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”

early awakening


The neighbour’s rooster wakes
and flings his morning warning
to the hills. The echoes stretch
a string between hoarse-throated brays
and barks which tumble to the still-grey sky.

Comprehending compression

¿Comprender a comprimir?
¿Comprender a comprimir?

Definiciones del
Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española:

(De comprehensión).
1. f. Acción de comprender.

(Del lat. compressĭo, -ōnis).
1. f. Acción y efecto de comprimir.

Y tú, ¿irías al taller ofrecido por esta gente?

autumn, but the sky’s still blue…



in the blue, a small cloud, broad
in the beam as a nursery aeroplane
and fades
to leave
a wisp