Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Lovely jubbly

The most powerful Spanish women: This is The Local's list of the Top Ten of these. I'm not sure I share their definition of 'powerful' and I have to confess I knew only 6 of them. But, then again, none of them knows about me. Except Penelope Cruz, of course. She lives next door to my friends, David and Lucy, north of Madrid. And we often chat over the garden fence.

Talking about Spanish women . . . With sisters like this: A female judge in northern Spain – not, it's said, for the first time – has asked a woman alleging assault and rape why she didn't try keeping her legs together and all her female organs closed. Can there be a female misogynist? Or is she just very cynical?

Spanish employment: For at least 10 years here I read there were 'structural' reforms necessary in the labour market. In essence, it was said, there were two markets: The first - primarily of older workers – hadn't changed much since the Franco era and gave great protection to those on permanent contracts. The second – primarily younger workers – was far more precarious, as the contracts were temporary. The upshot was a rigid market which didn't respond well to economic needs. Well, the (outgoing?) PP party finally got round to reform but I'm not sure it was what economists felt was needed. It seems to have done little to liberalise the first of the 2 markets but made the second even more precarious for those lucky young people – fewer than 50% - who can actually get a job. Most of these seem to be on 'zero hours' contracts and, in some cases, below the legal minimum wage. But it's not all bad news: employers have presumably benefitted from having workers on lower wages who can be summarily – and cheaply - let go. And who won't be trained while they're on the books. As I say, probably not what the reformers had in mind.

Celtic Galicia: Galicians like to see themselves as Celts and seem to think no other Spanish region can claim this honour. Despite what historians might say. Yesterday I asked my good friend, Fran, if the next-door Asturians were as Celtic as the Galicians. No, he said, rather adamantly. When I asked him what they lacked, he replied: The sense of humour. Now, I don't know whether he's right or wrong – or even if he was totally serious – but the concept of a specific Celtic sense of humour had me in pleats. Being a good egg, Fran didn't take exception to me rolling on the floor in laughter. Against that, I might get some nasty comments to his post from others whose minds are a tad narrower.

What's in a name?: Apparently, the hedgehog used to be called an urchin in English. Which is why we have a 'sea-urchin'. The source of this info said this was still true of Dutch. In which both a hedgehog and an urchin are an egel. And a sea-urchin is a zee-egel. Funny people, the Dutch.

Finally . . . They say, down in Andalucia, that citrus trees don't grow up here in Galicia. Well, here's my neighbours' clementine tree. 

And my lemon tree.

And my - non citrus - fig tree, that gives me 2 crops a year of (uneaten) fruit.

Finally . . . Anyone for rosemary?


For those truly interested in the facts, here's the only (detailed) plan in existence for a British exit from the EU. If the link doesn't work, type this into your browser:


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Sorry to correct you here, but you have been misinformed. Indeed, in Dutch, the word for Hedgehog is Egel, and the word for Sea-urchin is Zee-egel. But there is no word for Urchin - in the sense of slightly mischievous young child - which runs, or contains a form of, Egel.


Colin Davies said...

Take it up with Google, who also give:

Translations of urchin
toddler, chinch, urchin, mite, moppet, Jack Sprat
laddie, urchin, kiddy, whipster, whipper-snapper

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Dutch: Dreumes, jochie, kleuter. All to be - possibly - translated as English 'urchin'. But where is the 'Egel'?

Google does not say that Egel is used for Urchin.


Colin Davies said...

And it was somewhere else which said egel is both urchin and hedgehog. Which is what I was talking about. Not about street-urchins.

Piss off. I have a plane to catch.

Go and study English.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Go to study Dutch. And how to use a dictionary.

Egel is the Dutch word for hedgehog, yet. Zee-egel is the dutch word for Sea-urchin, yes. But Egel is never used for any kind of Urchin which is not a sea-urchin. And if you did not mean street-urchin then WHAT BLOODY URCHIN did you have in mind?? How many meanings of Urchin do you know, oh walking OED??


Sierra said...

"The history of Britain for a thousand years has been as a merchant and maritime
power playing its full role in European and world affairs while living under its
own laws. It is our view that the UK can flourish again as an independent state
trading both with our friends in the EU and the rest of Europe, while developing
other relationships throughout the world as trading patterns evolve."

Clearly never tried to buy online from British firms.

"We cannot deliver to Spain"

"With the exception of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and BFPO (British Forces Post Office) addresses, we regret that we are not able to ship to addresses outside the United Kingdom."

"We are having problems accepting your payment from an UK bank as you have a Spanish address"

"We cannot sell Kindle editions to Customers in Spain, please go to our USA website, (or the Spanish one who don't stock it)"

etc., etc.

Colin Davies said...

Oh, God! I never said it was. I said the source said that Dutrch used one word for hedgehog and the sea-urchin. Usually called just 'urchin' in English. You brought in the street-urchin. Not me nor my source.

Colin Davies said...

Sierra. I just bought a kindle from And have things delivered from the UK but it's true some co's don't. Presumably their choice. Or an insruction fom the foreign parent company. No one gives up sales willingly.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I quote. "The source of this info said this was still true of Dutch. In which both a hedgehog and an urchin are an egel. And a sea-urchin is a zee-egel."

The formulation of these two sentences suggests that we are talking of a Hedgehog, an Urchin, and a Sea-urchin. And that these are three different things. If you meant to say that Hedgehog and (Sea-)urchin are both expressed in Dutch by (a variation of) the word Egel, then you should not have formulated it the way you did.

In other words: don't go and learn Dutch (it is obviously beyond you). Go and learn how to write, you Liverputian lawyer!


Eamon said...

Sierra - "We cannot deliver to Spain". Notice it says "cannot" and not "do not". I buy a lot of things on Amazon both in UK and Spain. I have worked out that there is some kind of amicable agreement that certain products sold in the UK that are cheaper than Spain will force you to buy it in Spain if you really need to. Some products sold on will be shipped from the UK.

Anthea said...

Have you really chatted to La Penelope over the garden fence? How about Javier Bardem? jealous!!!

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