Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reading the always-entertaining art critic, Brian Sewell, I was struck by this comment about Salvador Dalí - “Even in his dotage, Dalí could not live without a daily dose of hero-worship — and if it did not come, then he was quite prepared to go out on to the streets to get it.” For exactly the same thing could be said about the now-reviled Jimmy Savile, who used to 'perform' every night at the Flying Pizza restaurant in Leeds. Where he moved around the place, working each table to get the attention and approbation he needed. And I have to say – having witnessed the performance – it was done very professionally. Which is not to say he was a good man. Readers confused as to why I should stress this, should click here. Or go to the web site of any British paper.

I heard a nice Spanish phrase the other night: Describing a very young baby, a friend called her Muy bebé - or 'Very baby'.

A copa is a drink of spirits and mixer, usually served in a large glass with plenty of ice. Costing 5 or 6 euros here in Galicia. The mount of spirit is at least 4 or 5 time what you'd get in a British pub. Unless the bar owner had diluted it with water, a not-unknown practice. I mention this because, the night I heard the Muy bebé comment,I also heard a woman say that she and her husband had been stopped by the police in the wee hours of the morning, after her husband had had 7 – yes seven – copas. She, in contrast, had 'only' had two mojitos. Despite this, her husband had been driving. Anyway, the woman reported that the police had asked her husband whether he'd been drinking and he'd lied that he hadn't. Whereupon they let him drive on. Astonishing.

Reading the entrails of Sunday's regional elections, the Financial Times opined that - “Analysts and commentators agreed that Mariano Rajoy, the country’s prime minister, emerged from the electoral contest in his home region with fresh political capital. But they stressed that it was far from clear how Mr Rajoy would spend it.” On the wider issues of the Spanish economy, the paper commented - “Many economists believe that Spain’s deteriorating public finances will ultimately force the government to request a bailout, possibly in conjunction with other troubled eurozone economies such as Cyprus and Portugal. But others point out that recent economic news from Spain has not been all bad: one indicator, the yield on Spanish 10-year bonds, has fallen by about 140 basis points over the past two months to 5.45 per cent, according to Bloomberg data. And while much of that drop can be linked to the promise of ECB intervention, it also suggests that investors no longer regard Madrid’s economic prospects as bleakly as they did.” So, has Sr Rajoy's masterful inactivity really been masterful? I guess it won't be long before we know, especially if the almighty market runs out of patience and Spain's bond yields return to the heights of yesteryear.

There used to be two savings banks – or caixas – here in Galaicia – Caixa Galicia and Caixa Nova. They were forcibly fused, to become Novacaixagalicia. But I see this has now been renamed Novagalicia Banco. I was going to say that the next step was to call it NGB but, checking on Wiki, I see this has already been done! Incidentally the Wiki entry on Novagalcia uses the horrible term – bankisation. Occasionally one regrets the flexibility of the English language, while being aware that words we now find acceptable were detested when they first crept into the language decades ago. For all I know, people once hated 'plastic'.

Finally . . . For all you Catholics out there – In an episode of Family Man recently aired, Peter and his (Catholic) family go off to church of Sunday morning. The sign outside says “Come for the Mass. Stay for the Guilt”. Which I rather liked.

6 comments:

Ferrolano said...

Following your remarks on the flexibility of the English language, I for one resent the theft and redefinition of words from my childhood – a gay person was anybody who was carefree and happy. Now sadly only homosexuals can be this way.

James Atkinson said...

Remember the old phrase "A short life and a gay one"? With the coming of AIDS/HIV its use has became unaceptable but strangly apposite at the same time. It should be remembered that in certain circles gay could also refer to prostitution, or just general debauchery, eg drinking to excess, nights "out on the razzle". I still use the word when I feel like it, and if anyone comments, which they seldom do, explain my usage. By the way, I am not anti gay/homosexual..I was about to say some of my best friends are, but thought better of it!

Ferrolano said...

@James, there are times when I wish that as with Facebook, you can "like" a comment, your's would be one of them!

Anonymous said...

Colin,

Nice one. You managed to put Dali and Savile on the same level within one phrase (sic).

Looking at the pictures of you it struck me that you look like a cross between Brian Sewell and Michael Winner. And that in more ways than one.

Colin said...

@Ferrolano. Not sure anyone under a certain age would understand you if you said someone was a gay gay. . . .

Lenox said...

'When a pansy was only a flower... and Fanny was just a maiden's name' (Old line from my mother)

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