Monday, February 13, 2006

I’m indebted to my lovely friend, Marta, for this Spanish saying:- Bienaventurado el que cree en los pasos de cebra porque pronto verá a Dios. Or, Blessed be he who steps onto a zebra crossing, for he is about to meet God. I must be a very blessed chap. And if this blog ever stops suddenly, you’ll know why.

I’ve mentioned once or twice that Spain’s leading cosmetic surgery company goes in for ads which leave nothing to the imagination. To say the least, they are in-your- [rejuvenated]- face. Their latest offering is a large picture of a woman of impossible physical architecture, above whom is the line – You don’t need to have a pact with the Devil to restore your youth. I appreciate that women everywhere in today’s post-feminist age are under tremendous pressure to achieve and retain beauty but I can’t help feeling things are even more oppressive here than elsewhere. Which is why, I suppose, so many of them starve and/or smoke themselves into skinniness. And sun themselves into the features of a walnut. It rather makes me feel guilty about finding Spanish women so attractive. Not that any of them are doing it for me, of course.

The word mentira is defined in my dictionary as a ‘lie’ but I can’t help feeling it must have some less robust nuances as well. Such as ‘incorrect statement’. Or just ‘mistake’. This is because the word is bandied about so much – including between politicians at the highest level in the parliament – that I feel it just can’t be as strong as the my dictionary suggests. Against this, you have to say mentira piadosa [a pious/devout lie] for ‘white lie’. So maybe it really is as negative as it appears. Meaning the Spanish are not at all averse to calling each other blatant liars. Comments welcome.

Some great news from a survey in Galicia – only 13% of people here feel it’s important the region should be formally regarded as a ‘nation’. So, more common sense here than among the people who are said to be famous for it. Speaking of Catalans, I saw a UK news item which suggested they were now causing trouble in the UK. But it turned out to be about a rugby team [Les Catalans] from the south of France which had joined a UK league.

Off to Madrid early tomorrow morning, to sign the guarantee for my daughter’s mortgage. After all, she’s only 29. I wonder what document I’ve neglected to pack. And whether we will be able to blague our way through its absence.

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