à propos April

In the United States and in Canada, April is National Poetry Month.

Although we don’t actually celebrate the month in the UK, focusing instead on a single Thursday in October for National Poetry Day, the concept of “national” celebrations has become very blurred in recent years. With modern tech and global comms, it’s sometimes hard to ignore the sheer number and volume of voices taking it for granted that what’s true in their region must be true everywhere.

So there is a little bit of my mind that seems to think I should be writing or posting poetry throughout the month.
Continue reading “à propos April”

ecstatic thoughts

Even someone who cares as little about cars as I do couldn’t walk past the Rolls Royce parked in town the other day without stopping to look closer. It wasn’t the car that interested me, though: it was the emblem – or, as Wikipedia would have it, the bonnet ornament.

I don’t think I’d ever really thought about what the figure represented; I’d just assumed it was a winged victory. But now I come to do some research, I find it’s actually the Spirit of Ecstasy.
Continue reading “ecstatic thoughts”

squaring the circle

The problem with taking photos at a classic car gathering is not just the hordes of people who jostle your elbow or wander absent-mindedly into the frame.

Even when you get there before anyone else, there are far too many polished surfaces: you end up as the main feature of at least half the pictures you take, which might not be quite so bad if the surfaces didn’t act as distorting mirrors.

Another problem is that too many of the cars there are altogether too familiar and you start to reminisce…
Continue reading “squaring the circle”

counting cars

In the previous post I said that back in 1964 there were a fraction of the number of cars in Spain that there are today. I’ve actually looked that up and figures cited this week in the newspapers claim that back then there were “dos millones de vehículos frente a los 30 millones de ahora y cuatro millones de conductores frente a los 25 millones que existen en la actualidad.

Let’s look at that again, in English:
Continue reading “counting cars”

coches de choque

After three weeks of the grey-green UK “summer”, I returned to the dusty yellows of Spain and found the village in the throes of fiestas.

dodge 'em or bump 'em?
dodge 'em or bump 'em?
Las fiestas del veraneante, to be precise – the annual celebration during the last week of August which is put on for the benefit of those who spend summer in the pueblo. Veranear – “to summer”. Not a verb that exists in English, though we do talk of birds wintering in warmer climes.

Continue reading “coches de choque”