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Corona quarantine diary
Autor de la hebra: Mervyn Henderson

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 01:57
Miembro 2015
inglés al portugués
+ ...
Who are you trying to kid? :-D Oct 5

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Thanks again expressisverbis, for the carrot cake. Looks divine!!

But...

... I made the mistake of showing it to the Basques who, as everyone knows, invented carrot cake, and they said Mm, interesting, and we'd really need to reach out to our experts for an in-depth analysis, but our initial impression is that perhaps the carrot/sponge ratio is a little too high on the carrot side.


Mervyn,
Thanks!
You are a big liar. (Kidding!)
By the way, Basques have a delicious Basque burnt cheesecake and I will see if I will be able to cook it. I won't post the picture because I certainly will burn it more than needed!
Out of curiosity, I did my search and I found out the carrot cake comes probably from Switzerland, but its origins are also disputed by England and France.
I loved the dialogue between I. Ayuso and P. Sanchez, and their fancy names!

[Edited at 2020-10-05 16:58 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
 

Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canadá
Local time: 20:57
italiano al inglés
+ ...
Emerging from lurkerdom to express thanks and appreciation Oct 5

To say, sure hope you reconsider abandoning your diary!

Frankly I'm surprised there hasn't been an avalanche of protests from the audience here.

Your engaging and witty posts have definitely been the highlight of proz over the past few months, not to mention a cultural tour de force.

Wishing you all the very best whatever path you take.


expressisverbis
Christel Zipfel
P.L.F.Persio
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 02:57
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Lurkerdom Oct 6

Delighted to see you around here again, Alexandra!!!

Lurkerdom ... to paraphrase a well-known song, "... and I think to myself, What a wonderful word!"

And a "cultural tour de force", too. Merci beaucoup!! (better pore over the dictionary later ...)

Culture, eh? Up early this side of the Pond to process some interminable blaargh, and in the light of what you said I thought I'd take a break to write this when I came across a tedious treatise on "cultural i
... See more
Delighted to see you around here again, Alexandra!!!

Lurkerdom ... to paraphrase a well-known song, "... and I think to myself, What a wonderful word!"

And a "cultural tour de force", too. Merci beaucoup!! (better pore over the dictionary later ...)

Culture, eh? Up early this side of the Pond to process some interminable blaargh, and in the light of what you said I thought I'd take a break to write this when I came across a tedious treatise on "cultural idiosyncrasies" within the last hour.

Funnily enough, there is quite a lot of material in stock for the Diary. Oh my. Some scenarios both brash and rash, some lewd and crude, a few more scurrilous and scandalous, and others cynical and critical. I can't help it, really I can't. But when I read the stuff I'm on at the minute, waiting for the dread moment when the words "a change of paradigm" and "creating synergies moving forward" will leap out at me from some published poser's pennings, it always spurs me on, because I think Hey Mervyn, at least you can't write any worser than this.

...

Some time later ...

... Oh, and I get tour de force now. Very often these expressions are easier than you think, if you just step back from them. A "tower of strength" - well, it's way, way over the top, Alexandra, but ...

Thanks again!



[Edited at 2020-10-06 06:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-10-06 10:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-10-06 10:46 GMT]
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expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 01:57
Miembro 2015
inglés al portugués
+ ...
Mervyn Oct 6

I couldn't agree more with Alexandra.
I think you have been a victim of demonic possession, by the couple, Daughter of Satan and Exorcist-in-Chief.
And therefore, you are having this scary idea of leaving the diary.
Let's move on and keep up your good work!
We have the final say. Here you don't make your own decisions, ok?


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 

Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canadá
Local time: 20:57
italiano al inglés
+ ...
Calling all lurkers Oct 6

To make a contribution here, give a thumbs up, submit a limerick, que sais-je! Share your experience so far with Covid-19, so that Mervyn doesn't have to generate all 100,000 hits on his own!!

I have been very fortunate so far as a freelancer to see no slowdown in work volumes, and to be living in a small village with access to services in a nearby town. As well, no one in my family or circle of friends has been infected. Looking at the curve for Canada though I see it starting a st
... See more
To make a contribution here, give a thumbs up, submit a limerick, que sais-je! Share your experience so far with Covid-19, so that Mervyn doesn't have to generate all 100,000 hits on his own!!

I have been very fortunate so far as a freelancer to see no slowdown in work volumes, and to be living in a small village with access to services in a nearby town. As well, no one in my family or circle of friends has been infected. Looking at the curve for Canada though I see it starting a steep rise and realize that not only are Thanksgiving celebrations off the table, but possibly year-end gatherings as well.

We can get through it though together by taking the right precautions and supporting each other online. Fiddle classes moved online last March and they are the high point of the week for me!

So take a few minutes between your tasks today to let us know how you're coping!
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expressisverbis
Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 02:57
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Lurkers lurking Oct 6

Good one, Alexandra!

It's going back a bit now, but I don't remember much chat from Canada at all since March.

And I didn't know Canada does Thanksgiving too, thinking it was just the US, pardon my ignorance ...

[Edited at 2020-10-06 14:18 GMT]


expressisverbis
 

Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canadá
Local time: 20:57
italiano al inglés
+ ...
Fall for Canada Oct 6

Yes indeed, but we celebrate Thanksgiving at the proper time, during harvest season, next Monday. In the US it is in late November, long past the time you'd be able to pick apples or pumpkins. I realize there are a bunch of harvest zones, but still...

In keeping with taking the right precautions, we will not be celebrating with our kids or other family members this year. Too risky. Fingers crossed for year-end, ok, I'll say it, Christmas, but I'm not getting my hopes up:

... See more
Yes indeed, but we celebrate Thanksgiving at the proper time, during harvest season, next Monday. In the US it is in late November, long past the time you'd be able to pick apples or pumpkins. I realize there are a bunch of harvest zones, but still...

In keeping with taking the right precautions, we will not be celebrating with our kids or other family members this year. Too risky. Fingers crossed for year-end, ok, I'll say it, Christmas, but I'm not getting my hopes up:

http://xl8.link/2cn
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Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Países Bajos
Local time: 02:57
Miembro 2010
inglés al italiano
+ ...
I thought you'd never ask! Oct 6

Here's a limerick (with my humble apologies to the English language and the great Edward Lear):

There was a young man in Bilbao,
Whose diary is our dazibao.
He'll reach 100,000 hits
Which purposely fits
The ambition of the young man in Bilbao.

[quote]Alexandra Scott wrote:

To make a contribution here, give a thumbs up, submit a limerick, que sais-je! Share your experience so far with Covid-19, so that Mervyn doesn't have to generate all 100,000 hits on his own!!


Chris S
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 02:57
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Non-Thanksgiving and Non-Christmas, anyone? Oct 6

Have I mentioned the "non-fiestas" they have here? Obviously Bilbao cancelled its August fiestas, and so did the other Basque cities, and no bulls in Pamplona or fiestas either. But there and in other places, because here each town and village has its fiestas, and all over the State too, and the season goes on until about now.

So someone came up with the idea of "non-fiestas". What dat? Since nobody knew, they all turned up to see, all their mates were there, so they had a few drin
... See more
Have I mentioned the "non-fiestas" they have here? Obviously Bilbao cancelled its August fiestas, and so did the other Basque cities, and no bulls in Pamplona or fiestas either. But there and in other places, because here each town and village has its fiestas, and all over the State too, and the season goes on until about now.

So someone came up with the idea of "non-fiestas". What dat? Since nobody knew, they all turned up to see, all their mates were there, so they had a few drinks, a few more drinks, and suddenly the bars were full again and the non-fiestas had turned into fiestas.

Only the other day 200 young things were dispersed by the police at around 3 am during the non-fiestas of some place near here I can't recall now. No distancing, no masks etc. Two or three arrests, waste containers overturned and set on fire. Pfff ...

Well, we don't have Thanksgiving over here, of course, but thoughts now are turning to Christmas and New Year ...
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expressisverbis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco al inglés
+ ...
Party time Oct 6

Sounds a bit like the universities over here. The government has been forced to promise they'll unlock the student halls and let the buggers come home for Christmas along with all their Covid, STIs, dodgy mix tapes and pot politics.


[Edited at 2020-10-06 14:46 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 02:57
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Limerick Oct 6

Much appreciated, P.L.F.!! Many thanks!

Especially laudable for coming up with a non-Spanish word to rhyme with Bilbao. I must admit I'd never heard of dazibao. After my Canadian Thanksgiving admission earlier, looks like this afternoon is an uncomfortable demonstration of my unculturedness.


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canadá
Local time: 20:57
italiano al inglés
+ ...
Viva la cultura Oct 6

I definitely had to look up "dazibao" and lo and behold, it's the name of an art gallery 90 minutes away. But darn, it's in a red zone, so no go...

Well that was the first google hit. Probably the meaning P.L.F. had in mind was:

Dazibao definition, (in China) a wallposter

Thanks for expanding our horizons!!

But don't worry, Mervyn, I'm sure most Americans have no idea we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada...


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 02:57
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Red zones Oct 6

Sounds intriguing. Canadian colour coding. Madrid could do with some of that. Red sounds like a no-no. Is there an "amber OK-but-watch-your-dad-blamed-step-friend" area, and a "green-go" area too? I seem to remember that's the origin of the word "gringo" way back, when white Americans were teaching the Latinos what traffic lights meant, something like that.

And, although this is only a theory of mine, and I haven't googled it because - outside translation - sometimes I get a kick o
... See more
Sounds intriguing. Canadian colour coding. Madrid could do with some of that. Red sounds like a no-no. Is there an "amber OK-but-watch-your-dad-blamed-step-friend" area, and a "green-go" area too? I seem to remember that's the origin of the word "gringo" way back, when white Americans were teaching the Latinos what traffic lights meant, something like that.

And, although this is only a theory of mine, and I haven't googled it because - outside translation - sometimes I get a kick out of not googling things just to see if I'm right, and blurting out the idea to all and sundry, like now, and only googling it afterwards - I feel sure that the Spanish surname "Guzmán", which is all over Latin America, but you won't find it in Spain so much, dates back to some scenario or other in which an American slapped one of the nameless natives working his arse off for him on the shoulder and exclaimed "Good man, good man!", and the proud native strutted around afterwards saying "Goodman, I am goodman", and hence the surname.

Can you tell I'm trying to make up for the earlier non-culture?

Right. Time to go and google Guzmán ...
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expressisverbis
 

Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canadá
Local time: 20:57
italiano al inglés
+ ...
Two solitudes: two alert systems Oct 6

[Title contains a subtle cultural reference perhaps relevant only to Canadians]

Of course the alert system in Quebec, using colour coding, is not the same as elsewhere. In straight-laced Ontario they are using a stage numbering system, but to be honest I think these approaches may be measuring different things. Not at all sure what the other provinces are doing (health care delivery being a provincial matter).

Looking more closely, here in Estrie we've got Palier 3 –
... See more
[Title contains a subtle cultural reference perhaps relevant only to Canadians]

Of course the alert system in Quebec, using colour coding, is not the same as elsewhere. In straight-laced Ontario they are using a stage numbering system, but to be honest I think these approaches may be measuring different things. Not at all sure what the other provinces are doing (health care delivery being a provincial matter).

Looking more closely, here in Estrie we've got Palier 3 – Alerte modérée (with no actual mention of a colour), but the labels don't change the fact that the precautions remain the same--wear a mask, keep 2 m distance, wash your hands.

Always wondered about the surname Guzman in southern America, looking forward to reading what you find out about it!
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expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 02:57
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Hardly conclusive Oct 6

This is what we find:

The Guzman surname comes from uncertain origins. Two of the disputed theories include:


A descendant of Guzmán (good man), a lord or nobleman. It could also indicate a cadet or noble who served in the military.
A habitational surname from de Guzmán, or "of Guzmán," derived from the village of Guzmán (es) in the province of Burgos, Spain.
As an eastern Ashkenazic name, it could be a variant of Gusman, an occupational name for
... See more
This is what we find:

The Guzman surname comes from uncertain origins. Two of the disputed theories include:


A descendant of Guzmán (good man), a lord or nobleman. It could also indicate a cadet or noble who served in the military.
A habitational surname from de Guzmán, or "of Guzmán," derived from the village of Guzmán (es) in the province of Burgos, Spain.
As an eastern Ashkenazic name, it could be a variant of Gusman, an occupational name for a metalworker, from the Yiddish gus, meaning "casting" and man.


They can say what they like on number two, but I don't reckon there are many Guzmanes left in Burgos. I was there in the summer, and I never met even one.

As for your title, I reckon I've finally redeemed myself culturewise:

Two Solitudes is a 1945 novel by Hugh MacLennan. It popularized the term two solitudes to refer to the perceived lack of communication between English- and French-speaking Canadians.

Et voilà! (Zere you arrr)

[Edited at 2020-10-06 18:53 GMT]
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 
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