Wittiza the Worst

Amando de Miguel says that Zapatero is Spain’s worst ever ruler, with the possible exception of Fernando VII, Witiza and someone else. Wittiza was very naughty and nasty indeed–he “taught all Spain to sin“–and, to crown it all, he invited the Moors into Spain to help him fight Wodewic. Maybe there’s a Visigoth somewhere who’d…

Rafael Ramos again

Someone’s passed along a story by La Vanguardia’s plagiarist-in-chief which apparently bears ridiculously strong resemblances to a Guardian story from last year. Thanks, but yawn.


Not much doing this year. Here, nevertheless, oneself and the local deity, with thanks to C&P. There are some good and affordable wines to be had in the Manchuela, the pocket-plain extending between the rivers Júcar and Cabriel (hence “the Manchegan Mesopotamia“, with Villatoya presumably corresponding to Baghdad) and tucked away between Cuenca and Albacete.

Franco started the patera craze

Time, August 17 1936: Along the dusty roads of Lusitania Spanish peasants last week saw a sight that white men had not seen in 450 years: Moorish tribesmen, bearded and burnoosed, swinging their long brass-mounted rifles on the way to fight in Spain. News of the march caused grim chuckles to a ginger-bearded fat gentleman…

A riffraff in the Rif

We all know, don’t we, that riffraff is from Middle English riffe raffe, from rif and raf, one and all, from Anglo-Norman rif et raf, rifle et rafle : Old French rifler, to rifle; see rifle2 + Old French raffler, to carry off (from raffle, act of seizing; see raffle1). So, nothing whatsoever to do…

Statutory obligation to know Spanish/Catalan, against European rules?

That’s surely the long-term implication for the Spanish constitution and the Catalan statute of autonomy of this European Court of Justice ruling re lawyers’ linguistic obligations: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday (19 September) threw out the requirement for a lawyer to speak the language of the country he wants to practise in. The…

Franco talking English

More theatrical and, I think, rather better than Joan Clos. (More old Spanish telly, via Barcepundit)

Richard’s got a new squeeze-box

And very nice it looks, too. There used to be a music shop down Paseo de San Juan in Barcelona with its windows stuffed with accordeons, concertinas. One day I went in and asked to try a few. Oh no, said the man, they’re not for sale. In fact, we don’t sell them at all.

Damn Narcissistic-Leninists

“Narcisista-leninista” is what Andrés Oppenheimer calls our dear friend Hugo Chávez. I’d better call Ken Livingstone one too–he hates being left out of this kind of thing. (PS: Chávez’s shrink, Edmundo Chirinos, says the paramilitary pres isn’t clinically unstable. Second opinion?)

Funny names in Spanish

Amando de Miguel’s made a collection here. The Central Americans perform well as always, with their Supermen, Stalins, Ceaucescus and Roonies, but my fave’s the army recruit called Felicísimo Lindo Condón, Really Happy Pretty Condom.