Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A resignation!; Female names; Bones v. Ashes; Villages for sale; & Boorish Brits.

Is this a first for Spain? The Justice Minister has resigned after the President announced the long-expected abortion of the former's abortion bill, which found favour with a mere 20% of the electorate. Was the sword he fell on supplied by Opus Dei, I wonder.

Walking around a small parish cemetery yesterday, there was the usual evidence that some names were pretty common among the females of the community - the most frequent being Maria Carmen, Rosa, Rosalia, Maria and Manuela. On the other hand, there were single examples of old (Catholic) names that you don't hear these days - Hortensia, Prudencia, Josefa and Concepción. Then there were 1 or 2 odd names, such as Primitiva, Ermitas, Herminia and (would you believe) Generosa. And, there were 2 names which my Dutch friend, Peter, says are of Visigoth origin - Edelmira and Cumersinda (also Gumersinda). He may be right; he sometimes is. Of modern names, there were just 2 - Susana and Emma. The latter is odd, as double letters are not common in Spanish and the second M isn't strictly necessary. A foreigner, then?

One other odd thing in the cemetery was the refrain "Here lie the ashes of . . ." on gravestones or niche walls. My friend Peter (again) said that the word 'ashes' (as opposed to 'remains' or 'bones') was also used in English. This is certainly true of, e. g. , Dorothy Parker. But, then, she was cremated.

There are said to be around 3,000 'ghost' villages in Spain, places which have been abandoned to nature. A hundred of these are for sale as a job lot, of which a fair proportion are here in Galicia. Anyone interested can contact me.

Nice phrase I saw today:- The hystero-sphere of Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, a bit of good news from Spain: August tourist numbers were a record, at 9% more than last year. Thank God for foreigners. Unless they actually move here. As Lenox regularly reminds us, this seriously diminishes their importance, no matter how much money they bring or generate. Especially those who buy houses in the south. Ask the Priors.

Finally . . . Britain is generally regarded as a place of good manners. This article - by a Brit - would suggest, though, that things are in serious decline, thanks to "spitters, seat-hoggers, queue-jumpers, excessive phone-users and please and thank-you abusers". The British, says the author, have become a nation of poorly mannered ingrates. Comments welcome.


Anthea said...

You might also like the "cyberhive". i came across it some time ago in an article urging people to leave behind their electronic communication gadgets and "de-assimilate from the cyberhive".

Perry said...

Where is Spain getting the money for these trains?

In the UK, the HS2 project makes no allowances for the growth in communications & the effects they will have on the necessity to travel for business meetings. Getting from Birmingham to London 20 minutes faster has no relevance when people use the time to work via laptops or Ipads. As for tourists; do they want to visit Brum?

If £29 billion (& still rising) were spent on improving the present rail network, that expenditure would generate much more income than the HS2.

These high speed railways on one level may seem to be necessary, but by the time they are completed, the erstwhile passengers will not need nor want to use them. Another example of a "dead heat on a merry-go-round" where a small prize is secured (HS2) at the expense of missing out on a far greater reward (Integrated rail network). The tax payers lose twice; do they deserve to?

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