Thursday, September 08, 2011


So, Manuel Fraga - the long-time president of the Galician Xunta and the last surviving relic of Franco's regime - is finally retiring from politics at 89. He'll be remembered for a lot of things, I guess, but especially the huge vanity project, A Cidade da Cultura (The City of Culture), on the south eastern edge of Santiago. And here in Pontevedra for a suspension bridge which - because of its many cables - is known as Fraga's Braces.

I've written before about women nicknamed 17/60s, because they look 17 from behind but sixty from the front. My daughter told me today of another Spanish term for women still slim in their fifties and sixties - gambas. Or 'prawns'. Of which you throw away the head, of course.

Here's my fellow blogger Trevor The Baldie (@ Kalebeul) nicely following up on the piece on tourism from Lenox I cited the other day.

The excellent Times columnist, Matthew Parris,today addressed an issue which has long bothered me - How exactly does one use shower gel? Not perhaps an issue of worldwide importance but possibly a problem more common than you'd think. Personally, I hate it and can see no advantage at all over common-or-garden soap.

Talking of difficulties . . . The free wi-fi down in Veggie Square appears to have given up the ghost. It hasn't been available since Sunday last. Perhaps it was only a summer thing,

Does anyone know the Spanish for To hawk, as in 'hawking and spitting'? I believe that resoplar and bufar mean to snort and carraspear means to clear one's throat but I'm having difficulty finding the word for To hawk. And I would like to have it to hand.

Finally, the last time I saw this chap (back in Cheshire) he was a clever young kid. Now he's a clever young man, writing an entertaining blog from Russia that I recommend you take a look at. Reader Moscow might like to comment as well on the accuracy of his observations.

22 comments:

Ferrolano said...

I think that Manuel Fraga is closer to 90 than to 80 and perhaps one of his more important roles was as Minister of Tourism where he was responsible for selling Spain to the outside world and promoting the Parador hotel chain. I believe that he also served as the Spaish ambasador to London for a period. He has been in the political arena for more than 60 years having joined Franco’s government in 1945.

Azra said...

Gambas? Thank your daughter for me, I just found a new word :)

Hope all has been well. We've jumped from winter straight into summer... it's 29 degrees today. Hows that for Schizo weather?

Colin said...

@Ferrolano. Thanks for this. I've changed the typo . . .

Colin said...

@Azra. Have a great summer!

Candide said...

@Azra: love thy other half.

@Colin: you've "changed" the typo?

Colin said...

Fraga is 89 not 80.

ANA said...

I'm told Fraga is responsible or came up with the slogan 'Spain is different' while Minister of Tourism. He also swam in some radioactive water and hasn't been the same since.

tim said...

I just noticed that if you change the f in fraga with a b and then added an s on the end his name would mean knickers in spanish.

Vigoboy said...

perhaps the loss of wifi is due to austerity measures...?

Ashleigh said...

Hey Colin,

I've been following your blog for the past two years while I've been living in and blogging about Spain. I am editing a Spain wiki page over at GoOverseas.com and I was wondering if you'd be willing to write a little blurb about your city. I can link back to your blog in the credits for your writing. Let me know! Ashleigh

saket said...

innovative thought .nice blog.

CafeMark said...

Hope Colin's well. I always worry when he suddenly stops posting for a long period.

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nice
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