It’s the little details that make a writer’s day.
I won’t be telling you too much if I let you know that a crucial piece of Pink XII is slotted to take place around the coastal city of Peniche, in Portugal. As I was doing my crash course on Portugal and Portuguese culture in 1807 and 1808, I came upon a local saying: “amigos de Peniche”.
The meaning? False friends.
Apparently, the origin of the phrase comes from the sixteenth century, when Sir Francis Drake (yes, that Sir Francis Drake!) led an expedition to Portugal to restore Don Antonio to the throne. A force under the command of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, landed at Peniche, and the word went down the coast to Lisbon, “Our friends are coming from Peniche….”
Only, they didn’t. They camped out for a bit outside the gates of Lisbon, gave up, and went home. There may or may not have been some looting along the way.
Hence “friends of Peniche”: false friends.
I have a feeling this will come in handy for Pink XII….