Thursday, March 24, 2016


Spanish Jamón: I bought another of these gastronomic delights yesterday and started on it last night. I wonder if there's a Jamones Anonymous.

Cultural Differences:
  • As I was saying about that bloody leg pixellated out in the British newspaper on Tuesday . . .
    Here's the same picture in yesterday's Voz de Galicia
  • I talked to my neighbour, the lovely Ester, about last Thursday evening's Community meeting. I couldn't tell what decisions were made, I complained. There weren't any, she replied. So, I now await the Minutes with even greater anticipation, to see how much of them is a post-facto fabrication.
Shakespearean English: Here are 21 phrases we use today, often not aware of their origin:-
Salad days” – Antony and Cleopatra.
As good luck would have it” – The Merry Wives of Windsor
Send him packing” – Henry IV Part I
Short shrift” – Richard III
Neither here not there” – Othello and Merry Wives of Windsor
“Mum’s the word” – Henry VI, Part II
“More fool you” – The Taming of the Shrew
“That way madness lies” – King Lear
“More in sorrow than in anger” – Hamlet
“With bated breath” – The Merchant of Venice
“The green-eyed monster” – Othello
“Vanish into thin air” – Othello & The Tempest
“All of a sudden” – The Taming of the Shrew
“Wild goose chase” – Romeo and Juliet
“The be-all and end-all” – Macbeth
“Up in arms” – Henry VI Part II / Richard III
“Heart of gold” – Henry V
“Eaten out of house and home” – Henry IV, Part II
“Devil incarnate” – Henry V & Titus Andronicus
“Foregone conclusion” – Othello
“All that glitters is not gold” – The Merchant of Venice
See here for more on these.

Pontevedra's Beggars:
  • An intriguing exchange: Lunching with friends yesterday, we were approached by one of the beggars who usually don't bother me. The one with whom I had a short chat on the bridge a few weeks ago. When I told him he knew who I was and that he was wasting his time since I saw him in the drugs barrio every day, he replied that things weren't as bad as I imagined and that we should have 'a serious discussion' at another time. To which I, naturally, agreed.
  • This reminded me of an ex-beggar who'd hauled himself up by his bootstraps to become an itinerant book-seller, and to whom I give an occasional book in English. He noticed one day I was reading a book on Spain's corruption by Judge Garzón and engaged me in a discussion about the author. I haven't seen him around for a few weeks and do hope he hasn't gone backwards.
  • On Tuesday I was approached by an unfamiliar young woman garbed like a rather well-dressed camino walker. I was rather surprised when she stuck out a hand and baldly asked for money. Having got nothing from either me or the old ladies at the next table, she turned to walk down towards one of our little squares and took a recorder out of her backpack. Desperate times, desperate measures. And bloody awful musicianship.
Finally . . . The Glory of the Morning. As opposed to a morning glory, of course. I'm waking earlier than usual these days, around 5.30 or 6. The compensation is that Galicia's trees harbour many types of bird and there's now a dawn chorus at this time of the day. So, I switched off Sky News and opened a door to let in both the birdsong and cold. Whereupon there was a brief power-cut. As I moved towards the kitchen to warm up my coffee, I noticed that there was one bird with a particular piercing and persistent call. Not to say irritating. And then it dawned(!) on me it was a bloody alarm somewhere down the hill, presumably triggered by the power cut. So, goodbye birdsong; hello 20 minutes of Sky News. But at least it wasn't RT TV. And I could close the door and warm up.

Tuesday's Semana Santa procession, featuring both Jesus and his immaculate mother. I'll just say it was strangely impressive to see so many females involved. But I suppose they sin as well . . . . 


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Funny… Urged by your fine post I read through all of Othello again, but I could not find 'Neither here not there'.


Colin Davies said...

As you seem to have a lot of time to waste, take it up with the author of the cited article. Ze may well humour you.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

So is it your opinion that, when paraphrasing somebody's work, one also ought to copy zes mistakes?

I suggest you correct that typo/tipo, or at least add a '[sic]' to the quote in question.


Colin Davies said...

My opinion is that, using the technical term, you are a right royal pain in the arse. Or 'ass' as you would write it. Being of dubious semi-British stock. But - Have a nice day.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Ah, what's in a name? An arse by any other name…


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