Sunday, February 15, 2015

Islamic splits; Similar gatherings; Hearing problems; Words; Cricket crowds; & Galician gin.

I listened yesterday to a Sunni guy who'd fled Pakistan for England because he and his Shiite wife had received death threats from their co-religionists. Co-sectists, to be more accurate. I fear it'll be more than a century before these God-fearing people can live peacefully together. Let alone with Christians.

Which reminds me . . . I saw 2 fotos of large gatherings this week. One was of people attending a conference in Saudi Arabia and the other was in the Vatican. In each case, there wasn't a woman in sight. This was a tad ironic as the Jeddah conference was on the very subject of these strange creatures. And it's quite possible they were on the agenda of the Vatican meeting as well. Another similarity was that everyone in both conferences was wearing strange headwear and clothes which were longer and more flowing than those normally associated with modern men. A third similarity was that all the attendees believed their decisions were guided, if not dictated, by God. Whether they shared the same prescriptive and judgmental God is open to debate. Whatever, they all looked distinctly last century. At the very least.

Because I was losing sound in the noisy stretches of my walks into and out of town, I bought some new earphones last week. The nice lady in the shop assured me that a pair with ear-cushions - technically headphones - were for both external and external use but, when I got home, my daughter laughed at me and said I looked ridiculous. I didn't bother to enquire why but the next day I told her I'd been pleased to see a chap come into the bar wearing a similar pair of headphones. "Was he a hipster?" she asked. "Yes", I replied." "There you go", she said. "Now you know why you look ridiculous".

New words. Sort of. The word paliza means 'a beating' but it's also used to mean someone who's a pain in the neck, e. g. who talks too much. So too is brasa, which literally means 'live coal'. Someone who overheats your brain. Possibly these idiomatic uses are more necessary in Spain than elsewhere.

Superfluous words: 'To manage on an ongoing basis' = 'To manage'. Ditto 'To manage going forward'. 

American readers might find it a tad hard to believe but there'll be a billion people watching a Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and India today. And bloody excited about it they will be.

Finally . . . Get ready, topers, for NORDÉS Atlantic Galicia Gin. The small company that makes this fine drink - distilled from our famous albariño wine - has been bought by the Spanish company Osborne, which plans to launch it in 40 countries. Osborne is a company grown on the back of sherries, brandies and Port wine and, needless to say, was originally British. It's famous in Spain for the Osborne bull - the huge 'billboard' that adorns hilltops here.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Rather, that should be called a Ballboard.

Anthea said...

"Going forward" is used more and more frequently these days to mean "in the future". It drives us crazy, as you can imagine!!

Merovingio said...

Hi Colin! I always thought that the name Osborne was Spanish, but I see is an English name .. Then the singer Bertin Osborne is of English origin? OMG!

Colin Davies said...

Well, his family almost certainly was at one stage.

Colin Davies said...


Ball, Bell, Bills, Boll, Bull . . . ¿que má s da?

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Well, it does make a difference of sorts…

One of the reasons why there was such an outcry, back in the 90s, when Osborne decided to remove these landmarks so as to cut costs, was that they were favorite spots of young couples to, well…, 'couple'. The macho thrill of doing it below a giant pair of cardboard testicles was simply irresistible to the Iberian libido.

Next thing you knew, these things were declared National Heritage and preserved.

There are times I deeply love Spanish antics!


Colin Davies said...


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