maculate

I moved back to the UK some years ago, but the time spent in Spain, and in particular, the years spent en el pueblo, still influence my thoughts. Today, for example is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a fact I would never have paid any attention to before living in a Catholic country, but which today has prompted me to feel nostalgic.

When we signed the papers on the house in the village it was early autumn, although we continued to dither between Madrid and the country for quite a while after that. So we were still not really on top of the intricacies of rural life as that first year wound down towards las fiestas de navidad.
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cat tale at the tail end of the year

One of the things I dislike most about this time of year is the fact that news sites are full of articles of highlights and honours, of lists of the best, the most read, the most popular…

To be honest, I mostly don’t care.

Even so, I am very tempted to do a ‘review of the year’ as my last post of 2018.
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fruitful thinking

There are certain things we take for granted in life.

Like the fact that certain fruit – cherries, apples, oranges, peaches etc. – are more or less round; and the fact that others – lemons, mangoes, kiwi fruit, strawberries – aren’t. And that there are fruit like plums that can be round or not, and others, like pears, that are so special and specific that they have their own shape name: pear-shaped.

Sometimes the things we take for granted are in fact not true.
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navigational skills

Although I am a frequent user of public transport, it’s been a long time since I travelled any distance by car. Recently, though, on a trip to Galicia’s Costa da Morte, I spent many hours as passenger – and navigator – in a rental car.

I like maps and have a reasonable sense of direction, so I don’t actually regret declining the GPS option, but it certainly wasn’t all plain sailing: much of the time was spent juggling a road map, which seemed to show nothing smaller than an A road, a trail map, which showed all the tourist routes – many of which turned out to be suitable only for walkers, and Google maps on a phone that was having trouble connecting to the local network.
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transcreation II

Last week, in the post Coast to Coast, I briefly mentioned transcreation. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a portmanteau word derived from translation and creation.

Translation is seldom easy and, depending on your definition of the word, translation of poetry may be considered impossible: should you focus on form or content? on sound, on patterns of metre or rhyme, or on meaning?
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