Friday, October 11, 2013

Breastly demos; Salty Spaniards; Princessly payments; Lagging literacy; Changing Spain; and Funny choccy.

There was breast-exposing Femen protest in the Spanish parliament on Tuesday. It was against the imminent tightening of the abortion law, though many men may not have realised or remembered this. You have to hand it to El Mundo; from what I saw on the TV, it must have been difficult but they still managed to get a foto of the 3 women showing 5 breasts and nipples. This was followed up by a second foto on page 10, making good the breast/nipple deficiency. It all left me wondering if it's a full-time job writing slogans on the chest of Femen women and, if so, whether it's advertised. More seriously, I was impressed to read today that the judge released the women from detention, on the grounds that a display of breasts doesn't threaten public order. I assume, though, it's never been suggested that this would be so in the case of men. Incidentally, disturbing parliament procedures can carry a jail sentence here. Unlike robbing the Treasury blind, then.

El Pais went one breast (and nipple) better, albeit well inside the paper and not on the front page.

It'll come as no surprise to anyone who's had a plate of chips(French fries) here to learn that the Spanish eat twice as much salt as they should. Interestingly, though, all this is added during the cooking or the manufacture. You hardly ever see a salt cellar on the table in a Spanish house or restaurant. So, it's hard to avoid. Especially if your chips come liberally ladled with it, even resting on a bed of it.

It also won't come as a surprise for most Spaniards to hear that - although she hasn't been arraigned in the case centring on her husband's embezzlement of public funds - Princess Cristina (recently promoted to a bank job in Geneva) was charging thousands of euros of personal expenditure to the company used by her husband to siphon off the funds. Allegedly. Of course, this doesn't mean she knew the company was a sham. And she may have been authorised by the company's owners (her and her husband) to charge expenses such as underwear and costly kids' clothes to the corporate account. So we must be careful not to accuse her of anything. Other than of being lucky, I guess. So far.

I've been puzzled by the apparently widespread view here that Spain only has to change the clock (to GMT) for there to be an immediate revolution in the Spanish daily timetable. Even though most may agree that the latter is crazy, their lives are built round it. So I was pleased to read this commentary yesterday:- Changing the clocks is a lot easier than changing people's habits. This is why we would need more than isolated measures. We would have to introduce measures to help implement change. For example, providing tax breaks, or giving more points to companies bidding for public contracts that have flexible working hours and work-life balance policies; we would also have to look at school hours, as well as giving men and women the same rights to take time off work to look after children." Too true. And probably a lot more besides.

Well, Spain and the UK seem to share one sad facet - from an already low position, they're both going backwards in the international tests of literacy and numeracy. This is despite UK teachers working harder than ever. Could it be they're prioritising the wrong things, under central and regional direction/command?

Well, Telefónica finally lifted the restriction on my phone, allowing me to text my daughters in the UK. The message they sent me described this development as them 'activating the service requested', not as them giving me a service I was paying for and which they'd denied me. Pretty indicative of their mind-set.

Finally . . . There's a chocolate bar on the Spanish market that goes by the name of Hurry'up. I don't know what the apostrophe is meant to represent. Perhaps the gap between the two words. Ingenious, if daft.

Is 'daft' a word generally recognised outside the North of the UK?


Ferrolano said...

Colin, the word "daft" was certainly used in the south of England. Additionally, I remember the expression "As daft as a brush". It is possible that both the word and the phrase originated in the north and migrated south with the help of popular TV programs.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

"You hardly ever see a salt cellar on the table in a Spanish house or restaurant..."

My dear boy: get yourself new glasses. As in Spectacles. Not as in Wine... Of those you should get fewer, and smaller, and less...


Perry said...


Daft, pronounced daaaft, darrnn sarf.

Mixed metaphors.

Perhaps the Hurry'up brand is just another laxative?

Remember and this is muy importante. A square not a bar or it'll be Montezuma's Revenge all over the place.

Tenesmus in pace.


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