Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Wordwatch
Un tuning: Customisation of your car, by the addition of ridiculous spoilers usually.
Un handicap: A disadvantage
Un peeling: A face peel
Overbooking: Overbooking - replacing [for reasons unclear] the perfectly good Spanish word sobreventa.

And here’s a very recent sighting which might made its way into Spanish or might just be knocking on the door - colegio after-hours. This, of course, is a school which gives extra lessons outside the normal hours.

I visited an ironmongers – or ferretería – in the old quarter today. What a wonderful experience. Like Aladdin’s cave. Or a pharmacy in the Tehran bazaar. Row upon row of little boxes on the wall behind the counter, each containing a collection of screws, nails, blades, door handles or whatever. And they will sell you just a single screw, if this is all you want, and wrap it in brown paper. Not insist on you taking a set of 10 in pre-shrunk plastic wrapping which drives you mad. And all of this at a price which hardly seems economic. They won’t survive long term, of course, but there’s life in them for a while yet. Hopefully enough to see me out.

There are several of these little shops in Pontevedra – haberdasheries, seamstresses, picture framers and the like. I don’t know whether I love them just because they remind me of the way life used to be when I was a kid or because I think it is the way life should be. Probably both.

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