dissabte, 30 de juny de 2012

New Song - Howard Jones

Quan vaig començar el bloc fa 3 anys, escrivia tot sempre en un document Word, per poder revisar el llenguatge i continguts. I per poder tenir el text guardat.
Ultimament escric tot sobre la marxa i ho penjo sense miraments, mals vicis! I si l'ordenador et fa una mala passada ... pos, acabeu de perdre un text molt interessant sobre Howard Jones que no penso tornar a teclejar avui!
Sempre queda la musica ....
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When first starting out with this blog, 3 years back, everything was carefully written out first in a separate Word document so as to be able to check on errors and content, and to have a back-up copy saved. Of course, over time, always rushing, bad habits creep in , and recently I write and post directly without a look back on some of the waffle I'm churning out. Thanks to the whim of the computer, then, you have just lost the chance of reading a fascinating post on Howard Jones which I've spent some time on only to see it fade away....
there'll always be the music though!.

dimecres, 27 de juny de 2012

High School Confidential #Inutil

Avui estrenem una nova serie d'apunts anomenada "L'objecte més inutil que he comprat mai". Primer lloc va per això de la foto. Comprada a la primavera del 1997, crec que m'he posat damunt 1 cop en tot aquest temps. A banda de no tenir temps mai de gitar-me de dia, seria de bojos gitar-me al sol, i si m'he de descansar de veritat fent una migdiada a la sombra, pos, que tal un llit de veritat?!
En fi, tampoc l'ha usat mai ningu de la casa, i ara només serveix per deixar tovalloles o roba damunt mentre ens mullen a la basseta.
La musica, totalment no-relacionada amb aquest escrit, és del Gran Jerry Lee Lewis!
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Starting a new series of posts today, entitled "The most useless object I ever wasted my hard-earned dough on". Presently sitting at number one in the list is this little beauty you can see in the photo. Bought in the spring of 1997, I have only ever laid down on it once, for 10 minutes. I mean, get a life! Who has time to lie down outside in the daytime anyway? Not me. Nor would I want to lie in the sun. And if I do have the odd well-deserved post-lunch nap, in the shade, well, what's wrong with a good old-fashioned bed?!
Anyway, in 15 years no one has used it and it now sits there, cracked and faded by the sun, a sorry sight which only serves for us to dump towels and clothes on while we jump in our  4 x 4 metre irrigation pool for a cooling dip.
Song, nothing to do with all this, by the great Jerry Lee Lewis!

dissabte, 23 de juny de 2012

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Sinatra #Sant_Joan


Si esteu llegint això en català, és més que probable que ja sabeu de que va Sant Joan. Però si voleu practicar l’anglès, o saber que explico als meus seguidors internacionals (tots dos), podeu continuar ....
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Tomorrow, the 24th June, is Saint John’s Day – a national holiday here in Catalonia. Just who John was or what cool deeds he did, I do not know, but it’s not relevant to today’s post anyway. Today, the 23rd, then is Saint John’s Eve, and tonight is Big Party Time in Catalonia. Everyone gathers together, families, friends, drunken teens, for one of the best hair-letting-down celebrations of the Catalan calendar. Plenty of food, nice cakes, and drink to start things off. Once night falls, the party kicks off – with one of its main features being a haphazardly letting off of fireworks by anyone who can work a lighter. All those rules we were taught in England are completely ignored – you know, keep them in a closed tin; only adults can buy and light them; never hold in your hand as you light them; don't throw them; do not go back to a failed one; don’t set them off near buildings, or throw them under parked cars or in rubbish bins; don’t keep them in your pocket or throw handfuls of ‘em on a bonfire etc. Anyway as the drinks keep flowing, the bigger and better become the improvised firework displays. Reminiscent of Vietnam around 1970. Many people finish the celebrations off in hospital. Bonfires are lit and jumped over, for “good luck” – only “good” if your drunken judgement allows you to clear the fire! Many people, or villages, organise dances and the party goes on all night till dawn. This is often finished off by a sobering dawn dip in the sea. A great time is had by all!!
The Catalans believe this night coincides with the shortest one of the night, the magical Mid Summer’s Night. My O-level Geography teacher said that that was on the 21st, but we won’t quibble. However you look at it, summer starts here and now!! It does coincide with schools breaking up for their 2 and a half month holiday and many kids use the bonfire to get rid of their school books!
Anyway, as I prepare the compulsory Summer Party 2012 CD, this is one track I’ll be including ....


dimarts, 19 de juny de 2012

Wouldn't it be nice .... #England

OK, aixi que tornem a estar al mig del futbol. Que podem dir? Fa dos anys ja vaig invertir prou temps parlant d'Anglaterra i les seves probablitats de guanyar el Mundial, unes prediccions que van quedar en un no res. Si feu clik aqui, també vereu tot un seguit de grans cançons relacionades amb el futbol anglès. Aquest any ho agafarem en més calma, i deixarem l'euforia per si passem del grup avui ...
una mostra de la euforia controlada, és la bandera que vam comprar de rebaixes un cop eliminat del Mundial, per 10 peniques (12 centims).
La cançó, avui provarem algun truc diferent, a vore si aquest link funciona, serà Wouldn't it be nice, orginal dels Beach Boys, però aqui cantada per Saint Etienne.
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Wow, just as one football competition finishes, so another one starts. I've been a bit slow of the blocks to comment on the Euro Championships, though, given all the (undeserved) praise and blog-space I gave England at the last World Cup. Click here for embarrassing predictions and football-related songs.
This year, we'll take a more subdued outlook on it - at least till we get past the group stage tonight.
This restrained excitement is embodied by our flag, bought in an Asda sale for 10 pence after England got knocked out of the last World Cup.
Today's song? Forgetting YouTube for a day, we're gonna try this idea and see if this link works. If it does, you'll soon be enjoying Saint Etienne's take on Wouldn't it be nice....

dilluns, 4 de juny de 2012

Don't stop me now - Queen #Jubilee_Elephants

Aquests dies a Anglaterra s’està celebrant els 60 anys com a Reina de la reina Elizabeth II. Diuen les enquestes que un 88% de la població està a favor de la monarquia, i que aquest % no varia massa quan es mira a Gal•les, Irlanda del Nort, i Escocia – les altres parts del RU. Tampoc varia massa quan mirem els votants de esquerra/dreta. En fi, sembla que la gran majoria dels britànics està a favor de la monarquia, i no està continuament qüestionada com el Rei d’Espanya. Podem esbrinar els motius ... personalment, aquí em considero republicà, però quan estic a Anglaterra, em considero un “no-m’importa-ni-si-ni-no” persona. Encara que entenc la teoria que ningú ha de néixer per liderar en una democràcia, donat que els reis i regnes no lideren res, tampoc m’importa gaire. De fet, comparant la reina amb els presidents triats democracticament com George Bush o Berlusconi, començo a entendre l’estima en vers la reina.

La familia real britànica ha tingut els seus alts i baixos, però en general, la població té l’imatgen d’ells com el punt estable de les seves vides. Canviem de politics, surten escandols de corrupció, passem pels booms i crisi, però sempre tenim la reina com a punt de referència. Sempre està present quan passa qualsevol desgracia, o quan tornen els morts de les guerres inutiles que ens preparen els politics. El Rei espanyol no té el mateix paper, i més bé passa desaparegut davant dels problemes del país – per bé o per mal!

També crec que sortim guanyant economicament. Per molt que ens costa, és veritat que tot el “show” de la familia real aporta molts de turistes i diners, molts més dels diners que els hem de pagar.

L’ultima diferencia que veig, ja ho he tocat abans – aquí és evident que els catalans no volen ni estimen al rei d’EspaÑa, mentre sembla que la majoria d’escocesos, fins i tot si aconsegueixen l’independència, voldrien que la Reina continui sent Reina de Escocia. Normal si mirem l’historia ....

Interessant.

Aquests dies si mireu alguna cosa de la televisió anglesa, vereu molts d’actes amb molts d’actes pel public (concerts gratis!), i a quasi tots el pobles estan montant festes pel carrer i treient les banderes – ja que no guanyarem al futbol, almenys gaudeixen uns dies amb aquestes celebracions.
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These days back in the UK they are having a jolly good time celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. According to what I’ve read, and my own personal experience, the vast majority (over 80%) of folk agree with the idea of a monarchy and love the Queen. Meanwhile here in Catalonia/Spain, the Royal Family is less popular than ever – and that’s saying something! Here’s Brian’s analysis of the differences – why I’m a republican here, but a don’t-really-mind kind of person when back in England.

OK, so it sounds stupid to have someone “leading” your country just because of their birth rights – but as it’s not really leading, just a figurehead ... and comparing the Queen with democractically elected Presidents like Berlusconi, ehm!

I suppose the principal difference is that the Queen and UK Royal Family have always been there, through thick and thin, turning up in their Rolls Royces to offer words of comfort or support, whereas the Spanish royal family was basically booted out under the short-lived republic before being brought back to replace Franco! To top that, there is no love lost in Catalonia for anything Spanish, much less a “foreign” royal family.

Whereas the UK Queen gets cheered wherever she goes, the Spanish King wouldn’t really dare show his face in public over here without some very careful crowd control.

The Spanish King seems to get a fair wage from the tax-payers, just like Lizzie – with the difference being that millions of tourists flood to London to leave their hard-earned dollars and yen, whereas the Spanish haven’t set up a “business” like this.

So, anyway, UK blog readers, enjoy your holidays and street parties (in the rain). Whether it be for the Queen or for any other reason, there’s nothing wrong with a good party!

diumenge, 3 de juny de 2012

Somethin' Else - Eddie Cochran #Observations_Tortosa

Ja porto tants anys aqui a Tortosa que fins i tot crec que se m'està canviant l'ADN. Però de vegades tinc visitants (ooohh, I see visitors!) i em comenten les coses que a ells els xoquen, per bé o per mal, venint d'Anglaterra. Ultimament m'han nombrat 3 o 4 ...
1. Les voreres - a qui va triar les rajoles d'en terra, li haurien de penjar del monument de Franco! En serio, relliscosos a no pugui més, fins i tot quan no plou. Quan plou, són un "death-trap".
2. Aparcar - sempre sorpren veure com els cotxes es toquen entre ells al moment d'intentar aparcar, i com els conductors aconsegueixen entrar 4 m de cotxe en un espai de 3,50m. Per no parlar dels llocs poc-correctes, tal de la vorera, a les puntes dels carrers, damunt de passos de vianants ... he de continuar?
3. Cafés - el temps i calma que la gent pren quan estan (estem!) fent un cafe, tranquilament deixant passar el temps, xarrant o llegint el diari, i l'amo del bar/cafe no et fot fora.
4. Que la gent sembla vestir segons el calendari i no el termometre - per que, per example, quan venen al juliol i fa 30 graus la gent va vestit lleuger, pero si venen al maig i fa 30 graus la gent va en jaqueta, mocador, botes .....

Com va sent habitual, la cançó no té res a vore amb l'apunt. Eddie Cochran, amb Somethin' Else del 1959.
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After living so many years in Tortosa (Catalonia) it even feels like my Yorkshire DNA is being watered down as I live breathe and feel like a local. However, from time to time we get English visitors who comment to us on things which catch their eyes as being "different", for better or for worse. Just had some said visitors and a brief summary would be:
1. Pavements. Who chose these dastardly slippery pavement tiles in Tortosa needs stringing up! Seriously, whether wet or dry, they are a death trap. In the UK, the council would have been sued out of existence by now!
2. Parking. Always amusing to see how cars shunt into each other when parking and no one seems to care. The only way to get a 4 m object into a 3.50 m gap, I suppose. Less amusing is how folks park on street corners, pavements, zebra crossings and so on ....
3. Cafes. The time and patience people calmly take to gently sip their morning coffees, chatting away, reading the paper. People spend ages sat in the cafes, and the owner shows no sign of "moving them on"!
4. The fact that local residents seem to dress following the calendar rather than the thermometer. That is, why do they dress all summery and beach-like when it's 30º in July, but wear jackets, boots, and scarfs when it's 30º in May? A mystery.
As usual, today's song has nothing to do with all this. Sit back and enjoy it (or simply "enjoy" without the pronoun if you are a teenager).