Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Archbishops' rating; Gibraltar x 3; Bulls; Language oddities; And a nice cartoon.

Erratum: Apologies, I missed at least one item from the list of admired and (more) un-admired Spanish institutions yesterday. Archbishops came in at only 21%, which compared very badly with parish priests at 52%. One wonders why?

In yesterday's Voz de Galicia Gonzalo Bareño issued a plea for an end to the Gibraltar soap opera and, at the end of his article, expressed surprise it took the creation of the reef to highlight the issue of fiscal improprieties on The Rock. No disagreement with either of these sentiments but the bulk of his article was about how the 'educated and cultured' Brits he'd spent his summer with had totally and unshakeably believed UK media reports that it had all kicked off when Spain invaded Gibraltar and that several people had boiled to death in the long and unjustified queues at the border. He was even more shocked, I think, that these reports had not come from or were not confined to the tabloid press. Well, I've read the Telegraph, the Times and the Guardian throughout the summer and watched the news on the BBC and Sky and I've neither seen nor heard either of these claims. I can only conclude his friends were reading the broadsheet Daily Express (is it still a broadsheet?), which is owned by a man who makes his money primarily from porn and will allow his paper to report anything which will sell copies of it. Particularly if it has something to do with Princess Diana. If so, it raises a question about Bareño's definition of 'cultured'.

Back here in Spain, the mayor of a small town near Alicante has upset many of the numerous Brits down there by posting a mocked-up foto showing Gibraltar being invaded by Spanish (Guárdia Civil) troops. Click here for more on this adolescent episode. Which probably won't get him sacked. Or even reprimanded. But he may just make a totally insincere apology in a few days' time. Telegraph here. Guardian here.

In the real world, the Spanish government is disappointed (I'll say) that the EU has not acceded to its request to include the issue of sovereignty in its September/October review of the issues that divide the Spanish and British governments.

Unsurprisingly, the Spanish government has announced it's reviewing rail safety following the crash that killed 79 people in Santiago de Compostela last month. “We are carrying out a general review of all protocols and all security systems, as well as speed limits,” said the Minister for Public Works minister. The very least they could do.

I've just finished a fascinating book - Eastern Approaches - by one of the founders of the British SAS, Fitzroy Maclean. Once or twice, though, there was a sharp intake of breath when reading references to niggers and golliwogs. But, then, it was written in 1949, when these were pretty commonplace. I did have a query about Maclean's description of one chap as "A sallow, slightly built man with an intelligent, sensitive face." What on earth does an 'intelligent face' look like, never mind 'a sensitive face'?

Spanish bulls continue to fight back. Much good it will do them.

New-to-me Spanglish: Guárdarail. Safety barrier.

New-to-me English: To twerk: To twitch or jerk; To move the body in a sexually suggestive twisting fashion. As in Miley Cyrus.

Linguistic Query: USB dongles are called 'pens' in English but 'pencils'(lápices') en Spanish. I wonder why. Actually, their full name in Spanish is lápices de memoría. Among other things.

Finally . . . You'll all want to know what el lip-dubbing is. Click here.

Finally . . . Finally: Here's an old cartoon which someone has sent me. I offer it without comment. And certainly without endorsement:-

I'VE DECIDED TO TEACH HER TO TALK. What harm can it do?


Perry said...


Flash drive & Memory Stick for data storage.

A Wireless Dongle for comms.

Any use?


TheSpanishLegion said...

"by posting a mocked-up foto showing Gibraltar being invaded by Spanish (Guárdia Civil) troops"

Not the Civil Guard but the Spanish Legion.

Anonymous said...

No Colin, the Daily Express is not a broadsheet - It's approx 30cms x 40 cms now.


for today's front & back pages and the last 6 day's front pages.



Sierra is right, a G3 dongle is an option, albeit rather expensive. Remember though, you will be competing with every man and his\her dog for the phone line bandwidth. You will need to rise earlier to get your surfing done.


Azra said...

I wish Miley and her kind could be banished to wherever they came from...

Colin said...


Yes, My military adviser now insists this is what she told me.

But still going the wrong way.

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