Saturday, January 04, 2014

More funny English; Clouded perspective; French depredations; Catholic art; & Waterworld.

Travelling around Spain, as you will know, you come across some bizarre and, sometimes, amusing translations into English. In the (huge) church of Mary the Crowned in Medina Sidonia yesterday morning, I came across this allegedly English word - Veniz. In the phrase:- Veniz the pictures are found . . . If you're a Spanish speaker, it shouldn't take long to figure out what it purports to be. But, to put the rest of you out of your intellectual misery, it's Spanish phonetics for the word 'Beneath'. God knows why anyone thought it was spelled like this in English.

When my daughter and I climbed up to the town's church, it was shrouded in cloud and its belltower was nowhere to be seen. However, after I'd struggled up the 107 narrow and almost perpendicular stairs to said bell tower, with the aid only of a vertical cord (not even a rope), I was thrilled to be able to see . . . . nothing but four bells. So, I compensated for this by swinging the clanger of one of these until it pealed. I wondered whether this would upset anyone so was a bit concerned to see a police car outside the church as I exited it. But they'd only come up from the town to have a quick smoke.

One of the plaques in the church advised that the font had been broken by French troops in 1810, as a prelude to their looting of the place. Not for the first time, I wondered why Napoleon's name is revered in France when Hitler's isn't in Germany. Perhaps some French reader could explain this to me. Possibly he was nice to cats. Which is always cause for suspicion to me.

Needless to say, the church - up in a little pueblo - had plenty of treasures, including works of Roldan and Durer. Which really should be sold to some museum or gallery and the proceeds distributed to the world's poor. But it ain't going to happen.

It wasn't a good day for me and water. When I stopped for petrol and a pee, the young lady told me, when giving me the key, there was no water in the toilet and then gave me instructions on how to unlock the door. Since these didn't work, I concluded the key was to the ladies' and made my way to a nearby tree. Halfway there, I realised I was walking through a patch of deep mud. Which did wonders for my shoes. Then, when checking into my hotel in Valdepenas en route for Madrid, the receptionist told me the café was closed for lack of water and that I would need to go to a place across the street for breakfast. Finally - and perhaps not unconnectedly - when I turned on the tap in my room, the water came out orange. Ah, the joys of travelling in Spain.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...


Colin,

Fe fi fo fum I smell the blood of a "Predictions for 2014" plagerisum.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7450dd5e-7482-11e3-9125-00144feabdc0.html

Still staggering around churches and towers? - Shake off that Catholic indoctrination and get somewhere real - Pop into the tax office and ask "who's got their snouts in the trough?" - Maybe they will have a brochure - In English? Explaining all, we are waiting - All agog.

Find the Local Historical Society and ask where the Franco mass graves are. You know the formula - Forget what you can't control (the past and religion) and go for what you can.

Give them the full heat of the Colin Davies investigative journalistic ability - You know you can do it - Are you man or mouse? Anyone who can get his mobile phone tariff sorted can do anything.

The people have a right to know and here on your blog is the place to display it. Keep the fact that it was a bit far to go to the old quarter and the view from the church tower was a little misty, to yourself, your readers don't care.

We need the untrammeled truth from the front line, not the tourist tales of toofa munterings but the red meat of Colin HAVING DONE SOMETHING WORTHWHILE for a change, to bring the Spanish civilization one notch above where it was 10 minutes ago.

Yes, ACTION is what your readers want, not pissing around church towers, complaining of mist.

Go to it, Q1-10

Perry said...

Nunca beber agua.

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great
i like this...thanks

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