Monday, March 21, 2016

Tidbits etc.

Spanish Tidbits:
  • The birth rate here – even though it includes more prolific foreigners from Rumania, Morocco and South America – is only 1.3. Behind just Portugal and Greece in Europe.
  • Sky News this morning is referring to the Fallas festival in Valencia as Spain's largest firework show. This is rather like calling Shakespeare a scribbler.
  • The newish political party, Podemos, is being investigated in respect of its financing. Well, why not? Every other party has been.
  • Think you can recognise all or most accents of those countries which speak Spanish? Click here and find out if you do. I got only 5 out of 20, I have to confess. My Spanish colleagues in the English Speaking Society managed 15, working as a (sort of) team.
Local Tidbits
  • The cost of reducing Pontevedra's dreadfully high speed bumps to a max of 10cm/4 inches is forecast to be between €1.2m and 2.1m. Which, of course, will be wrong. This is because all the adjacent kerbstones which led to the problem in the first place will have to be reduced to the same level. Madness? Probably.
  • Spring has arrived, rather sunnily. And along with the season comes the bane of city life – the beggars, drug addicts and street 'performers' that harass us. These categories overlap, of course. Anyway, I now have to go through the process of making the new arrivals aware they're wasting their time with me. Helped, I suppose, by the fact I'm always in the same place and, so, easier to remember. Should be achieved by summertime.
  • In Vigo, I read, there are now some turbo-glorietas (See Google Images).Or turbo-roundabouts/circles. And an awful lot of confusion. Or, rather, even more confusion that there normally is on these in Spain. A recent chat with a member of the Guardia Civil has thrown up the most important legal principles in facing this challenge: You can go through a roundabout in either lane but, if you hit someone on your right when doing so, you're at fault. Even if the driver is acting with a total lack of logic and common sense. For example: using the right hand lane to do a U-turn. So, now you know. If you're in the inner lane, always use your mirror. And don't expect a sensible signal from anyone.
  • For the first time ever, an olive plantation has been set up in the wine region near Pontevedra. I blame global warming. Or AGW, even.
  • The low-cost airlines airlines which decline to give us a winter service - Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling and Air Nostrum – have all announced their spring-autumn schedules. Mostly to and from Santiago de Compostela. And 4 out of the 5 'London' airports.
British Politics: A branch of PR? Click here for an answer.

Finally . . . North KoreaHave you noticed how everyone there is slim? Except whatsisname. Who seems to be eating for millions.

Query: Did anyone else get yesterday's post in small text ?

Another posting of one of my favourite cartoons . . . 

Oh, fuck!


Sierra said...

Yes - and it's still there in small text

Colin Davies said...


Lorraine Wright said...

I can actually see today's, thanks!

Diego said...

17/20 not bad for a Venezuela native.

Ferrolano said...

Not sure about the small print, but I do see at the end of your blog an advirtisement for a 31 year old, single, Chinese lady, who is looking for a friend. Do you know her?

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Now, that's a sweet cartoon of course, but no carpenter worth his salt would have made that mistake.

I have a better anecdote for you.

Many years ago, a wealthy client came to a Liverpool carpenter to order a cupboard of immense size for his mansion. The carpenter was no fool; so before he set to work on this most tentative order, he went over to his client's mansion to measure every gate and doorway to make sure that the cupboard could be delivered successfully. It so happened that it just could. So our carpenter set to work, and three weeks later he had the job finished.

He then informed his client that the servants could come and pick up the cupboard.

When they did, it turned out that the cupboard could not possibly be removed from the workshop, as the doors were too small.


Colin Davies said...

@Diego: Well done. Tho' I don't see what being Venezuelan has to do with it.
@Alfred. A tall tale orignally set in Galicia, I imagine. Brión, ever.
@ Sierra, Ferrolano and Lorraine: Thank-you. My impression is that today's print is normal size.

Bill said...

Yes, it was in small print (but legible); today's was normal. I'm presuming you tried to introduce some html code and didn't close it off correctly, perhaps in an earlier article, or the one which was affected.

Amazingly I got 9 out of the 20 accents correct, perhaps because I know people from various of the relevant countries, although I have no idea whether accents in Spanish-speaking countries are generally homogeneous throughout their territories, any more than they are in most English- or French-speaking , or for that matter Arabic-speaking countries (the three other languages which I speak/understand more or less well) - I suspect regional variants and education levels play at least some role.

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks; Bill.
Text: I always check the html as I write in Word in Verdana and then copy into the Blogger box. No matter how I originally write the text, the initial Blogger html text is always in small font. Even if it's normal in the box and in the Preview. I change this in but it seems that just 'instructing' another text doesn't work: I always have to go back to the html and change every 'small' or 'x-small' to 'normal'. I did this yesterday but the previous day relied on 'x-small'. This didn't work, even though the text appeared normal in all my previews and views of the published post. A mystery at the moment but the solution for now is to ensure the html text doesn't contain the word 'small' in any form. Which is a bit tedious as there's not 'Find and Change All' option in Blogger. As far as I can see.
Accents: Well done indeed. Yes, accents vary a lot even in Spain. I assume the same is true in other Spanish-speaking countries. And I guess in Iran, though I can't recall at this distance anyone ever telling me that the Isfahani accent, for example, differed from the Tehrani accent.

Bill said...

It always interests me, Colin, how different bloggers compose their "pearls of wisdom". I've always done it in the blogger box and saved it in draft form there until I'm ready to publish it. In earlier years (I've been blogging since 2002, although do so much less regularly and frequently now) I did also store the raw text in Word documents. Prior to starting my main blog I had been writing 'comment' pieces in my own website for some years and that necessitated that I learn how to code in HTML pretty extensively, so it's now second-nature for me - although every so often some obscure 'glitch' fouls up the final appearance until I can identify and correct it ;)

When I was first studying French seriously I had one-on-one tutoring by teachers from several different parts of France, so I got used to hearing various very different accents. My own French is now pretty fluent, but native-speakers don't usually pigeon-hole me as an English-speaker, instead French people have often asked me if I am Swiss, Belgian or Canadian (from Quebec), not exactly a compliment of course, given French views about Belgians in particular, as they do usually realise I cannot be metropolitan French. One of my secret 'vices' when I lived in France was to buy, in addition to French newspapers such as Le Monde and Le Figaro which we had in the office, the Belgian 'Le Soir' newspaper, as I very much enjoyed reading the 'Deaths' announcements there - a particularly stylised type of slightly old-fashioned French was used which appealed to me a lot. Many years later, whilst studying Arabic, our 4 tutors came from Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Sudan and of course having lived in many other Arabic-speaking countries myself I've heard all sorts of variants, whether spoken by fishermen, farmers or educated city-dwellers. One of the YouTube channels I have been following avidly for some months now covers all sorts of matters linguistic (it's called LangFocus) and even when it is discussing languages I have no knowledge of, I find it almost addictive. Linguistics really is an interesting subject.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks again, Bill. You must let me have your page and blog references for my daily Feedly.

I've simplified things now and it seems to be working. I type the text in Word (like you, using all notes previously jotted down) and then clear all the formatting (under Format). Then I C&P it into the Blogger box and make the links. I then don't need to do anything more and I don't have to check the html to see if my instructions have been carried out. I leave the font to whatever the hell Blogger uses as default. It doesn't seem far away from the Verdand I prefer. In other words, I've given up trying to change and re-change the font, each time I make a correction in the text. Doubtless, Mr Mittington will tell me if he's still having problems . . .

Bill said...


Just click on "Bill" in any of my comments here and you'll be taken to my Blogger profile, where you will find links to both my blogs and from there to my two websites and my Twitter & Facebook profiles. Seek and ye shall find ;)

Search This Blog