Sunday, October 23, 2005

There was much talk of solidarity at the Trafalgar commemoration on Thursday. But, as one of the national papers stressed, the Minister of Defence’s speech looked rather more towards future battles – with the Catalans and Basques – than towards those of the past. And I couldn’t help noticing that, despite all the talk of European fraternal friendship, the Spanish government felt obliged to demand that the British ships involved didn’t stop over in Gibraltar after the event. I guess that would have been too much like the real thing.

Sky News today reported that rioters in Birmingham [UK] had ‘high-jacked’ the community’s good race relations. Which must come quite close to meaning the opposite of what was probably intended. Mind you, what can you expect from a station which has taken to using the ‘greengrocers’ apostrophe’ in its rolling headlines? O tempus, O mores.

Talking of the media, it’s impressive to see the Spanish press covering the Conservative party leadership election. But a bit disquieting to see that party activists are referred to as ‘militantes’ in Spanish.

Spain’s leading department store, the Corte Ingl├ęs, is advertising the latest female fashion for this autumn and winter. This turns out to be short, velvet jackets and – for the 40th consecutive year - denim jeans. Albeit embroidered, rather than bleached.

At the other end of the trading scale, a small businessman near Malaga has lost all 23 of his employees after they won 25 million euros in a lottery. I wonder if they paid him redundancy money. Probably not.

Quotes of the Day

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary
James D Nicholl

Spain will only exist if all the countries and regions which form it consent to its existence.
The President of the Basque government

A Basque noun is inflected in 17 different ways for case, multiplied by 4 ways for its definiteness and number. These first 68 forms are further modified based on other parts of the sentence, which in turn are inflected for the noun again. It's been estimated that a Basque noun may have 458,683 inflected forms
Wikepedia article. Showing why we should at least be glad that the Basque Country is only trying to secede and not take over the rest of Spain

For new readers – If you’ve arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, you might find my non-commercial guides interesting – at

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