Friday, November 07, 2008

Spain's constructors and property developers hold an international conference in Barcelona each year, called Meeting Point. All you need to know about this year's event is that the aisles between the stands in the exhibition centre are considerably wider than usual, even though human traffic is well down. Sounds like a gas.

This is the page of a group of people who hanker after a true centre party in Spain. As is the local custom, this will make them 'fascists' to some on the Left. They say their site is The first website written entirely in English and devoted to an in-depth analysis of Spain's developments across a number of areas including politics, the economy, business, foreign policy, education and more. I wish them well. Unless they start to steal my readers, of course. Pending that, you can download the October edition of their digital journal from this site and register for regular receipt.

According to someone in Oxford, these are the ten most irritating phrases currently in use in British English:-
1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

God knows what lawyers would do without No. 5. Especially the supercilious ones.

Talking of the English language, I was unimpressed to see this sentence in an article in a major British paper this morning - Hamilton said the incident was far from a laughing matter but was greatful for the support of his fans back in England. If you need to use your spellcheck to find the error, be greatful you have one.

And turning to Spanish . . . I've always assumed that the Spanish for queue-jumping [Yes, the concept does exist here] - or colarse - is related to the world for tail, or cola. In this, I'm obviously influenced by the fact that the word 'queue' is French for tail. But a Spanish friend insists colarse is related to the word for the contraption used to separate cream from milk, el colador. Which must be a cousin of the English word 'colander', the strainer through which water is drained off vegetables and the like. Anyone want to argue the toss?

I recently mentioned an article by The Economist on Spain without knowing it was written in 2004. So I will now compensate by advising you of their What does the future hold for Spain?, due to hit the newsstands tomorrow.


This article on the case for legalisation of prostitution in the UK reminded me that, on the way to and from Vilagarcia last night, I passed the Club de Mont Parnasse, the Club Pigalle and the Motel Montecarlo all within a hundred metres of each other. Clearly a very francophone stretch of the highway. And, with commercial astuteness, sited exactly midway between Pontevedra and Vilagarcia.

Talking about this road . . . There's a hilly, bendy section where, within quite a short distance, the speed limit used to go 50, 80, 60, 70. Needless to say, there was a radar detector in the 60 bit, a couple of metres before the 70 sign. There still is, in fact. And, to be fair, there's a large sign in the 80 section giving you fair warning of it. However, the 60 sign has now been removed, meaning that you hit the radar while under the illusion you're in an 80 zone. In other words, exactly the same sly manoeuvre I fell foul of when driving to Ortigueira early this year. This may or may not be illegal but it's surely another sign [sorry] of desperation in trying to raise municipal revenue. En passant, when you come through this area in the other direction, there still is a 60 sign. But, then, there's no radar machine for that side of the road.

I have, of course - in my capacity as a man who's no longer young and in a hurry - drawn the appropriate conclusion from all this. So, if you're motoring in Galicia and you come up behind a driver who's keeping irritatingly to 50kph, regardless of what the signs appear to say, that'll be me, folks.

Finally . . . During my talk on my blog last night, I said that the hardest part was editing the draft and that, despite great effort on this, I was regularly shocked to find the next morning I'd missed some glaring typo or spelling mistake. And what do I find this morning, when reading yesterday's post? Only "I'ff off now . . ." Which I must have missed at least ten times. But I guess I should be greatful there weren't worse gaffffes.


mike the trike said...

I see you are testing us with "group of peple"!

Colin said...