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Corona quarantine diary
Autor de la hebra: Mervyn Henderson

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
Fact check Dec 21, 2020

Everything in that post is true apart from the water. I wasn’t illegitimate, but I was a bastard and still am.

Like all poor kids in London, I used to run with a gang. We’d roam the streets armed with bottles and then go into shops mob-handed to get the deposits back and invest the proceeds in small bags of white powder we used to call Sherbert. Quite a hit when that went up your nose.

All so innocent until it was time for my initiation. I was ordered to permanentl
... See more
Everything in that post is true apart from the water. I wasn’t illegitimate, but I was a bastard and still am.

Like all poor kids in London, I used to run with a gang. We’d roam the streets armed with bottles and then go into shops mob-handed to get the deposits back and invest the proceeds in small bags of white powder we used to call Sherbert. Quite a hit when that went up your nose.

All so innocent until it was time for my initiation. I was ordered to permanently scar a rival gang member who’d trodden on someone’s toes. A serious crime in those days. Remember everyone dressed like Slade back then, and those platform boots didn’t come cheap. Don’t diss da boots, man. So I did him good and proper. You should’ve seen the look on the kid’s face when I straight out called him “Poo Face”.

Luckily we moved out of London just before it was time to get my own shooter and do my first real hit, and I was able to celebrate my fourth birthday in more traditional fashion.
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Mervyn Henderson
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
Local time: 16:36
Miembro 2014
japonés a inglés
Tumbled into it... Dec 21, 2020

Chris S wrote:
But yeah, I did change it from Ysbyty Ystwyth to your part of the world as a deliberate trap to see if sensible people read these threads too

...like a mammoth into a pit.


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Chris S
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 17:36
Miembro 2007
neerlandés a alemán
+ ...
Maybe it represents an... Dec 21, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... that cosy sweater. Now that I hadn't noticed in the rather dark bar.

Thanks, Matthias!


...existentialist reindeer because of the turtleneck pullover. Or the bar wasn´t dark enough in any sense.


[Bearbeitet am 2020-12-21 08:32 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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Down these mean streets, Chris ... Dec 21, 2020

... a kid must walk.

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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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Scandal in Madrid Dec 21, 2020

In two senses, as well, which isn't anything new coming from me, I suppose, but I should explain that:

Singer Raphael did two gigs on Saturday and Sunday in Madrid, with between 3,000 and 4,000 fans on both occasions. Many people were scandalised by the security risk. Many others, however, were not scandalised at all. Some say everything was hunky dory, not least Princess of Darkness Isabel Díaz Ayuso, Mrs President of the Community of Madrid, but the habitual accusations and count
... See more
In two senses, as well, which isn't anything new coming from me, I suppose, but I should explain that:

Singer Raphael did two gigs on Saturday and Sunday in Madrid, with between 3,000 and 4,000 fans on both occasions. Many people were scandalised by the security risk. Many others, however, were not scandalised at all. Some say everything was hunky dory, not least Princess of Darkness Isabel Díaz Ayuso, Mrs President of the Community of Madrid, but the habitual accusations and counteraccusations are being bandied around.

In any case, presumably the ageing crooner rolled out one of his most famous songs - "Escándalo". Thus today's newspaper headline, "Escándalo en Madrid".

[Edited at 2020-12-21 10:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-21 10:00 GMT]
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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Lotta lotto tension Dec 21, 2020

Tomorrow is 22 December, the big Christmas lottery day. As of 9 am the kids of San Isidro will be singing out the numbers and the prizes, and they literally sing them, too, in pairs: one kid takes a little ball with the 5-digit ticket number written on it and sings "setenta y cinco mil doscientos cuarenta y treeeeeeeeeeeeeees" (75,243), and meanwhile the other takes a ball out with the prize on it and sings "miiiiiiiiil euuuuuuuuuuuros" (surely I don't have to translate that - not that I had to ... See more
Tomorrow is 22 December, the big Christmas lottery day. As of 9 am the kids of San Isidro will be singing out the numbers and the prizes, and they literally sing them, too, in pairs: one kid takes a little ball with the 5-digit ticket number written on it and sings "setenta y cinco mil doscientos cuarenta y treeeeeeeeeeeeeees" (75,243), and meanwhile the other takes a ball out with the prize on it and sings "miiiiiiiiil euuuuuuuuuuuros" (surely I don't have to translate that - not that I had to translate the first one, either, but it's a kind of reflex, I suppose). On and on they go until El Gordo, da big one, comes out. 400,000 euros for a single ticket (less 80,000 tax). It's bugger all compared to some of the other lotteries, especially the Euromillions, which are at least 17 million on any draw, but excitement has reached the usual pitch since this is the last chance, and all the lottery offices had queues this evening. My usual is just around the corner, but you can't swing a gato in there, and what with the queue I went to a bigger establishment.

It didn't look like there was a queue, even. Just some people standing near the kerb. The problem is they don't know how to queue here. Anyone joining a queue here, at the butcher's, the cheese counter, or anywhere, has to ask, Who's the last?, because it's not immediately obvious. You stand outside any place in Galway, Hull, Kingston-upon-Thames, Holyhead, Inverness, or Newtown Linford, and you don't have to bloody ask, because there's a straight line of people queueing, innit? So I went up to the door, and a very polite lady standing with the others near the kerb said, Excuse me ....? So I retreated.

Then a very tall man came along, stood in the door, and made the mistake of actually going in. A man shouted at him, and his mate shouted at him too, and then he shouted back, and then we were in trouble. But all these men were at least 65 or 70 years old. One of them was, and I'm not kidding, approximately half the height of the guilty party, but those chihuahuas are the most voluble, aren't they? So they all started shouting at each other, and then a man waiting with his kid in a pram objected to the rather colourful expressions the three of them were using, there was the inevitable eyeballing and squaring up, and all the Watch it, bodger, Don't you point your fucking finger at me, mate, You think I'm scared of you because you're bloody tall, do you? Drink had been taken, as they say. By all three of them.

Me? I just waited my turn. What, you think I was going to get involved? Bugger that. There was a time when I'd have stepped in to calm things down. But I don't do that any more, even with senior citizens. The last time I did it was in a pub in England. Oh, I was just a boy ... giving it all away. A huge Irishman was creating a huge fuss, and I laid my hand on his shoulder, and I swear my arm was at 60º to the horizontal as I did so, practically a Nazi salute, that's how big he was. I thought the accent would calm him down. I said, "Look, I'll put The Green Fields of France on the jukebox for you, such a beautiful song too, just less it, will you, we don't want to let the side down in this country, do we?" He looked at me, and said "You know, sonny, you look like a nice kid, so don't make me kill you." And so I didn't. And that was my last stint as mediator. I drank my pint and left, and maybe he killed the lot of them afterwards, I don't know, but he didn't kill me, and that was the most important bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDyip7SIJkQ&list=RDUpWvx_btKZ8&index=18


Anyway, back to Bilbao - I realised the other two weren't even in the bloody queue, and were waiting for someone inside, because I got to go in, and the two senior bozos were still mouthing at this bloke, now at the end of the queue. As I bought my ticket, I saw the lottery guy's mouth open wide, and I turned just in time to see the little guy go sprawling on the pavement. Well. Then some guy jumped in to separate them all. I had to weave in and out between three or four of them all cursing at each other just to clear the entrance and get shot of them.

That festive spirit. Best kept in the bottle until Christmas. A much better time to get into a real fight with the in-laws.



[Edited at 2020-12-21 18:55 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-21 18:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-21 20:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-22 05:41 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-22 05:43 GMT]
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Chris S
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Matthias Brombach
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 17:36
español a inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Lotta live lotto tension Dec 22, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WucVc6gvws

Those kids are singing their little hearts out down in Madrid, but no Big One yet. A nation waits ...

Well, the link was working before. Now it says Spanish TV has stopped access on a rights issue. Still no sign of El Gordo.

[Edited at 2020-12-22 11:05 GMT]


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 17:36
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72897 Dec 22, 2020

The number that'll be plastered all over the front page of every newspaper in the country tomorrow morning. Sold in Pontevedra, Valencia, a petrol station in Tenerife and ... Bilbao too (no, not any of mine - I checked, just to confirm I had to go on working today). I have one I bought in Ávila in the summer as well. I usually buy one when I go somewhere else in the country, to boost the extreme unlikelihood of a beeeg win.

Still, there's second prize, third, fourth and fifth, and
... See more
The number that'll be plastered all over the front page of every newspaper in the country tomorrow morning. Sold in Pontevedra, Valencia, a petrol station in Tenerife and ... Bilbao too (no, not any of mine - I checked, just to confirm I had to go on working today). I have one I bought in Ávila in the summer as well. I usually buy one when I go somewhere else in the country, to boost the extreme unlikelihood of a beeeg win.

Still, there's second prize, third, fourth and fifth, and then all the minor ones for the last digit, last two digits, last three etc.

[Edited at 2020-12-22 12:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-22 12:30 GMT]
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Chris S
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
The lottery of life Dec 22, 2020

The Basques had tickets too, but apparently no beeeeeg wins there either. "Never mind," I said, "after all, you won the lottery when you hooked up with me." Well, that's the kind of daft thing I say. They know it, you know it, and I know it.

"Oh yes," they said, "but you got the Euromillion jackpot."

And I'm afraid they're right.

[Edited at 2020-12-22 12:37 GMT]


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Chris S
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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And finally ... Dec 22, 2020

Those kids sang out one of my tickets this morning. Nothing big, though, just 100 yucks. Considering each one costs 20 yucks ...

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Chris S  Identity Verified
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sueco a inglés
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Yay Dec 22, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Those kids sang out one of my tickets this morning. Nothing big, though, just 100 yucks. Considering each one costs 20 yucks ...

Drinks are on you down O’Leary’s Irish Bar tonight then!


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Mervyn Henderson
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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O'Leary's Dec 23, 2020

See you there! And anyone else who wants to go. 6.30/7? It has to be early, because they close at 8 pm. I think. They keep changing these things.

Chris S
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:36
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That O'Leary's schedule in full Dec 23, 2020

11:00 h - 14:00 h - Relaxed, festive atmosphere - suitable for families wanting a glass of wine, a pintxo or two and Fanta for the kids.

14:00 h - 18:00 h - Guinness 'Drink 'n' Barf' Quadruple Happy Hours (three pints for the price of one) - not recommended for non-hardcore drinkers. Tearjerking / protest music for those so proud of their homeland they purposely choose not to live there.

18:00 h - 19:00 h - Raised voices, general arguing and sporadic scuffles over spilt
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11:00 h - 14:00 h - Relaxed, festive atmosphere - suitable for families wanting a glass of wine, a pintxo or two and Fanta for the kids.

14:00 h - 18:00 h - Guinness 'Drink 'n' Barf' Quadruple Happy Hours (three pints for the price of one) - not recommended for non-hardcore drinkers. Tearjerking / protest music for those so proud of their homeland they purposely choose not to live there.

18:00 h - 19:00 h - Raised voices, general arguing and sporadic scuffles over spilt pints.

19:00 h - 20:00 h - Punches thrown. Blood on floor. Teeth on floor. People on floor. Guinness on floor. Police called, but it's more or less time to close up anyway.
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Matthias Brombach
Chris S
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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
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neerlandés a alemán
+ ...
Our thoughts... Dec 23, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:



18:00 h - 19:00 h - Raised voices, general arguing and sporadic scuffles.


...should also be with all the people celebrating numerous Christmas staff parties these days, in the workshops, offices and in the premises of our beloved agencies.


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Mervyn Henderson
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 17:36
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+ ...
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Finally made the oysters Dec 23, 2020

Yes, we did it. With a window table, too. And Tia Maraa Irish oysters. 2.90 € a throw. From the same place the Gillardeau oysterers get theirs, the man said, so you begin to wonder about the nationality of oysters. I dropped a heavy hint to this oyster bloke that I was doing a piece on Oysters And How Hard It Is To Actually Get Hold of Them In Bars These Days for a well-known website, but I still had to pay through the nose.

On the subject of fishy things, I'm a bit worried about
... See more
Yes, we did it. With a window table, too. And Tia Maraa Irish oysters. 2.90 € a throw. From the same place the Gillardeau oysterers get theirs, the man said, so you begin to wonder about the nationality of oysters. I dropped a heavy hint to this oyster bloke that I was doing a piece on Oysters And How Hard It Is To Actually Get Hold of Them In Bars These Days for a well-known website, but I still had to pay through the nose.

On the subject of fishy things, I'm a bit worried about tomorrow's 24 December dinner for the Basques, quite frankly. Bugger the 25th, because it means squat here ...

I have to go and pick up the anglerfish and clams tomorrow morning, but I also have to come up with an anglerfish sauce to beat all sauces. I think I'll just do my usual crushed-langostino special. They'll never notice with the champers.

[Edited at 2020-12-23 19:49 GMT]
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Chris S
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