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Corona quarantine diary
Téma indítója: Mervyn Henderson

Chris S  Identity Verified
Egyesült Királyság
svéd - angol
+ ...
IWD Mar 8

I wished my favourite woman a happy international women’s day today and she said what’s an international woman?

I do know of an international woman of mystery though 🤔


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
Anna Schuster
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
IWM Mar 9

Well said, Chris. There are millions and millions of those International Women out there, but there's only one International Woman of Mystery.

P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Pull your socks up, lad Mar 9

As is my wont, I’ll begin by talking about something apparently unrelated to the title. It’s an irritating little ploy of mine some of you are more than familiar with, to coax you to read on until you get to something to do with socks. In fact, this time I’ve gone one step further by wittering on about ploys even before I get to the bit that has nothing to do with socks either. This next bit, in fact:

The last page of the local rag I read is written by a man who is quite amusi
... See more
As is my wont, I’ll begin by talking about something apparently unrelated to the title. It’s an irritating little ploy of mine some of you are more than familiar with, to coax you to read on until you get to something to do with socks. In fact, this time I’ve gone one step further by wittering on about ploys even before I get to the bit that has nothing to do with socks either. This next bit, in fact:

The last page of the local rag I read is written by a man who is quite amusing sometimes. Today he has a photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, or maybe that should be the former Duke and Duchess. Did they give up the titles when they left to seek their fortune in the Americas? Anyway, the journalist isn’t homing on the usual stuff, although he does remind us of Harry’s naughty Nazi-dressing years.

Nor has Harry been caught with his pants down. But he has been caught with his socks down. The article is berating him for his dress sense. Apparently Harry likes to wear pearl grey suits, and shoes the journalist rather accurately describes as “rat-coloured”. But he reserves particular scorn (and this can be seen in the photo of both of them on a bench) for Harry’s grave attire faux pas in that he is wearing socks so short that the royal or ex-royal skin on the royal or ex-royal leg is clearly visible from certain angles. I wouldn’t win many awards for elegance myself, despite the Basques’ best efforts, but even I know you can’t wear short socks with a suit, and certainly not if you’re a Duke, or even a former Duke.

...

See? You made the socks part in the end. But there’s a little more, so don’t go off in a huff just yet because I’ve wasted your time unnecessarily. Now you’re here, you may as well stick around and read the rest. Not much left now, either. There's just a teensy bit of time-wasting with the "Duke/Duchess" thing, but really, you'll be through it in no time, you'll see:

...

He also reports on the “I-was-like-suicidal” revelations to Oprah Winfrey by the Duchess, or former Duchess. Not that being a former Duchess should matter to her so much, because after all she spent the first part of her life not being a Duchess, so she would simply be back to square one. And even if she’s a former Duchess now, at least she was a Duchess for a while there. I mean, people like you and me spend their entire lives not being a Duchess or a Duke (with the exception of any Dukes or Duchesses out there who might be reading this, although I admit it’s rather implausible). Unless their forename or surname is "Duke", of course. Or "Duchess", which might be rather unlikely. And in any case, just having the name isn’t the same thing, is it?

I learnt a new word in this article, too, “oprahfication”, which is the term Americans use to describe the process of spewing out one’s pain, one’s hurt, one’s utter desperation, one’s trials and tribulations, one’s misunderstoodness, and one’s well-meaning sentiments on prime-time TV amid floods of one’s hot tears ruining one’s mascara. The journalist said he felt for Meghan’s recollections of the dark days when she considered putting an end to it all. “How could she not think such a thing,” he wrote, “having to look at those shoes of his all day long?”


[Edited at 2021-03-09 12:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-09 12:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-09 14:26 GMT]
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Anne Maclennan
Chris S
expressisverbis
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 23:11
Tag (2010 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
OK, call me a boring, patronising old fart but ... Mar 9

... fashion faux pas don't strike me as something worthy of making jokes about suicide. Yeah, worra laff!

What a despicable, mean thing to say. This is the kind of attitude that – unfortunately but not surprisingly – makes it so difficult to still too many people to talk about their depression and mental health struggles.

Yes, she's gorgeous, married into one of the richest families in the world, blessed with a husband who loves her and a healthy, beautiful baby boy
... See more
... fashion faux pas don't strike me as something worthy of making jokes about suicide. Yeah, worra laff!

What a despicable, mean thing to say. This is the kind of attitude that – unfortunately but not surprisingly – makes it so difficult to still too many people to talk about their depression and mental health struggles.

Yes, she's gorgeous, married into one of the richest families in the world, blessed with a husband who loves her and a healthy, beautiful baby boy, but a certain kind of British press was constantly on her case, plus her in-laws are famous for many things, but certainly neither for empathy, nor human warmth.

If someone – no matter how privileged we think they are – say they have or have had suicidal thoughts, we shouldn't dismiss their claims, especially not for the sake of a really stupid, lame joke.

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

The journalist said he felt for Meghan’s recollections of the dark days when she considered putting an end to it all. “How could she not think such a thing,” he wrote, “having to look at those shoes of his all day long?”


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Mervyn Henderson
Chris S
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
PLF Mar 9

I'll paraphrase here what I said to Portia not long ago:

Sometimes I screw up. It's difficult to post so often, especially when you're a provocative poster like me, and not screw up occasionally. I might be unsympathetic in this case, and I did laugh at what this bloke wrote. I know many people have had those dark thoughts, myself included, but who tells a nation about them, and why? To further the cause and help potential suicides, set up cells and committees and the like? I don't
... See more
I'll paraphrase here what I said to Portia not long ago:

Sometimes I screw up. It's difficult to post so often, especially when you're a provocative poster like me, and not screw up occasionally. I might be unsympathetic in this case, and I did laugh at what this bloke wrote. I know many people have had those dark thoughts, myself included, but who tells a nation about them, and why? To further the cause and help potential suicides, set up cells and committees and the like? I don't think so. To say look at me-me-me-me.

[Edited at 2021-03-09 18:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-10 06:10 GMT]
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Chris S
expressisverbis
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 23:11
Tag (2010 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
I'm not blaming you, Mr Henderson Mar 9

It's not you, Mervyn, it's that publishing scoundrel, to quote Henry James, who deserves the opprobrium of the masses. I know, I know, I'm a drama queen and I'm prone to hyperbolic expressions.

It could be a case of media manipulation by a very astute woman, but we don't know her. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt.


Mervyn Henderson
Chris S
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Cynical Mar 9

Anyone who has been unfortunate enough or otiose enough to spend time on this Diary knows that I plumb the depths of cynicism to as yet unplumbed cynical depths (I know that bit needs some work, but I clocked off officially about an hour ago).

It's something we cynics can't do much about. The weather man says it's going to be sunny tomorrow, and the cynic mutters "Who's paying you to say that, bodger?". A man in a suit at a lectern says "... and of course the knock-on effect will b
... See more
Anyone who has been unfortunate enough or otiose enough to spend time on this Diary knows that I plumb the depths of cynicism to as yet unplumbed cynical depths (I know that bit needs some work, but I clocked off officially about an hour ago).

It's something we cynics can't do much about. The weather man says it's going to be sunny tomorrow, and the cynic mutters "Who's paying you to say that, bodger?". A man in a suit at a lectern says "... and of course the knock-on effect will be to the benefit of one and all", and the cynic retorts "Oh yeah, bozo?". A woman sitting on a bed filing her nails says "But hey, of course it was good for me too, honey, don't fret", and the cynic takes another slug of Jack Daniel's from the bedside table and snorts "Right, babe, yeah, mm, uh-huh."

Thanks a lot for trying to get me off the hook, Portia, but no, I'm a cynic. It's sad a lot of the time, but a lot of the time it also makes life one hell of a lot easier because you're rarely disappointed with the way things turn out.

On reflection, it might be more pessimism than cynicism. I've noticed I'm always more pessimistic and wary about consideration of quotes and deadlines in the afternoons than in the mornings, mainly because I'm more tired by the afternoon. Then I wake up in the morning and say to myself, "Damn. 6K by EOB today? Why ever not? Why did I say no?"



[Edited at 2021-03-09 19:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-09 19:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-10 07:46 GMT]
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Chris S
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Hooray Mar 10

Three points on the agenda today:

Hooray because as of yesterday, we get to travel again. Only within the confines of the Basque Country, but at least we can go from Bilbao to the seaside, for example, because we do like to be beside the seaside. They're doing this ahead of the San José long weekend starting on 19 March. I don't know about other countries, but San José is also Father's Day, because of Joseph being the supreme father, I suppose. Well, not the Supreme Father, becaus
... See more
Three points on the agenda today:

Hooray because as of yesterday, we get to travel again. Only within the confines of the Basque Country, but at least we can go from Bilbao to the seaside, for example, because we do like to be beside the seaside. They're doing this ahead of the San José long weekend starting on 19 March. I don't know about other countries, but San José is also Father's Day, because of Joseph being the supreme father, I suppose. Well, not the Supreme Father, because we all know who that is, but you know what I mean.

Some will shout hooray and some will boo at the news that Carles Puigdemont, former President of the Catalan Regional Government, the Generalitat (I've always thought Generality was a strange name for a government, but I assume they know what they're doing over there), has been stripped of his Euro MP immunity, and might get to do a bit of travelling himself, escorted back to Spain to face charges of aiding and abetting sedition in Catalonia amid the independence referendum he and others naughtily organised there, despite a ban.

Carles skipped town one day a few years ago on a kind of mini-tour, up to France, Denmark, over into Germany, where he was arrested, imprisoned for a while, and then released, whereupon he went to Belgium and set up his president-in-exile headquarters in a small town you may have heard of, called Waterloo, which sounded a little ominous at the time, but subsequently he got himself elected to the European Parliament, and they couldn't touch him after that.

Almost simultaneously, the handful of Catalan social agents and ministers jailed for allegedly orchestrating street violence during that period, who'd been given the third degree (here that means "light" prison time, outside prison walls), have now been shepherded back into jug because the third degree has been overturned.

And finally, THAT journalist has been at it again, PLF. Today Pablo (for it was he) has followed up on the Sussex Saga. "Insufficient", he calls Buckingham Palace's reaction to Harry's socks, I mean the interview on US television which, I gather, was aired on British TV last night. Pablo says they should have specified which dungeon in the Tower of London they're making ready for their Dukenesses.

[Edited at 2021-03-10 08:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-10 08:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-10 08:31 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Oksana Weiss
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Noon and "mediodía" Mar 12

What do you think when you hear that, noon, or "mediodía" in Spanish? You think twelve o'clock, don't you? I've just been told that something will be sent to me at "mediodía", and it's almost twelve now, but I'm not on the edge of my seat waiting, because there's a certain amount of imprecision there in Spanish.

I first realised this on my uni year out in Barcelona, sitting in the Bar de la Universidad, I think it's called, or was called, just across from the main facade of the Un
... See more
What do you think when you hear that, noon, or "mediodía" in Spanish? You think twelve o'clock, don't you? I've just been told that something will be sent to me at "mediodía", and it's almost twelve now, but I'm not on the edge of my seat waiting, because there's a certain amount of imprecision there in Spanish.

I first realised this on my uni year out in Barcelona, sitting in the Bar de la Universidad, I think it's called, or was called, just across from the main facade of the University of Barcelona. I was teaching English in a crappy language school, but I was also supposed to be doing a Spanish course for Johnny Foreigners across the street there. I ditched it after a few lectures, though, reasoning that I would learn more from hanging around in bars with pretty Catalan girls.

And that's what I was intent on doing that day, hanging around with one of those pretty Catalan girls, also a student at the university, although she actually went to all her lectures there, and the date was for "mediodía". Me, of course, I'd been there since five to twelve, bang on time, or "o'clock" as the Spanish themselves say, perhaps aware of Anglo-Saxon obsessions with punctuality. But by the time Pretty Girl rolled up at just before 2, I had drunk two coffees and three beers, and I was fuming. No mobile phones back then to ask what the hell's keeping you, Pretty Girl, of course:

"Call this mediodía?" I snorted. "Have you seen what time it is?"
"But," said Pretty Girl sweetly, and also very surprised that I was annoyed, "it IS mediodía. It's the middle of the day, isn't it?"

It turns out that "mediodía" can mean anything from 12 to maybe 3 o'clock. How can you organise anything like that? Do you tell the British or German or US counterparties you'll be along to sign the contract at midday, and then turn up two hours later? If a football match is scheduled for midday, do they kick off at 1.30?

Well, I was right about one thing that day. They probably wouldn't have taught me that on the Spanish course.

[Edited at 2021-03-12 11:20 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-12 11:33 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Oksana Weiss
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
expressisverbis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Egyesült Királyság
svéd - angol
+ ...
Happy ending? Mar 12

Sorry but my OCD demands a denouement, Mervyn. Did you pull or not?

Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
To pull or not to pull Mar 12

I did, Chris. But so did Pretty Girl, of course. She did other stuff too.

But it wasn't a first date, so pulling was really out of the question. Or it wasn't, if you see what I mean (see preceding line). More like a continuation. No, of course it wasn't a first date. If it had been, I'd have put up and shut up, naturally, until the pulling had been brought to a successful conclusion. With a bang AND a whimper. On subsequent dates one can feel free to nip that late-arrival nonsense i
... See more
I did, Chris. But so did Pretty Girl, of course. She did other stuff too.

But it wasn't a first date, so pulling was really out of the question. Or it wasn't, if you see what I mean (see preceding line). More like a continuation. No, of course it wasn't a first date. If it had been, I'd have put up and shut up, naturally, until the pulling had been brought to a successful conclusion. With a bang AND a whimper. On subsequent dates one can feel free to nip that late-arrival nonsense in the bud, which was what I did. I went into that bud, and I nipped it. More than once. I think I should stop there.

I hope this gives your OCD some kind of closure.

[Edited at 2021-03-12 13:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-12 13:30 GMT]
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Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Egyesült Királyság
svéd - angol
+ ...
Lol Mar 12

Have you ever thought about writing ero... Oh, been there before.

And in other news, we’re being set free tomorrow in Wales to roam five miles. I’m not sure what for, because all activities are still verboten and everywhere is still closed.

But I guess just going there and coming straight back will bring a slight change of scenery.


Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Not only ... Mar 12

... thought about it. I'm looking for someone to do some charcoal drawings for the illustrations. You don't know anybody, do you?

Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Happy Hour in Bilbao Mar 12

Booze vouchers will be on sale on Monday here, at 5 yucks and 10 yucks a shot. You can use them in watering holes to the value of 10 yucks and 20 yucks respectively, on a 50% subsidy by the Town Hall. The move comes as a shot in the arm for the catering industry, which has been griping about lost business for month after month, but it remains to be seen whether it might turn out to be more like a shot in the dark. The only city to do so in the entire state, although apparently Irún up the coast... See more
Booze vouchers will be on sale on Monday here, at 5 yucks and 10 yucks a shot. You can use them in watering holes to the value of 10 yucks and 20 yucks respectively, on a 50% subsidy by the Town Hall. The move comes as a shot in the arm for the catering industry, which has been griping about lost business for month after month, but it remains to be seen whether it might turn out to be more like a shot in the dark. The only city to do so in the entire state, although apparently Irún up the coast near the border tried something similar recently.

So, step right up. Why have a couple of wines when you can have four? And, considering that the bars will still be closing at 8 pm, and everyone still has to be behind closed doors by 10 pm, there's not much incentive there to sip slowly and thoughtfully at a glass of plonk, is there?

Not that you're left in peace to sip anything slowly. We've been finding out some of the rather more picaresque aspects of the catering industry lately: you go to a bar, and the table says Reserved for "María & Co.". It's 2 pm. You ask, and the waiter checks his watch and says, "Ooh, yes, María & Co. will be along at 2.30, so you only have half an hour, guys", so you sit down, but you drink up quickly. You're just grateful to get a table. But, as we found once or twice, if you overstep the time, María & Co. never arrive, because María & Co. don't exist, and they never did. It's just a ploy to keep those tables turning over all day. Who wants punters sitting there for an hour or more with a few coffees?

[Edited at 2021-03-12 15:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-03-12 17:41 GMT]
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Chris S
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 23:11
spanyol - angol
+ ...
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Alhambra Crisis II Mar 13

Disappointment again yesterday at El Corte Inglés. Not a Green-Bottle 1925 Alhambra to be had. I asked, of course, with the vague feeling that the bars were buying up stocks ahead of the Town Hall's drink-twice-as-much-as-you-usually-would initiative, which kicks in on Monday.

But my suspicions were aroused when I talked to the shelf-stacker. His first reaction was to gesture vaguely at sixpacks of Red-Bottle Toasted Alhambra, of which there was plenty, and he said Estrella de Gali
... See more
Disappointment again yesterday at El Corte Inglés. Not a Green-Bottle 1925 Alhambra to be had. I asked, of course, with the vague feeling that the bars were buying up stocks ahead of the Town Hall's drink-twice-as-much-as-you-usually-would initiative, which kicks in on Monday.

But my suspicions were aroused when I talked to the shelf-stacker. His first reaction was to gesture vaguely at sixpacks of Red-Bottle Toasted Alhambra, of which there was plenty, and he said Estrella de Galicia was a similar option (which it isn't), but of course I wasn't going to be fobbed off with manifestly inferior products so easily, so I questioned him closely, watching his reactions. His manner was shifty. He said that "a large order" was in the pipeline, but it wouldn't be in until tomorrow - "Oh, no," he said, "tomorrow's Saturday, so it'll be Monday now."

A likely story. Monday, eh? Way too convenient, I thought. And I knew he was holding out on me when he started to sweat under pressure. Nervous, too: "I've already told you the same thing five times!" he spat. "So sit yourself down on that crate and tell me again, sonny. Take me through it nice and easy. Tell me the whole story, kid," I said.

You know what they say - an honest man can only tell one story, because he only has one story to tell, but a liar gets confused with his own lie, precisely because it's a lie he had to make up, and he can't remember it so well. And so, same old same old, he started to change his story: first he said there'd been a delivery the day before, then he said there'd been no delivery at all, first the next order was Monday, and then he said it was Tuesday "because of a logistics screw-up down in Madrid", first he'd clocked on at 10 am, then he said it was 1 pm, first he'd started stacking the San Miguels in Aisle 1, then he said it was the Heineken in Aisle 2.

In my mind I had him busted. I knew this spotty, gawky teenager was probably keeping all the Green-Bottle sixpacks back in the store in order to win him friends, soft drugs and perhaps the company of compliant women, but I just couldn't prove it. I asked to speak to the manager, but it became clear to me after only a few minutes that the two of them were in it together. I snorted audibly as I picked up my pathetic substitutes, Estrella de Galicia and Mahou 5-Stars.

"You haven't seen the last of me," I warned them.
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P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
expressisverbis
 
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