On QI the other night, the host informed us that the word 'jigger' has 28 distinct meanings in English. The one I'm most familiar is the Scouse use of it to mean an entry or back passage to a house. And I certainly wasn't aware it means both 'penis' and 'vagina'. Depending on whom you're talking to, perhaps. Or where you are in the country.
Which reminds me . . . The other word I was able to make out during yesterday's football match was polla, or 'prick'. The relevant chant seemed to coincide with arrival of the touch judge at our end of the ground.
Someone sent me today an email including the word 'epiphenomenon'. Then, this afternoon, I heard it in a BBC podcast. Ignoring the question of whether or not I understand what it means - I don't – I wonder what the odds of this happening are.
A lovely Spanish vignette – As I was driving home across the bridge yesterday, the driver of the car in front tooted at the four young women walking towards town. Instantaneously – and without lifting their eyes from the phones they were reading - each of them raised an arm and waved it at someone none of them knew. Showing appreciation for something which would be taken rather differently in other countries.
Which reminds me . . . I heard an interesting dialogue between two clever woman on feminism today. When I was the young father of two girls, I vehemently believed that women were effectively the same as – and every bit as competent – as men. I no longer believe this and this podcast will go some way to explaining why I don't.
I wanted to get a prescription(script) today from the doctor I've been allocated down at my local Health Centre. This being my first time and me being ignorant of the process, I decided to take 10 minutes out to go there, rather than try to do anything on the phone. As before, the staff were very helpful and I was given an appointment for Wednesday, two days from now. But when I told the receptionist I wanted just to renew a prescription, she changed it to 3.15 this afternoon. I was writing this on my palm when she told me to take a piece of paper from the little printer on the counter. Ah, the Spanish love of paper! When I then asked if I could make future appointments by phone, there was a enough hesitation before she said Yes to leave me with some doubt. But, anyway, I asked if the right phone number was the one on the piece of paper, but she said not and wrote a new one on it. This process seems anything but efficient to me – at least compared with the ease and speed one can get repeat prescriptions in the UK without having to make an appointment with the doctor - but they seemed happy enough with it. Efficiency is not a god in Spain. Where one often feels a process has been designed – or just evolved? – to maximise the involvement of people, the production of paper and the longest possible duration. All of which have a natural bias in favour of error.
Postscript: My afternoon trip to get a prescription was successful. More than successful in fact, as I got four prescriptions – one for each product. The doctor filled in each of these by hand – inserting my name and social security number four times - and then signed and stamped each one of them. Watching him, I felt this would drive me mad if I were him. But perhaps it's because I'm new to the system. We will see!
Finally . . . Finding that my elder daughter had left behind her styling gel, I decided to use it to try to tame my over-long locks. Specifically, to comb the hair on the side of my head back rather than down. I only mention this because the effect has been startling. At least eight ladies have kindly volunteered how much they like the new style. And my – now even lovelier – neighbour, Ester, has said it takes years off me. Strangest of all, I'm being greeted by women whom I don't recognise from Adam. As I have been just now, prompting this paragraph. I wonder if it's because my gelled-down hair is now very much more Spanish than the Boris-esque unruly mop I normally sport. Not that anyone could ever take me for Spanish.
Apologies for the self-indulgence.