words on a screen

Last week, Kristin Scott-Thomas appeared in a short video on the BBC website talking about her new film, I’ve Loved You So Long.

The film is in French, and the subject of subtitles was discussed:

Interviewer: …audiences in the English-speaking world have in the past tended to shun films with subtitles.
Kristin: Apparently this is changing: I’ve heard that people are less and less resistant to this simply because we’ve all got so used to text messages, visual messages everywhere, Continue reading “words on a screen”

autumn hai’ku

From among the fallen leaves, the wind
lifts a broken butterfly wing
and gives it flight.

autumn creeping from the inside out
autumn creeping from the inside out

autumn evenings

I was a bit ahead of myself when I said it was autumn on the 17th, as in fact the equinox didn’t happen till September 22nd. But there was an autumnal edge to the air last week, although it feels even more ‘edgy’ now the rains have started.

This limits my evenings spent writing under the vine but there will still be plenty of days ahead when it’s warm enough for an hour or two outside once I’ve finished in the studio for the day.

These three short pieces were all written under such circumstances, Continue reading “autumn evenings”

water, water everywhere

I’m in Madrid for a few days for meetings etc., and am horrified to be reminded just how much chaos the rain causes in what is, after all, a first world capital city.

I’d already seen the first major rains of the season which I wrote about in Change in the Weather, but it doesn’t get any better.

This morning the newspapers are full of the news: 130 km of traffic jams, the emergency services inundated with calls, and a woman killed after being swept away by the floods in Coslada. Continue reading “water, water everywhere”


After the rain
the tousled heads of corn;
a scarecrow army.

Castilla y León, 21/09/2008
Castilla y León, 21/09/2008

lies, damned lies…

…and a headline from today’s Público which makes the Spanish sound even more xenophobic than they really are:

seis de cada cuatro encuestados piden la expulsión de los sin papeles - 6 out of every 4 surveyed want illegal immigrants sent home
lies, damned lies and statistics

Continue reading “lies, damned lies…”

digital manipulation

From today’s print edition of the Spanish newspaper Público comes a short piece with the headline Veto a los anuncios de senos exagerados.

I can’t find it in the online version, but a very similar article is carried by the Libertad Digital website.

Público 20 Sept 2008
Público 20 Sept 2008
Both pieces report that the Asociación de Cirujanos Plásticos del Reino Unido have asked for a ban on adverts which show “fotografías de mujeres en bikini, en poses que parecen simular éxtasis, y con los senos manipulados digitalmente” because such ads raise unrealistic expectations in young women who face plastic surgery.

It’s the phrase “senos manipulados digitalmente” which bothers me. And a quick check with the RAE online dictionary confirms my concerns.
Continue reading “digital manipulation”