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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation!

It has to be said that a personal Rubicon of Amazonian proportions has been, not so much crossed, as waded and staggered through: I have given my first Radio interview (dramatic pause) in Spanish!

I have left a decent paragraph space for that to sink in. Toni, who made the mistake of listening to it, is still in a state of shock.

Only I would have the bare-faced arrogance to go for a radio interview in a language that, it has to be admitted I do not speak, and wade into it live on air after having had no opportunity to consider the questions beforehand! And I didn't even have the good grace to be nervous before, during or after this event.

Let's get things into proportion. The Radio Station was our local one in Castelldefels and not the BBC World Service, and my contribution was an incidental literary segment in a programme that lasted a couple of hours. But still. Radio! And in a foreign language!

This was all in aid of publicising Flesh Can Be Bright and, it has to be said, I am prepared to do virtually anything to get publicity for that book. On Toni's strict instructions I asked for an audio copy of the whole sorry event and when it arrives I will post it on the Praetorius Books website, or at least on the Facebook Page so that the interview can add to the jollity of nations – because it adds little to the art of interviewing!

Toni says that on at least two occasions I ignored the question and went off on a path of my own and he has threatened to translate both questions and answers to show just how oblique my responses were.

When I came home (in triumph) after the event he was still slightly hysterical having listened to the interview while frantically pacing up and down the living room clawing at his face as he tried to work out what the hell I was saying. He obviously was not in the best position to follow my explanations because he actually speaks Spanish, a knowledge of which was not necessarily a help in following my discourse!

Still, the deed is done and it adds to my Spanish portfolio which also includes the interview in much more convincing Spanish (because it was translated by Toni) in our local give-away newspaper.

Having now conquered newspaper and radio, I have set my sights on television as my next target. Don't laugh, having got this far, it is only a matter of time before the bastion of the moving image falls to my mangling of the Spanish tongue!

Although the foregoing may appear to be light-hearted in its approach, I was obviously deadly serious as I truncated by usual metric mile morning swim to a mere one thousand metres so that I could arrive at the radio station in good time!


Meanwhile the OU course continues with the first of the double length essays waiting to be completed. Or started even. On the good side, I have noted that there are a series of notes from the tutorial held a couple of days ago in Durham. For some reason best known to the OU, all European students are linked with the North of England Region, where the number of EasyJet flights to the city are fairly limited. We far-flung students usually have only one face-to-face tutorial during our course and that is likely to be in London and in February.

Not the most appealing time to have a short break in England, but I hope that Toni and I will make the most of it and try and find time and a reasonable hotel to make the most of the opportunity to see more of the city. I would like him to see Clarrie's empire and who knows, we might even have time to make a wintry visit to Brighton and see just how near the sea Andrew is! Something to think about and plan.


My lessons in Padel have ground to a halt. The ten days of birthday celebrations were the ostensible reason for their pause, but there is no reason apart from physical pain that they should not restart. I am not sure how may lessons I have left from the course that I purchased, but I should take full advantage of that expensive investment – even if I have little belief that I will become a regular player of the game.

For me, the fact that Padel needs four people to make a match (it is only played as a doubles game) is a signal disadvantage as my playing of tennis, badminton and squash has always been as singles. Although I have broadcast to the city via the radio in one of the tongues of the country, I am not sure that I am quite so confident about participating in Spanish (or indeed in Catalan) in the badinage that is a necessary part of a doubles game. Though, thinking about it, that might be a powerful incentive to get to grips with a particular form of the language!


I must learn to end anything that I write with some sort of injunction to BUY THE BOOK. So I will start here and urge whoever is reading to go to the Facebook page for Praetorius Books and find out more about Flesh Can Be Bright and Autumn trees.

That is hardly the most inspiring encouragement to part with hard earned cash and splurge it on a well-worth-it book of poetry, but it is the best I can do at the moment. I will work on something which is more professional!
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