Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Remembering Who You Are …. .

After a long ride, I have come to understand how important accent and dialect are and I’d like to tell you why.

Although I currently live in Spain, any UK native will tell me that I am a Geordie, though I am not.  Although I was brought up only twenty miles or so south of Geordieland (the Newcastle area in the north-east of England), I am a colliery girl and I therefore speak ‘pitmatic’ but, nevertheless, as regards to accent and dialect, my comments are not affected by this separation.

At the age of eleven, while playing in the schoolyard just outside the teachers’ staffroom, someone had shouted “haway man!”  For those who don’t understand the north-eastern accent, this means ‘come on (with me)’.  In the classroom some half an hour later, the teacher asked “Whooooo was that shouting ‘haway man outside the staffroom’?”  It was me, though I didn’t admit to it.

At the age of eighteen, and married, I made a conscious decision that I did not want to speak with the accent I had and, by the age of about twenty five, I was able to make sure that every word ending ‘ing’ did indeed sound like that, other than ‘un’ as it did in my accent.  ‘Gowun’ became ‘going’, ‘makun’ became ‘making’ and so on.  I never did realise that ‘I’m’ came out as ‘ahm (like ‘arm’) and still does to this day.

Forty years later, and living in Spain, in an area where very few English people live, a couple came into our regular bar.  He was from Durham, about fifteen miles from where I was brought up and, after speaking with him for about an hour, I left for home.  Upon arrival, I was disgusted with myself because, all of a sudden, I realised that I had indeed been copying his accent and I felt an urgent need to  hopefully bump into him again, so as to apologise.

But then I realised that I hadn’t been copying him.  My native pronunciation  seemed to have arrived out of the blue and, in truth, was a natural lapse into my own mother pronunciation.  It felt so wrong but, on later occasions when I have met with people from the north-east of England, or when I return to visit family, there it is again, just waiting to be oozed into existence.

A few years ago, and after this aforementioned event, I read about a UK journalist who had lived in the USA for many years.  He said that he found that, when visiting England, his native UK pronunciation always popped out to play and, more interestingly, when in England but talking about his life in the USA, he spoke with an American accent.

Language is an incredible thing and I have learnt that you can’t leave your real self behind.  Now, at the age of retirement, I do wish that I spoke with my native accent, though I am so pleased to know that it does return now and then, to remind me who I am.

 

 

 

 

Someone in Brazil Likes Me!

I don’t get a lot of hits but, every day, I get at least one from Brazil, so someone there must like me.

Hi, Brazil!

It’s nice to know you’re tuning in, regularly. Please feel free to make comments. I’d like that.

John Nash and his Wife Die Together in a Car Accident

The name John F. Nash will be known by many people but possibly most popularised through the film A Beautiful Mind, in which his character was played by Russell Crowe.  I have attached here a link for anyone who would like to read more about this amazing man (and wife).

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/john-f-nash-jr-mathematician-whose-life-story-inspired-%E2%80%98a-beautiful-mind%E2%80%99-dies-at-86/ar-BBkc0so

This film is my most favourite of all time and one that I happily watch time and time again.

Catering for All Sizes in the Fashion Market

I watched the telly the other day and got engrossed in a programme about the fuller figure. The programme wasn’t only about size 16 and size 18 but actually built itself on size 22 and larger and it revealed quite a lot about having ‘followers’. Now this information was quite new to me but I could get the general gist of what having blog sites and taking part in social media does for the population at large.

Yes, there are lot of large ladies and gentlemen out there and, yes, just like the more average sized population, they want to buy clothes which make them feel good. Okay, in the UK, Evans has been around for the size 16 + for many years but the programme spoke of Yours and of Milk, two companies who are now also seeing the profits to be found in catering for the much fuller figure.

What interested me was that, while these companies were trying to find suitable ‘large’ models to display their wears, they were also interested in what following these ladies had through their online presence. The companies wanted to tap into the prospective model’s world audience as, having such a following, they could only benefit through such advertising.

But the programme also addressed whether using such models would have a negative effect on healthy eating, whether being grossly overweight would no longer be seen as a problem and whether courting such fashion was sending a bad image to the world.

It’s arguable, isn’t it? But business is business and, if a target audience’s needs are to be met, surely that is simply business. And, underweight, within ‘acceptable’ limits, or overweight, we are all in search of looking and feeling good, aren’t we?

‘Walking the Walk’ …. but only for a moment!

Puerta Banus. It was 3rd. January, 2015, and I was only fifteen minutes away by car, so I had to go, didn’t I? There’s always a lot of famous people swanning along the marina and, dressed in my best second-hand jeans (from my daughter-in-law), my eight-year-old autumn-coloured scarf and my Matalan (a cheap chain store in the UK) flat shoes – oh, and my fake Dolce and Gabbana black handbag – I walked the walk.
It seems that to ‘walk the walk’, you carry your handbag over the curve of your elbow and also wiggle your bottom a little (I tried this but my dog kept pulling on his lead, which gave me more of a drunken gait), while trying to show your importance.
Okay, yes, after ten seconds, I gave up. I remembered that I am me and I couldn’t give a hoot about what anyone else thinks. What you see is what you get and well, hmm., I was tempted to have my photograph taken against one of the boats tethered there but decided to buy an ice-cream instead.
As I walked along, a ‘go that extra mile’ dolly-bird stopped to stroke my (yes, he’s a mongrel) dog and she spoke at length about her umpteen dogs, Springers, King Charles and all). Oh! Was she famous, I wonder? She was walking along with a gentleman who may have been her minder. She had dark skin (Spanish or Caribbean maybe), talked of living on a farm and was walking the walk.  And she was nice.
And, do you know, I was so proud that she had stopped to talk to me, in my second-hand jeans and with my mixed breed dog. Dogs. That’s all we talked about. And it was a good feeling.
Even if I don’t walk the walk!
So what does this tell me about myself?
I have no idea!  It was five minutes of fun but not a world I would like to live in.

Puerta Banus

Africa at Night

DSC09097

 

This is a photograph taken of Gibraltar and the northern coast of Africa, from Estepona, on the south coast of Spain.

In December, might I add …..

Spectacular, don’t you think?

 

What My Dog has Taught Me!

One of the wonderful things about being retired is that you don’t have to get up early for that day job so now, instead of getting up at 7.30 a.m., Hubby and I get up whenever. It’s usually around 11.00 a.m. or even later and, as a result, we don’t go to bed till maybe 1.30 a.m.. And the strange thing about this slightly alternative clock is that we seem to come alive at 11.00 p.m.. That’s when we decide to do a little research on the internet, strum the guitar (we don’t have any immediate neighbours), or watch some backdated TV programme.
But everything changes on holiday – not by choice but by dog. And loyalty seems to change too. I put it down to the fact that, during the day, I am usually stowed away in my attic office, so I’m inaccessible to Jack, who spends his time with Hubby, either in the garden or near that strumming guitar.
So, on holiday, it’s me who Jack wants, which is rather unfortunate, as he seems to always want to get up between 8.00 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. and it’s therefore me who is sporting a jacket over my pyjamas, as we tread the streets of the holiday resort.
And, in December, I may be torch in hand, as Jack and I investigate the new routes at our disposal …. any we’ve found some pretty interesting shortcuts as a result!
He he.

2014-09-15 21.10.23

And, you know, I quite like this hour of the day ….. .