92 – Deciphering Fay-Bu

Anyone with a teenager, or with teenage friends, or simply with friends a generation (or two!) younger than themselves, will be familiar with that furrowed brow you gain when trying to decipher a text message or a Facebook status that really seems to be written in another language. Continue reading

88 – Misunderstandings

Sigh.  I do love learning Spanish.  And it has taught me so much about English too – it has made me think about the words we use, and just what we mean by them.  Translating a thought or a sentence into Spanish challenges the English words we take for granted.  I love that Geoffrey Willans quote “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”  Which seems to say what I’m trying to say. Continue reading

87 – Just a Note

No blog this week as I am sunning it in Nerja over Christmas with my good friend Nikki.

I have been touched and amazed to see the readership grow throughout 2013, both here on the blog’s home site at WordPress, on the Eye on Spain blog site, and through the new Writers in Spain website. I am immensely grateful to everyone who has read any of the blog since it began in July 2012. I’m especially grateful to those who have taken the trouble to comment – your encouragement and suggestions mean a lot. Continue reading

86 – Two Faces of December

Oh yes!  It’s that time of year again.  And Spain does Christmas so well.  The lights are up, and in every corner a little nativity scene is built.

Oh no!  It’s that time of year again.  And Spain does fiestas so well.  The chorizo is sliced and the mosto decanted, and Colmenar prepares for its Fiesta de Mosto y Chacina – officially a Ruta de Tapas, unofficially the bar-crawl round every bar in the village. Continue reading

83 – A Bad Case of Subjunctivitis

Well, the impossible has happened.  Despite the class managing to delay the arrival of the subjunctive tense for many months, and working against almost impenetrable resistance from the group, last week Juan-Mi came up with a couple of really effective exercises that has drummed the subjunctive into this recalcitrant bunch of reprobates that meets weekly at the Axalingua school in Colmenar Continue reading

82 – Domingos

Los domingos.  Días de descanso.  Sundays.  Days of rest.

Sundays more than any other day mark the changing of the seasons.  For the last few months Sundays have been marked by early-morning shouting in the street as impossibly-large families cram into too-small cars, ferrying dishes of pre-cooked food, bags of meat for barbecuing, and crates of beer into the groaning boot of the car.  Heading off for “a day in the campo” to relax, chat and laugh with cousins and grandchildren and sisters-in-law and to make full use of the day of rest. Continue reading

78 – Sex and Rolexes on the Beach

He’s one of the tallest men I’ve ever seen.  And he definitely has the biggest smile.  I guess you have to develop an easy charm and a friendly manner if you’re trying to sell complete rubbish to beach-goers in order to scrape a living.

Gabriel is there most days.  Sometimes he has hats, occasionally sunglasses, but his speciality is high-class watches.  Rolexes.  At a real bargain price of just €50.  Who can resist? Continue reading