June 16, 2013
One of the basic foods that I miss when in Spain is bread.
They do eat plenty of bread here, but it’s mostly white – a sort of faux baguette – and has no more flavour than I would expect from cotton wool or cardboard.
Other than the incredibly expensive pan artesano on sale in the village square some Saturdays, there is, however, one type of bread here that I like.
Since I buy it at the cut-price supermarket, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s cooked from frozen dough rather than made on the premises. It’s labelled as pan 6 cereales – six cereal bread. I was a little taken aback, though, when I read the ingredients list more closely: Read the rest of this entry »
June 14, 2013
I had an email from Google recently reminding me that they had offered me an AdWords voucher. This sentence caught my eye:
Nos complace comunicarle que hemos ampliado la promoción hasta el 27 junio 2013, lo que significa que aún puede canjear esta oferta y empezar a anunciarse justo a tiempo para la época navideña y el nuevo año.
We are pleased to be able to tell you that we have extended the promotion until 27 June, 2013, which means that you are still in time to take advantage of this offer and start to advertise just in time for the Christmas season and the New Year.
Is that how time works in the information age? Maybe I should install a calendar app and stop relying on dandelion clocks.
June 9, 2013
“Actual” is one of the words that tends to confuse English-speakers learning Spanish. It’s a “false friend”, connected with reality
in English and with current
So, while we might use “the actual situation” to talk about the real state of things, perhaps to correct someone’s misconceptions about what was going on, “la situación actual” would be the current situation.
When my computer tells me there are software actualizaciones disponibles, then, it’s not telling me to “get real”, but that I need to get the latest version – to update to a newer release.
The picture is a screenshot from my phone this week. (Yes, I have the complete works of the Bard on my phone – in English, it’s the phone that talks to me in Spanish; I find the frustration of queuing in the bank can be relieved by dipping into the sonnets, and having a searchable text of the plays is sometimes useful for the crossword.)
The question is, though, do I really want to update Shakespeare?
March 18, 2013
I knew that la crisis had forced lifestyle changes on everyone in Spain, but I’m shocked to find it has apparently made inroads into a tradition that lies at the very heart of the Spanish psyche: el puente.
No, not that kind of puente
. I’m talking about the puente
that connects a public holiday to the weekend with an additional – official or unofficial – day off.
Tomorrow is San José, which is a fiesta for some comunidades. Usually, such holidays are celebrated on the actual day on which they fall, which means that when there’s a Tuesday or a Thursday fiesta lots of workers take the intervening day and make a four-day weekend of it.
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February 14, 2013
(after Garcilaso de la Vega)
Love offered me a cloth so fine and rich,
with folds so ample, I could not refuse
but sewed myself a habit, stitch by stitch.
I find the garment shrinks with daily use:
its generous measures pucker and draw tight,
I suffocate where once I’d room to spare;
I stretch and strain to free myself, I fight,
yet still the precious fabric will not tear.
Come, show me one who wants to cut these ties -
these homespun tapes we fashion for our lives
to bind ourselves to husbands or to wives -
and I will show you one who’s spinning lies.
Each wears the cloth he wove, though I confess
I wonder if mine’s shroud or wedding dress.
Read the rest of this entry »