Thursday, August 13, 2015

Constitutional change?; Gib again; Noise again; Cecil the lion; & Tiffintown awards.

The governing PP party has announced it'll be looking hard at the constitutional change everyone agrees is vital for modern Spain. Needless to say, this will allow it to stress the division between it and the opposition PSOE party on the question of greater devolution for Cataluña. So, more of a political expedient ahead of the elections later this year than a serious intent to address a critical issue. Which is no more than to be expected.

Needless to say - ahead of said elections - the Gib confrontation has been cranked up further. Witness this headline yesterday: Gibraltar hits back at Spain's claim its waters are haven for drug smugglers. Reader Mike commented yesterday on this issue, making the correct point that the British government would love to get shut of The Rock, something well evidenced by Cabinet papers released in the last few years. But you'd never get a Spaniard to believe this. And not many would accept Mike's other correct point that it'd be wiser for Spain to treat Gibraltarians well, rather than alienate them. But, with a PP government, Hell is likely to freeze over before this is even contemplated. The price of having an ultra-right wing. The last PSOE gvernment was far more conciliatory, and got mercilessly lambasted for it.

Back to noise: I was taking an early coffee in the Savoy café yesterday when a group of street performers arrived and switched on their speakers. The cacophony would've been deafening half a bloody kilometre away. So I left, after explaining why to the staff - who admitted they couldn't tolerate it either but had to. I passed the (mime) performers en route to my regular bar and noted they were crap. So, in effect, ultra-loud music was all they had to offer. Spain is different. Unnecessarily and unwelcomingly so in this case.

A query: Why do people tautologously say "At that moment in time"? Thoughtlessness?

Cecil the dead lion: This is Private Eye's take, from the point of view of the US National Rifle Association:

Finally . . . I was impressed to see that the owner of my favourite tapas bar had been given the award of Friend of Pontevedra, along with luminaries such as the dean of the College of Lawyers, a film director, and Los Black Stones - a 'rock and pop' group. I was even more impressed to see him wearing a suit in the foto, given that a less-than-pristine T-shirt is all he normally manages.

And here are the lucky Black Stones. They appear to be rather on the aged side to me. So have presumably had a long wait for this signal honour.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Funny. I always thought a bar-owner managed a bar, not a T-shirt...

Yours, LexicAl Mittington

Colin Davies said...

And I thought you might have passed away. . .

If this is a joke, it's crap.

If it isn't, you aren't aware of all the meanings of 'to manage'. The relevant one is : "7. to be frugal in the use of".

But I'm not surprised, given your bizarre favouring of US usage.

Bill said...

You refer to comments about Gibraltar made by someone called "Mike" yesterday about Gibraltar and these seem to reference comments made by me, and my name is of course not "Mike". Am I missing something or is this some weird Merseyside joke?

Natalie Sullivan said...

My name is Natalie Sullivan and I'm casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We'd love to film in Spain and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The expats on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. They must also speak English fluently and can be buyers or renters for their homes. If you'd like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7717 or skype me at natalieesullivan. You can also email me at Looking forward to hearing from you.

Colin Davies said...

Sorry, Bill. It was a typo! I'll correct it tomorrow.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

'...given that a less-than-pristine T-shirt is all he normally is frugally in the use of....'

You gotta be kiddin' me!!

Of course, you were desperate for a synonym of the verb 'to wear' so as not to repeat what you had already used (frugally) in the first clause. Forsooth a recommendable attempt at style. However, I would suggest you use (frugally as well) the verb 'to don' in the future, as 'manage' truly does not work. It says a grand total of zilch in this context.

Yours, respectfully, StilisticAl

Colin Davies said...

"as 'manage' truly does not work."

Why not try it out on some native speakers. Whose ears will be better attuned to the word and its (occasional) usage this context.

And stop bothering me with corrrections of misperceived errors.

Eamon said...

"....T-shirt is all he normally manages". Manages - that is about all he can be bothered to wear over his chest is how I read it.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Eamon. Spot on, of course.

Colin Davies said...

Just to be clear, Alfie: There are 2 verbs:
1. 'To manage'. Transitive: Bars, businesses, etc.
2. 'To manage to': Phrasal verb: As in: "I'm angry because he just about managed to send me a card but no present'. "Wearing a T-shirt was all he could manage (to do)."

Now, sod off!