Awake, for morning in the bowl of night has flung the stone
that puts the stars to flight.
And, lo, has caught the sultan’s turret
In a noose of light.
Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’
Query: Was there ever a time when the news was more boring/depressing?
Cosas de España/Galiza
Two odd headline announcements from Spanish politicians this week:-
1. Ceuta y Melilla – Spain’s enclaves in North Africa – are an affront to Morocco. Needless to say, this isn’t the official line.
2. We have EU cash coming out of our ears: This seems to be an attempt to stop Galicians worrying about the demise of a large car company in Vigo. Sometimes – ofttimes? – it helps to be a ‘poor’ Southern European country . . .
The autovía between Santiago and Lugo is many years late and has an unfinished 28km section in the middle of it. Apparently, the Xunta lacks the funds to complete it. On the other hand, it does have the money for the (superfluous?) A55 linking Porriño and Estrada, bypassing Pv city. IGIMSTS. Does this sort of thing happen elsewhere in Spain, I wonder? Lenox?
We have 3 white wines here in Galicia – Albariño, Ribeiro and Godello. I favour the last one but, when I ordered it yesterday, I got a strange reason for it not being available: We don’t have a kitchen. When I said this didn’t make sense to me, the owner added: We’re only a bar and don’t do food – this despite being in ‘Tapas Street’ – So our customers only want to have a drink and, as Spaniards, indulge in the habit of ‘chiquitío’. This turned out to mean being in a group that never stays in one place but moves from bar to bar. Which very much confused me on my first night out with friends back in 2000. Anyway, it meant, said the owner, that she only offers one brand of Albariño and Ribeiro but none at all of the less popular Godello, as the bottle would remain open for weeks. You live and learn.
The Way of the World
This podcast – Have we reached peak transgender? – is truly horrific. It features a wonderfully blunt Irish lady.
Estar entre la espada y la pared. Lit: To be between a sword and the wall. Or ‘between a rock and a hard place’.
El camino no es un cuchipanda: The camino isn’t una comida que toman juntas y regocijadamente varias personas.
This is a Google translation of an intro to an article in a local paper yesterday:- Youth language has always been something mobile, and now more than ever in the mobile empire: changeable, seductive for what it has of loquacious and inoffensive transgression in the face of severe and corseted norms. The millennial dictionary (born between 1981 and 1993) is succeeded by the one written or said by Generation Z (born between 1994 and 2010), influenced by the internet and its scroll universe of haters, followers and others. Digital natives for the most part, social networks are a field without doors open to new technologies and regular relationships with people from other parts of the world. Result: a vocabulary full of Anglicisms and Spanglish abbreviations common to Whatsapp and the like. That miscegenation that strengthens an identity or a sense of belonging to a social group can make previous generations (especially the “babyboom” boomers, who were born between the 50s and 60s) mess up their eyes.
As of tomorrow, I’ll be citing some of the terms used by modern Spanish teenagers. Tune in.
A new usage for me: To be in (one’s) wheelhouse:- To be in the area of one’s greatest striking power or of one’s interests or abilities.
Finally . . .
I’ve finally started to watch a BBC multi-part documentary called The Edwardians in Colour. As they say here, it’s super estupendo. Highly recommended. On YouTube.