Sunday, March 18, 2007

¿Cuál es la palabra para "el tejón"?

Back from a much-needed break to Malaga to see A. and J. (we went to their wedding last year). Apart from a quick mooch round the Picasso Birthplace Museum, it was uncharacteristically lacking in being good for me. Yes, even the Dr wanted a holiday. Instead we wandered to nice eateries, ate lots of fresh fish and sampled bars that don't get going before midnight.

In one trendy place that served very good mojitos, J. pointed out the flag hanging above the bar. The Spanish flag is three horizontal bars: red, then yellow, then red again, the yellow band twice as thick as the red ones.

Flag of the Second Spanish Republic, 1931-9In the dim and disco lighting, it took a moment to realise what was different: this one went red, then yellow, then purple.

This republican flag from the 1930s, J. explained, was banned in Spain under Franco, and even now it's a bit of a shocker. He spoke of the frission of seeing it hanging from the arm of the Philip IV statue in Madrid, in the midst of a political protest.

Winston's turf mohicanThe nearest I could liken that was to Winston's turf mohican.

(The Internet also tells me of the irony of the purple band: it's not purple, but royal Castilian purpure.)

J.'s own republic sensibilities would be stronger but his king is helluva tough. Our Charles III did something similar, I said, in the first issue of 2000AD.

As well as the politics, we discussed how Bowie's lyrics translate and pretty much everything under the sun. My best effort to explain a reference to badgers was "a sort of mash-up of a boar and a tiger".

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