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Corona quarantine diary
Autor de la hebra: Mervyn Henderson

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
A propos de rien Oct 24, 2020

A sandwich walks into a bar, and the barman says: Sorry, we don't serve food.

Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
The common good Oct 24, 2020

Still here, working the blaargh for the common good. Page 4, and I come up against:


Cohabitation during the lockdown served to strengthen bonds and complicities.


It did, did it? Maybe it did in your ivory tower, moosh. For a week or too, maybe. Then we got tired of all the balcony-clapping, and went back to the usual dog-eat-dog.

Well, I need a rest from all that before I hit page 5, and I realise I never gave my analysis of that Gang of Fou
... See more
Still here, working the blaargh for the common good. Page 4, and I come up against:


Cohabitation during the lockdown served to strengthen bonds and complicities.


It did, did it? Maybe it did in your ivory tower, moosh. For a week or too, maybe. Then we got tired of all the balcony-clapping, and went back to the usual dog-eat-dog.

Well, I need a rest from all that before I hit page 5, and I realise I never gave my analysis of that Gang of Four at the table the other night. It's still in the pipeline, but even so I don't have enough time right now. Tell you what, I'll split it, and leave some of it for later, especially since I'm making this tosh up as I go along. By making it up, I mean figuring out how to say it, not that it never happened, because it did, and not that it was important either, but it was just a slice of life taken up from a bar in Bilbao this week:

They were all thirty-somethings, and the three blokes all looked like Iggy Pop, but I mean Iggy Pop when he was their age, all long hair and brash loudness. Don't get me wrong, I like Iggy Pop, and I could listen to The Passenger all day long at full volume, but I was just intrigued that all three of them looked and sounded like him. The reason the three of them were so loud was because they were all vying for the attentions of their companion, a very pretty girl in a very, very short tartan skirt. So short, in fact, I idly wondered why she had even bothered with it at all. That's not judgment, by the way, just a comment. Me, I was happy with her ultra-short skirt, but not as happy as the three blokes were. Actually, I do know why she wore it. She wore it because, as every schoolboy leafing through the panties and bra section of mum's mail-order catalogue knows, semi-nudity is infinitely more of a turn-on than actual nakedness. Be that as it may, gentleman that I am, I concentrated on them rather than her when she got up to go to the bog, and if ever I saw a lewd, lascivious, lusting look, it was right there on all three faces watching her depart.

That same night the Basques and I also visited the Residence, which isn't actually Bilbao's official Irish bar, because that distinction in this town is proudly held by Michael's The Wicklow Arms, which holds the world (?) record for pints poured per square metre, but that's not hard because the place can only measure up to about ten square metres, but The Residence does Guinness, so it does, and it had been ages since I'd had the black gold, so in we went. I know what you're think¡ng, don't think I don't, you know, but no, I haven't finished with Missy and her trio of drooling acolytes, I was merely digressing to confuse you. More about them and the Residence next time. Meanwhile, back to the do-goodery ...







[Edited at 2020-10-24 14:47 GMT]
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Sandwich Oct 24, 2020

Ace!

Rachel Fell
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Finally @Thomas Frost Oct 24, 2020

Well, it took a while, but you'll be pleased to know the Merchants of Blaargh got there in the end, Thomas. I was wondering when it would emerge. We've already had the "going forward", the "necessary parameters and/or criteria" (wot???), so it was only a matter of time, and eventually it turned up, on page six of eleven:


This paradigm we yearn for, however, entails risks that may lead to errors and failure.


Paradigm? Gagging for it, mate. And I mean really
... See more
Well, it took a while, but you'll be pleased to know the Merchants of Blaargh got there in the end, Thomas. I was wondering when it would emerge. We've already had the "going forward", the "necessary parameters and/or criteria" (wot???), so it was only a matter of time, and eventually it turned up, on page six of eleven:


This paradigm we yearn for, however, entails risks that may lead to errors and failure.


Paradigm? Gagging for it, mate. And I mean really yearning, going forward. A pint of your best paradigm, squire, we're parched here.
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Chris S
expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
All around Oct 24, 2020

The inspiration, I mean. It's all around. Certainly all around Bilbao. Driving me to distraction, this city is. I went out to buy some shaving foam, that's all I was going to do, I swear, because I have like a week's growth due to the constant blaargh, and I hate that, and so do the Basques, because they reckon it affects my cooking (get the connection? no, neither do I, but it's always the cooking with the Basques, always the cooking), and I got the foam and even shaved and all, feeling rather ... See more
The inspiration, I mean. It's all around. Certainly all around Bilbao. Driving me to distraction, this city is. I went out to buy some shaving foam, that's all I was going to do, I swear, because I have like a week's growth due to the constant blaargh, and I hate that, and so do the Basques, because they reckon it affects my cooking (get the connection? no, neither do I, but it's always the cooking with the Basques, always the cooking), and I got the foam and even shaved and all, feeling rather Sean Connery as I looked at myself in the mirror and said "The name's Henderson. Mervyn Henderson".

Then I realised I'd forgotten the fucking spuds, so I had to go out again, and I thought I'll call in at Bar Baviera just beside the fruit and veg shop (always a dangerous option, even though it's changed hands now). Would you effing believe it, squire. The most mundane tales are always the best. Because it was at Juan and Jon's old bar that I discovered the truth of the Black Witch and the Disgraced Bank Manager. Actually, I knew most of it already, but the South American behind the bar didn't, and were the Black Witch and I ready to tell her? Of course we were. Rhetorical question. Until next time. Along with the Gang of Four. And Trump. And the next wavies bullshit. How the hell can I get any work done today?
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canadá
Local time: 12:39
Miembro 2006
italiano a inglés
+ ...
Companion recipe blog request Oct 24, 2020

Looking forward to all of these promised plot/character developments, but in the meantime have you considered a Basque recipe blog as a companion to the main dish?

I am dying to know how to cook beef and chick peas!!


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
So you think you can tell? Oct 24, 2020

Heaven from hell, I mean. Blue skies from pain. It was stupid of me. There I was, halfway through the mindlessly mindless blaargh, and what did I do? I put on Wish You Were Here, that's what I did. I never played it to her, why would I put on Pink Floyd for her, but my mother would have loved it, I know. Not that she was a child of the sixties, more like the thirties or forties, but I know she would have loved it, she was so modern in her old age, surfing the Internet and sending out e-mails to ... See more
Heaven from hell, I mean. Blue skies from pain. It was stupid of me. There I was, halfway through the mindlessly mindless blaargh, and what did I do? I put on Wish You Were Here, that's what I did. I never played it to her, why would I put on Pink Floyd for her, but my mother would have loved it, I know. Not that she was a child of the sixties, more like the thirties or forties, but I know she would have loved it, she was so modern in her old age, surfing the Internet and sending out e-mails to all and sundry. An utterly modern woman, even in her 90s. I always think of my dear mother when I hear Wish You Were Here.

Credits, the Pinkies. Anyone who has ever lost anyone cannot fail to weep when "how I wish you were here" kicks in. He only sings it once and the rest is all doo-di-doo-doo, but once is more than enough:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXdNnw99-Ic


But I think that's the guilt kicking in. I looked after my mother remotely for years, going over there so many times I was practically on first-name terms with the people at the M1 motorway toll booth near Dundalk, and then I brought her over here to live. Or to die, rather.

And I thought about killing my mother once, God forgive me. More than once, in fact. And once so terribly, so terribly it tortures me to this very day. Not ten metres from where I sit, in fact, I thought about it, when I was bringing her back in her wheelchair from an outing to Doña Casilda's park in Bilbao.

The house was quiet as I wrenched her wheelchair out of the lift. Of course it was quiet. It was Easter weekend. She'd fallen asleep on the way back. I wheeled the chair to the door. And then I saw the stairwell. We have a really fucking steep stairwell in this house, you know. Really dangerous. One false move with a wheelchair, for example, ... you get my meaning.

I thought about it. I say again, God forgive me, I thought about it, I thought about it once, I thought about it twice, and maybe even thrice, and I even looked at my sleeping mother, I gave myself all the excuses, and thought, What odds, she's starting to lose it, yesterday she thought you were the nurse, FFS. Not that she had been a bad mum, though. Quite the contrary. Actually, if she had been a bad mum, that would have made it so much easier, but unfortunately she'd been the best mum anyone could have.

I know you think it's awful, but I also know that out there certain people understand what I'm saying...

Suddenly mum woke up and yawned a long yawn. "So, are we going in or what, son?"

My iron grip on the wheelchair loosened, and I imagine that my features also relaxed.

"Sure we are, Mum. Sure we are."

[Edited at 2020-10-24 17:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-10-25 04:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-10-25 06:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-10-25 06:14 GMT]
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expressisverbis
Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
B***r the blaargh Oct 25, 2020

Yes, bother the blaargh again. Sorry to repeat myself, but this weekend's blaargh is getting personal. And the Basques left me yesterday. Yes. They left me. You think I'm crying for nothing? Of course I'm not. They left me.

"We're leaving," they said, "We're leaving now."

The awful truth dawned on me. I sat bolt upright.

"No," I said, "Don't go. Don't leave me now, baby. Don't go. Don't go away. Please don't go. I'm down on my knees. Begging you please, pl
... See more
Yes, bother the blaargh again. Sorry to repeat myself, but this weekend's blaargh is getting personal. And the Basques left me yesterday. Yes. They left me. You think I'm crying for nothing? Of course I'm not. They left me.

"We're leaving," they said, "We're leaving now."

The awful truth dawned on me. I sat bolt upright.

"No," I said, "Don't go. Don't leave me now, baby. Don't go. Don't go away. Please don't go. I'm down on my knees. Begging you please, please, please, don't go-o-o-o, don't go, don't go away, please don't go."

"The fuck?" they said. Well, the equivalent in Spanish, I mean. "We're leaving. We're leaving for the supermarket. Need anything?"

"No," I said, "I don't need anything". But I was lying, of course. I didn't need anything, no. What I needed was everything.

By the way, you can use that line if you like, sonny. Yes. Yes, you, lad. What, you think I didn't see you lurking behind that computer, reading my shit? Oh, please. Seriously? Don't look behind you like you reckon I mean someone else, like you don't believe I'm talking about you, young translator. And you can shake your fucking head at me just as long as you like, but I know who you are. Who you are is me thirty years ago, and you're eying up that attractive girl you've just seen across the bar, so listen to me. The line works, believe me. The "I don't need anything, honey, what I need is everything" line works every time. Even if you're ugly!! Nobody knows why, but it does.

[Edited at 2020-10-25 05:56 GMT]
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Jean Dimitriadis
P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
expressisverbis
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Chickpeas and beef Oct 25, 2020

Thanks for asking, Alexandra. Henderson's Bilbao Chickpeas 'n' Beef is actually quite simple. Since I'm making it, it has to be:



Take two or three Basques. Don't concern yourself with quantit¡es, though: it can be more Basques or fewer, but never less, because we don't want to get ourselves tominlondoned here, do we, no, ha-ha.

Use any excuse you can, cajoling, teasing, lying, whatever, but lead your Basques to anywhere except the kitchen.

<
... See more
Thanks for asking, Alexandra. Henderson's Bilbao Chickpeas 'n' Beef is actually quite simple. Since I'm making it, it has to be:



Take two or three Basques. Don't concern yourself with quantit¡es, though: it can be more Basques or fewer, but never less, because we don't want to get ourselves tominlondoned here, do we, no, ha-ha.

Use any excuse you can, cajoling, teasing, lying, whatever, but lead your Basques to anywhere except the kitchen.


Henderson Tip: One thing that always works is to mention food. Any kind of food. Really. It can be the roast lamb you had last week, the couscous a friend recommended, or a fucking ham sandwich, it doesn't matter, but whatever it is, by God they'll have an opinion on it, and they'll be talking about it and texting about it and WhatSapping about it for ages.

So, that's them good and out of your way for at least half an hour.

I'll tell you the rest later. Although I'm kind of piling up the stuff for later.

There's Home Alone VI, there's the Gang of Four Part Two, and a few others. Plus the blaargh. God, it's awful. Why do you think I'm on the forums?






[Edited at 2020-10-25 12:34 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Chris S
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Tread, trod, trodden Oct 25, 2020

I'm pretty sure we never learned our own verbs like that, infinitive and participles, but sometimes the Basques come out with that, as they remember how they learned English verbs - go, went, gone - see, saw, seen - catch, caught, caught ...

Just 2,307 words left to translate today. Actually, there's more, but the 2+K is the urgent stuff. And what prime bollocks it is too. Today I had to look up the participles of a verb, the verb "to tread", because both trod and trodden sounded f
... See more
I'm pretty sure we never learned our own verbs like that, infinitive and participles, but sometimes the Basques come out with that, as they remember how they learned English verbs - go, went, gone - see, saw, seen - catch, caught, caught ...

Just 2,307 words left to translate today. Actually, there's more, but the 2+K is the urgent stuff. And what prime bollocks it is too. Today I had to look up the participles of a verb, the verb "to tread", because both trod and trodden sounded fine to me. There are certain translations I'm not proud of, and believe me I'm doing my best to make myself very unproud of the current blaargh. "Exploring paths hitherto untrod ...", I had written (oh yes, it's Bullshit with a capital B, this). But I reckoned it was untrodden, not untrod. "As if it mattered, Mervyn," a little voice said to me, except it sounded like my own voice, and by Jesus, it was. "Nobody's ever going to read this tedious bollocks. In Spanish or in English."

The sad part is that I actually said that to myself, as I noticed the word "untrod". "Oh, Mervyn," Mervyn said to me, "untrod" is a little too short to go at the end in such a short sentence, and no main verb either, but that's what happens when they give some dickhead a Poetic Licence."

"And," the voice went on, "untrodden" draws it out a little more, balances it, you know." Sadder still is that I agreed with myself, and even nodded to no one as I typed out this arseholery. Even sadder was saying Thanks for that, Mervyn. But the saddest bit of all was smiling wryly and hearing a harsh Northern Ireland accent saying Don't mention it, Mervyn.
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Sunday, bloody Sunday Oct 25, 2020

Just listened to PM Sánchez on the radio, and I suppose he'll be all over the 3 pm news in half an hour or so, to announce the six-month lockdown here. Six months. With a curfew between 11 pm and 5 am, from what I hear.

Well, that's just bloody marvellous, innit. Just as I was going to wrap up this Diary. I was, you know. Once I'd sorted out Trump. But now they up and lock us down again, so you know what you're in for, doncha? Me, that's what. Me. For months and bloody months.


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 17:39
Miembro 2015
inglés a portugués
+ ...
I hope it doesn't last too long Oct 25, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Just listened to PM Sánchez on the radio, and I suppose he'll be all over the 3 pm news in half an hour or so, to announce the six-month lockdown here. Six months. With a curfew between 11 pm and 5 am, from what I hear.

Well, that's just bloody marvellous, innit. Just as I was going to wrap up this Diary. I was, you know. Once I'd sorted out Trump. But now they up and lock us down again, so you know what you're in for, doncha? Me, that's what. Me. For months and bloody months.


Sadly, I also tuned in to Galician television while I was having my lunch and listened the same... Let's hope this lockdown by 9th May doesn't last too long.
Things can change for the better, and I'm confident!


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
We gotta get out of this place Oct 25, 2020

Except now we can't. We might be in lockdown again, but I was smart, let me tell you. I learned from the meaningless blaargh below, and turned a contretemps into an opportunity. I just told the Basques: "Would you Adam and Eve it? Lockdown. Dammit, now I have to cancel that luxury holiday on a tropical island I booked for us only yesterday." Not sure if they fell for it. But they were unrelenting, of course: "OK, but make sure you steep the red beans for tomorrow for eight hours, and no more tha... See more
Except now we can't. We might be in lockdown again, but I was smart, let me tell you. I learned from the meaningless blaargh below, and turned a contretemps into an opportunity. I just told the Basques: "Would you Adam and Eve it? Lockdown. Dammit, now I have to cancel that luxury holiday on a tropical island I booked for us only yesterday." Not sure if they fell for it. But they were unrelenting, of course: "OK, but make sure you steep the red beans for tomorrow for eight hours, and no more than eight," was all they said. Bloody hell. There's only one item on the Basque Agenda.

The blaargh read thusly, or it does now een theee Eeengleesh:


"This, therefore, is a unique opportunity, which we neither expected nor asked for, but which places us before the mirror we used to shun with some discomfort."


Shun? Can you even shun a mirror? I can't remember ever shunning a mirror. Maybe you eschew a mirror. But eschew is a verb I don't know how to use. So I might not use it. Or I might even shun it. Or eschew it. And thus we attain new levels of boredom. Not my idea of boredom, though. As you know. When I bore you, you stay bored and you know you've been bored. Which sounds kind of kinky, now I read it over again, but let's get on, shall we. O, the awful bollocks we must needs translate.
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expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:39
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
When is a curfew not a curfew? Oct 27, 2020

When it's a "nocturnal mobility restriction", that's when. The PM made that clear, so thanks for that, Pedro.

Yes, there I was, thinking "we can't go out between 11 pm and 6 am here because of the curfew", but all the time the reality was that we can't go out between 11 pm and 6 am here because of the nocturnal mobility restriction.

And, in a separate move, yesterday the Basque Government added its own restriction, so we can't leave our own town except for a good reaso
... See more
When it's a "nocturnal mobility restriction", that's when. The PM made that clear, so thanks for that, Pedro.

Yes, there I was, thinking "we can't go out between 11 pm and 6 am here because of the curfew", but all the time the reality was that we can't go out between 11 pm and 6 am here because of the nocturnal mobility restriction.

And, in a separate move, yesterday the Basque Government added its own restriction, so we can't leave our own town except for a good reason, or leave the Basque Country, even.

I've more or less got my workload under control again, and the rush should be over by around Thursday. Thank God for that. It was beginning to get me down no end.

Home Alone will be late, too ... least of my worries, that.

[Edited at 2020-10-27 11:59 GMT]
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expressisverbis
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 17:39
Miembro 2015
inglés a portugués
+ ...
More restrictive measures most likely... Oct 27, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

When it's a "nocturnal mobility restriction", that's when. The PM made that clear, so thanks for that, Pedro. There was I thinking we couldn't go out between 11 pm and 6 am here because of the curfew, but actually the reality is that we can't go out between 11 pm and 6 am because of the nocturnal mobility restriction.

And, in a separate move, yesterday the Basque Government added its own restriction, so we can't leave our own town except for a good reason, or leave the Basque Country, even.

I've more or less got my workload under control again, and the rush should be over by around Thursday. Thank God for that. It was beginning to get me down no end.

Home Alone will be late, too ... least of my worries, that.


Curfew may be mandatory in Portugal.
The country recorded the highest daily rate of new cases of infection since the beginning of the pandemic last week.
My sister told me that the old settings of the hospital where she works is reserved only for Covid-19 patients, and it is a very big area.
Also, I can't leave from here and go to Porto on November, 1st, All Saints' Day. We aren't allowed to go to other cities.
I am glad you have your workload under control.


Mervyn Henderson
 
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