Talking of new words – Here's a couple of bits of alleged street argot:- bredrin (brethren) and nang (???). As in “It's well nang”. Can anyone enlighten me? Is it good or bad?
Local Conversation of the Day: (At a tobacco kiosk, after noting the usual long queues at the only Post Office in the city).
Have you got a stamp for a letter to the UK?
What do you mean?
I don't have a 65 cents stamp. All sold out.
Well, can't you give me a combination of other stamps?
No.Do you have any 35 cent stamps?
Well, give me two 35s, as I don't want to spend 20 minutes waiting at the Post Office?
[He grudgingly shoves two 35s across the counter]
[I depart without expressing my thanks, and wondering why I always have to stimulate service at times like this. But the truth is that así son las cosas]
Which reminds me . . . I think I mentioned that at my local pet shop two weeks ago they simply said “No” when I asked if they sold ferrets. (Don't ask). No suggestion of “But we could order you one”. So, imagine my surprise to see a ferret in their window earlier this week. Perhaps they were hoping I'd come by again, cash in hand.
The only thing that can really be said with conviction about the UK unrest is that, for one reason and another, there are pockets of tinder in all British cities and that when, one warm night, a spark is applied and rioting/looting begins, there's no telling who'll get involved and why. Oh, and that dozens of people will then start moralising from their own particular standpoint. And trying to explain why teachers, social workers, ballerinas, daughters of millionaires and sundry other non-disadvantaged youths join the mob and take what they can. Ruining their lives in the process. Nowt as queer as folk, as we say oop North.
Interesting to see the French have offered the London police advice on riot control. But not only Les Flics. Thanks to fellow-blogger, Lenox, I see the Iranians too are offering their expertise as peacekeepers. See this page, which, at first, I thought was a spoof. But it's laughingly real and utterly beyond parody.
Here in Spain, I suspect there's a widespread attitude that it's all very shocking but that it couldn't happen here. Well, I'm afraid I'm with those who think it could and will, one day. Perhaps in Lloret del Mar, where they're currently having a practice run and where a prominent member of the xenophobic Platforma per Catalunya has had to resign because her boyfriend is African and “We don't do multiculturalism here”. Or will it be in one of the poor barrios of Madrid or Barcelona? Or perhaps the country's seriously underprivileged gypsies will start shooting payos, rather then each other. Vamos a ver.
Anyway, click here for a brilliant bit of British humour on the riots.
Talking about TV channels created solely for the purpose of giving us a laugh, I'm indebted to Euro News for the information that the most popular search terms in Europe in the last week were:-
I'm pleased to say only two of these meant anything to me.
Finally . . . As befits a well-known drunkard, here's a bit on red wines, courtesy of Prospect magazine. Bear in mind that the Cabernet Franc grape is used in Spain for Galicia's Mencia wine, which gets better and better by the year:-
The reason that lighter reds prefer cooler temperatures is that they lack the tannic weight of Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah based wines. Tannins provide wine with body and structure, creating a frame on which the fruit is hung. On the palate, they add more astringent, bitter notes to the wine’s flavour, adding an important contrast to the sweetly ripe fruit. But since acidity reinforces bitterness, such wines are low in acidity by design. Too much of it, and the wines would taste harsh. By contrast, lighter reds lacking in tannin compensate by being higher in acidity, which accentuates the bright fruit flavours and lends the wines a characteristic freshness. These higher levels of acidity give the wines edges they would otherwise be lacking. But this precision goes missing if the wine is too warm. Just as leaving your coffee to go cold will bring out its bitterness, so slightly chilling these reds will bring out a balancing acidity and bitter note that restores their shape and structure. Good examples are the red wines from the Loire made from Cabernet Franc. These dark, purplish wines have a heady perfume of violets and tea. Their steely characters combine precise flavours of raspberry and sour cherry with earthy notes of beetroot and smoked ham.
Exactly what I was going to say about Galicia's Mencia. . . .
Postscript: As I write this, I see that France 24 is reporting on Kurds who are being bombed by those peace-loving Iranians full of good advice.