.com pages. Although as I will mention later, occasionally the lunatics do escape from the asylum…only for others to break in and take over. More of which later, as Kukuxumusu has undergone a bit of a metamorphosis.

As so often, there is no particular theme to this month’s ponderings, just a selection of scribblings to start off the year’s writings and ramblings from this SanferTimero. Oh, and thanks to Joe Distler for providing the ‘Casablanca’ poster and speech bubble pic that starts this piece. It always makes me smile…

Pamplona in the 16th Century. I especially like the two fat babies flying over the town, with what is no doubt a barrel of patxaran.

Pamplona in the 16th Century. I especially like the two fat babies flying over the town, carrying what is no doubt a barrel of patxaran.

425 Years Ago
Four and a quarter centuries ago, after the fiesta of 1590, the date of San Fermin was moved, as the locals decided that the weather in October, when it had been previously held for several hundred years, was just not good enough. So it was moved to July in 1591, to combine with an already existing commercial fair. Ever since then we have been lucky enough to celebrate the world’s greatest free event in the glorious, (usually) summertime weather in the Kingdom of Navarra. Oh lucky us.

No one quite knows how the encierro started, or when, (although we know pretty much why) but last year in one of Navarra’s local newspapers, Diario de Noticias, in their special pre-fiesta San Fermin supplement, I read an article by Patxi Barragan that offered not just a possible explanation, but one that actually seemed very plausible too.

There is a town in Spain called Cuellar, in the province of Segovia, about 75 miles, (120km, keep up at the back there) northwest of Madrid. It lays claim to having the oldest encierro in the country, dating from 1215, which merits a whole other story on its own, but Cuellar could be relevant to Pamplona because of what I read in the piece.

Once upon a time there was born in that town a chap who became Beltran 2nd de la Cueva, The Duke of Alburquerque. He was made Viceroy of Navarra in 1552, and it’s perhaps because of this that he brought with him many of his fellow townsfolk to Pamplona, where it seems they could have decided to continue their home town’s traditions and play what was known as, literally, the ‘Juego de Toros,’ the Game of Bulls. See, I told you, Game of Horns…

We’ll never know for sure, and no doubt, as I’ve read before and also written about too, local Pamplonicans were already used to the bulls being run into the square for the bullfights and occasionally ‘played’ with them too, by making dares of darting out at them, or running way in front of them…especially when the authorities frowned upon this sort of thing and tried to stop it.

Which they failed miserably at, thank goodness, and eventually gave in and became the masters of the universe at doing a u-turn, and made the encierro official. Once again…oh lucky us… So thank you, Duke of Alburqueque, and I hope your time working for the English in the Court of King Henry 8th (he did, you know,) was nearly as fun as fiesta in my favourite city in the galaxy. Talking of fun…

A Fiesta Jester. Big Dave Pierce 1932 – 2016
Not a Duke, or a King, but most definitely ‘un Grande,’ and from what I understand, also, in the nicest possible way…a Clown. A Joker. A fiesta jester. I didn’t know the fella but many, many people did, and I like to mention these Sanfermineros as and when they slip off to that great fiesta in the sky… And so it has come to pass that one David Milton Pierce has left this Earth to join his old amigos up there in those Celestial San Fermines.

As I say, I didn’t know him, but I have read a lot about him over the years, so I’m going to use a couple of stories that have been doing the rounds, and post some pictures I stole too. I’ll credit them where I can, but if I can’t and you know who took ‘em, please let me know and between Mr. Tim here in London and Mr. Testis there in Pamplona we’ll get them name checked. I’ve read so many stories about that original crowd from the fifties and sixties that it’d make a whole book in itself, and I might well save that for another day.

But I’m going to borrow one thing that was posted to a bunch of us out there, by the one and only Yoav Spicehandler. I know, I know, thank gawd there’s only one, and it’s him… And then, if I may, a final post from someone else, as it relates to his return to Pamplona, for his last ever fiesta. And so, yup, once again I’m going to plagiarise my way to penury.

Dave Pierce in the hat, with Joe Distler on the left, and Sarah and Yoav Spicehandler on the right, with the inimitable Bomber at the end, making up this particular group of fiesta desperados.

Dave Pierce in the hat, with Joe Distler on the left, and Sarah and Yoav Spicehandler on the right, with the inimitable Bomber at the end, making up this particular group of fiesta desperados.

So, first, this, from Yoav Spicehandler. Take it away, Yoey…

David Milton Pierce. Big Dave, “El Valiente”
Here are some brush strokes that might fill in the complex and beautiful portrait that was Big Dave…

I first met this larger than life personage that was Big Dave in Paris, as a child in the early 60’s. He was a perfect combination of Woody Allen and Jacques Tati! He had come to Paris to visit some friends, and somehow ended up at our apt on Blvd. Edgar Quinet. I was about 14 or 15. Well, Dave never one to miss a potential audience, proceeded to show my brother and me the most incredible magic tricks I had ever seen! Coins and cards, disappearing, reappearing…and right in our living room!

Over the years, the family would travel to London and see Dave amongst others. He had a great apt., in a basement, where he had built a small mausoleum for his beloved cat, under a column in the apt. The couches were car seats fitted to be living room couches. It was a living room out of Harry Potter. Every nook and cranny contained something interesting!

And always there was Pamplona… I do not remember the details, but Dave, with his magic buddy, Victor Pinto, planned to go travelling by kayak, from “Paris to Pakistan” via the inland canals of Europe. Fortunately, by the time they reached southern France they decided for Pamplona instead!!

Pamplona where my parents, Dave and Derry Hall would stay at the Hostal Bearan, on the Calle San Nicolas. It was Dad and Dave and Derry that started the Infermeria, and the Old Farts Party after the Encierro. And it was they that initiated the terms “Red shit and Orange shit”.

The Jester in his Court. Photo Jim Hollander 1993.

The Jester in his Court. Photo Jim Hollander 1993.

It was also Dave who started the game of setting down newspaper in the plaza and not stepping off the paper no matter what steer came by.

David’s scripted Pamplona Banquets every year were hilarious and notorious events. Everyone was a target for his sharp tongued insults and witty compliments! After the 1967 Six Day war in Israel, being half Jewish, he decided to volunteer in Israel. His tales of working in the banana fields on a kibbutz, and his futile attempts at seducing serious Sabra women, were absolutely side splitting!!

In Paris, one year, he constructed a form of banjo, out of a broom stick and salad bowl. He would regale my mom and others with old songs from the 20’s and 30’s. At one point he also took tap dancing lessons!

In the early 70’s Dave lived on King’s Rd, London, right near the Chelsea School of Art, where I was a student. Before class, I would pay my respects, talk about everything, and buy hash from him… It was also there that I discovered he owned a pinball machine in his apt!

In those days that was a miracle. No one owned a pinball machine! Actually, I later found out he was close friends with Chris Stamp, (brother of the actor Terence Stamp) and manager of the Who, and it was that pinball machine that was featured in the Who’s rock opera “Tommy” and featured in the hit song, “Pinball Wizard”!! (Chris Stamp actually went to Pamplona and befriended my brother).

Years later, David enjoyed a moment of fame with his series of mystery novels that took place in LA. (His 7 novels are still available on Amazon.com). They are Vintage Big Dave. He also had many small volumes of humorous verse.

Years later, in 1990, I was in Paris with 2 of my boys, and he performed magic tricks for them!! To me, the circle was complete!

Many years later, in Pamplona 2003, after a couple strokes and giving up alcohol, he had trouble walking. Dave wanted to go to the Corrida, and asked for a date. Sarah was tall, and I wanted her to meet him. So, although intimidated, Sarah acquiesced. She was flattered, but did not know the man, and had no idea what to expect from this man dressed as an outlandish torero. By the time the fights were over they returned to the Windsor, and had become fast friends!

I also remember a dinner at the Aralar with Dave and my father… El Valiente was so funny that I had to run downstairs before dessert, laughing and puked the entire meal! At one point, he called over the young waitress, and complained that his Gazpacho was cold! And insisted on seeing the chef!! The poor girl was totally confused.

¡Viva San Firteen! With Chris Humphreys. I love this photo. Pamplona and San Fermin…no matter   how old you get, you’re still a teenager.

¡Viva San Firteen! With Chris Humphreys. I love this photo. Pamplona and San Fermin…no matter
how old you get, you’re still a teenager.

Bonnie was the love of his life, and although the marriage didn’t quite work out, they stayed fast friends, and helped him years later to give up alcohol, and help him convalesce after his stroke.

He actually prompted me to stop drinking, and over the years he would ask,”Yoey, how is “Demon Rum” treating you?” I would respond, “All is well David. All is well.”
David also mentored my foray into writing poetry and verse. He was always very encouraging, and his critiques very valid.
When Sarah and I last saw Dave in 2012, although wheel chair ridden, his mind was as sharp as ever.
And finally, as we were leaving his apt., Sarah whispered to him,

“You know Dave, Yoey really loves you”.
He turned to her, and responded,
“What can I say? I inherited him!”
I will miss David. To me “El Valiente” will live forever…

-Yoey Spicehandler, New York City, 2016-

And finally this, just a nice story from Bunnita Centuriana:
How “the greatest stuff up” came to be… (And I’ve changed just one word there…)

“A group of us were sitting outside the Windsor Bar towards the end of San Fermin 2002. Jim Hollander was mentioning he would like to get a box of his new book “Run To The Sun – Pamplona’s Fiesta de San Fermin” to Big Dave in Paris. JJ and I told him we would be driving to Paris after Fiesta with our daughter Annie to celebrate her 15th birthday there and had room in our car for the box of books. Only thing was we had never met Big Dave. Jim wrote Dave’s address and phone on the back of one of the stickers he had printed for the book promo and told us we were in for a treat.

Once we arrived in Paris, we called Big Dave, told him who we were and asked for a convenient time to drop off the books at his place. The next day we rang his doorbell thinking we would say hello, drop off the books and continue with our sightseeing. Big Dave insisted we come in and tell him all about Fiesta. He was the most gracious host, serving appetizers and showing us around his very eclectic and colourful apartment. He then sat down at his desk with a copy of Jim’s book. Page after page his comment was how much he missed Fiesta and how he wished he could go back sometime. JJ tells Big Dave to let him know if and when he was ready to return to Spain and JJ would make plans to travel via Paris to accompany Dave to Pamplona. We gave Big Dave our contact information, said our goodbyes and left. Jim was right, meeting Big Dave was a treat and the highlight of our time in Paris.

Several months later I get a phone call from Chris Humphreys telling me Big Dave has told him “my good friend JJ is taking me back to Fiesta in 2003”. The problem was Big Dave had not let JJ know he was ready to go back to San Fermin. Another problem – JJ and I had already bought our tickets for July 2003 via Madrid. Chris, not too pleased, says he’ll see what he can do to fix JJ’s f*@k up. Later Chris tells us he has arranged for Big Dave to get to Biarritz if JJ can meet him there and take him to Pamplona. Of course, JJ agreed and that is how Big Dave made it back to San Fermin 2003. This ended up being Chris Humphreys’ last Fiesta. Chris, ever the gentleman, called JJ over and told him “JJ, this was the greatest stuff up ever but I thank you for it!”

Robbed, word for word, from Bunny Centurion. Cheers, chica!

Boulevard of Jokes and Dreams… © Jim Hollander

Boulevard of Jokes and Dreams… © Jim Hollander

As I say, I didn’t know him, but we did have quite a few conversations via email a couple of years ago. I needed some info about a fiesta photo and apparently he was the chap who’d know. So I was given his email address and I wrote to him. I explained who I was, who I knew that he knew, how often I’d been to fiesta, etc, etc, and we had a pleasant and humorous ping pong of emails. He sent me some of his poetry which I honestly thought was wonderful.

Then I found out that he’d written a load of books too, and had also had his poetry published, and began to realise that there was more, so much more, to this chap than I had ever realised.

I asked him a few more questions when suddenly, one day, I received a brand new email from him, and not a continuance of our regular thread. (I’ve since learnt from those who knew him that his question to me was typical ‘Big Dave.’) “Tim,’ he wrote, “excuse me for asking…but who in the hell are you?!”

I’m going to (nearly) end with this photo, as it seems that Dave Pierce was the founder of the 1000-1 Club, whereby after the bull run, one places a page of newspaper on the sand in the ring and attempts to stay on it without moving.

What are the chances?! Dave Pierce playing his own game…and looking like he lost!

What are the chances?! Dave Pierce playing his own game…and looking like he lost!

And finally, this one, because it made me laugh so much. Apparently he called himself ‘The Thief of Bad Gags,’ which is a cracker in itself…as you can see…

David Pierce. Sanfermin.

Adios Kukuxumusu… Kaixo Kukuxumusu! In the strange parallel universe that the Lokomuxaxos of Kukuxumundu live in, there have been some strange goings on. Those irascible Iruña imps have been up to their mischief again, and without going into the details or indeed politics of it, Kukuxumusu have undergone a bit of a change. Sadly, it’s not exactly been the best of divorces…more a sort of messy metamorphosis, if you will. While staying the same…sort off.

To quote the great Basque playwright, Etxakezpirri, (and I’ve always wondered why it’s not written ‘playwrite…’ anyway…) Kuku have managed, ‘To be, and not to be.’ They haven’t just lost the three original fella’s that founded it, Mikel Urmaneta, Koldo Aiestaran and Txomin Dominguez, over the last couple of years, but others too, like the fourth ‘socio,’ Antxon Iñarrea.

But, as George Harrison sang, ‘All Things Must Pass’ and I wish them all the best, because what Mikel, Txomin and Koldo did in starting up Kukuxumusu all those years ago was an original and very funny take on what is many people’s favourite fiesta. And the website they set up, (this one) is easily the best one out there when it comes to not just all things San Fermin, but so much more.

And to think, all those years ago, when my particular peña, an unofficial one that I call The Lost Peña for my articles and stories, were sitting down in the gutter during fiesta in the Plaza del Castillo in 1989, that those Pamplona University students selling one t-shirt design next to us, to earn some summer money, would quickly go on to form Kukuxumusu.

So, to those original three, zorte on, mutilak, and I have to say, good luck to the new bunch too. You’re the new Maestros of the Kukuniverse, and that’s a rather special company you have there, so please look after it… Finally, two things to two folk. To the previously mentioned Koldo Aierstaran… thank you.

For ‘twas he who first suggested I write something for them, and thus it’s down to him I began my scribblings. And not just the articles either, but the books too. (So you can all blame him!) It’s because of these pieces, and the lovely feedback I’ve received about them, that meant I got to play a tiny part in the Mad, Mad World of Cloud Kukuland… and it’s been a pleasure. A life changing one. Once again, gracias eta eskerrik asko Koldo.

And finally, to that Mad Man Manu, and his evil and genetically modified twin, Mr. Testis… It’s Manu who puts my neanderthaloid (new word) jumbled up mess of scribbles and pictures into the computerised classiness you see before you. Mil esker, Maestroman!


Jesus Cordoba Ramirez. Photo provided for the Winfield Daily Courier by his niece, Veronica Caudill.

Jesus Cordoba Ramirez. Photo provided for the Winfield Daily Courier by his niece, Veronica Caudill.

‘Minutiae’ probably isn’t the word I’m looking for, but hey, it fits, and if anyone else can find or invent a word that means ‘a minor but relevant fact or story relating to the Fiesta of San Fermin,’ then please let me know. Copyright Tim Pinks, obviously…

Another man died in February this year, whose relevance to Pamplona isn’t too big or important in the grand scheme of things, and yet…I like it when some ‘obscure or unknown,’ (to most of us) piece of history pops up in the present. My thanks go to Joe Distler for bringing this to my attention, and indeed thanks to his friends the Farley’s for bringing it to his!

Just imagine: you’re born and brought up in Winfield, Kansas, on March 7th, 1927…so naturally, you become a bullfighter. Well, I guess it helps if your parents are Mexican and so this is what happened to one Jesus Cordoba Ramirez, who died on February 16th. He was a pretty good torero by all accounts, and I’ve left three email addresses at the end of this bit for those who want to learn more.

I’ve included him in this month’s article because it seems he did have a Pamplona connection, as he fought twice in the 1953 feria corridas, and also, intriguingly, in 1966. Koldo Larrea’s article below explains how the corrida of July 14th, 1966 was billed as a ‘Ranchers Competition,’ as the three toreros fought bulls from six different ranches. He also met Hemingway. Which is the bit I’m going to lift here, from the first website printed below:

In 1953 he spent seven months touring Spain and Portugal to great acclaim.

It was probably during that period when Cordoba met Ernest Hemingway, the great American chronicler of bullfighting. Hemingway had been watching and writing about the Spanish corridas since the early 1920s. Hemingway had returned to Spain after a 15-year absence, and that year spent much time on the circuit following Antonio Ordóñez, a leading young matador of the day. Cordoba said he saw Hemingway every day for about two weeks.

“Jesus Cordoba was an excellent boy,” Hemingway once wrote, “and a good and intelligent matador and I enjoyed talking with him. He left me at the door of Antonio’s room.
As Cordoba told it years later, Hemingway asked him how he happened to get from Kansas to the bull ring. And he asked many more questions. At some point Hemingway tried to encourage Cordoba to write a book.

“Why don’t you write it?” Hemingway said.
“I’m not a writer,” Cordoba answered.
“Well, I wasn’t a writer once. Just take a pencil and start writing. If you don’t like it, tear it up and start over again.”

Cordoba stuck with bullfighting. He became one of the highest ranked matadors in Spain and Mexico, and he had the injuries to prove it. He confessed to being a reluctant killer, especially when a bull had impressed with its bravery. But that is the way of the corrida, and, “to get the ears and the trophies, you had to kill,” he said.

Regarding his appearances that in 1953 in Pamplona, he appeared on Tuesday 7th with Julio Aparicio and Isidro Marin, with bulls from the Salvador Guardiola ranch. Then on Thursday 9th he was part of the cartel that included Emilio Ortuño Jumillano and Pedro Martinez Pedrez, with bulls from the Joaquin Buendia ranch.
And so there goes up into those celestial skies another small smidgen of the San Fermin story.

Imagen de Toros en Navarra

Imagen de Toros en Navarra.com http://torosennavarra.com/

You can read the full story here and here: http://www.mcnbiografias.com/app-bio/do/show?key=cordoba-ramirez-jesus

And lastly, but most definitely not leastly, from Navarra’s very own Koldo Larrea and his excellent site, www.torosennavarra.com.

And for the aficionados amongst you, you’ll find a video of him on You Tube if you type in: ‘Jesus Cordoba Elegancia, Arte y Señorio.’
¡Ya Falta Menos!

And that, as they say, is that. For now. As I write this it’s still the third of the third, step number three of the famous ‘Escalera’ singsong countdown to fiesta. Although I always think of it as a ‘count up.’ For those who don’t know, ‘ya falta menos’ doesn’t really translate well but it means something like, ‘already there’s less time to go.’ (Told you it didn’t translate well!) I prefer to think of it as ‘time’s a-ticking!’
And Tim’s a-tingling…


2 March 2016

You are all a bit wild about Sanfermin and more than half a million people confirms that.

Last 29th of February, we pinned up a video on the Sanfermin.com Facebook and we broke our own record for repercussion elements and for our channel interactivity as well as any other kind of San Fermin content broadcast by this network, that we know of. According to the official data offered by this platform, the video reached some 525, 000 users in just two days and it was shared some 3, 460 times and reproduced on 189, 872 occasions. These figures meant that 2,091 “I like” were hit and some 60 comments were made. First of all, we would like to say a big THANK YOU from sanfermin.com and from Kukuxumusu and second of all, that you people are either very crazy or just very wild about the Sanfermin fiestas. Why? Because we have now broken the broadcast record for a piece of Sanfermin content on #Facebook.

And of course, it goes without saying that Mister Testis as the main protagonist on the video is super happy about that and he feels particularly wild about the approaching San Fermin 2016 fiestas as he will also be the main character featuring in the forthcoming Kukuxumusu Collection made for the fiestas. The video in question is the one that Cuatro TV developed with Kukuxumusu drawings for the Running of the bulls in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The cartoon sequences fuses real images from the stretch of the Running of the Bulls with the traditional song “Sale el sol por la mañana” (‘Sunrise comes with the morning’) and a bullrun featuring the six bulls from the Kukuxumusu bull ranch with the classic runners and protagonists from the Kukuxumusu Sanfermin T-shirts.

Si hace frío y no lo ves claro… Tranqui, sale el sol por la mañana, por la mañana sale el sol… by Kukuxumusu y Testis Zezena

Posted by Sanfermin on lunes, 29 de febrero de 2016

Up to now the most widespread content about Sanfermin on our Facebook outlet was a photo of the Txupinazo Opening rocket of 2015 and a video of the Running of the Bulls on the last day of 2015 with 238, 885 people and 172.491 respectively making hits . These latest figures released have now doubled those previous records and we must now face a future challenge for even higher figures that cannot be bettered without the future help and collaboration from all of you out there.


Posted by Sanfermin on lunes, 6 de julio de 2015

And perhaps a mention apart must be given to the third most widespread piece on the Facebook page of Sanfermin.com: The El encierro del Día 15 (in other words, the first post-fiesta morning) when the “running of the city bus” takes place. This event superseded the normal running of the bulls, bullfight images and even all the partying images with a total of 3, 401 “I like” hits. In fact, the number of . “I Like” from this video was not even topped by our recent most widespread latest post. You can check it out here if you wish to watch it.

Mientras tú trabajas o estás de fiesta, la juerga continúa…Esta mañana se ha celebrado el Encierro del Día 15 más multitudinario #sanfermin http://news.sanfermin.com/14_multitudinario-encierro-del-dia-15/

Posted by Sanfermin on miércoles, 15 de julio de 2015