The English expression Ne’er cast a clout til May is out has its Spanish equivalent in Hasta el 40 de mayo, no te quites el sayo. Just in case you don’t know, sayo is the masculine form of the (obsolete?) word for ‘petticoat’ and must mean something like ‘smock’. I mention these because, after two months of summer-like weather even here in Galicia, the winter has returned with a vengeance. Temperatures have plummeted, there's rain all around and many towns are on snow alert. The only compensating news is that this seems to be happening in the UK and France as well. But, as you would expect, this is comfort of a cold kind.
Still on language – Gay men who live together in the UK are usually referred to as ‘partners’. Here in Spain, if they contract a civil marriage (possible in the UK yet?), they're each referred to as a ‘husband’. Which, however logical, sounded decidedly odd when I heard an item on the radio last night about a Moroccan man stabbing his Spanish “ex husband” in Adra, Almería, before committing suicide. I guess lesbian partners are both called ‘wife’ but as this is the same word in Spanish as for ‘woman’, perhaps it grates less on the Anglo-Saxon ear.
The figures for road deaths here in Spain over the last two years are well down on previous years, suggesting an impressively serious response to tougher laws and harsher penalties. But I guess it’ll be a while before we cease to have cases like the macho cretin of 18 driving at 179kph (112mph) on a local road where the limit moves between 60 and 100. Not to mention the chap arrested last week when blind drunk and stationary in the middle of the A9 autopista. On a horse.
Even though the pound is rather lower that it’s been for years – but climbing today – prices in the UK can still come as a shock. Sometimes it’s obvious why things are far more expensive than in the rest of Europe and sometimes it isn’t. Train tickets are scandalously high because a private monopoly is always going to bleed the customer more than a state monopoly. And anything pleasurable in the UK – booze and alcohol, for example – always have massive taxes loaded on them. But why would the price of a 2 gigabyte USB pen be 18 pounds, when I can get one for 8 euros (say 6-7 quid) here in Spain?
I did return to the used clothes bin in the supermarket today. But only to chuck in the partner to my daughter’s boot thrown in yesterday, found pining in the garage this morning.
Finally, traffic to my blog shot up a bit yesterday. I wonder if this is because it contained words like oral, sex and brothel. I guess we’ll know the answer if the same thing happens today.
Finally, finally - A big welcome to Follower no. 18.