M. del Mar Miret
It was wonderful to listen to Maria’s tale of survival abroad, with hot-tempered Paki bosses, but also some more understanding superiors like the one who taught her there were no fighting rooms in Zara department stores. He eventually congratulated Maria on her progress! This young girl’s courage and determination are admirable: she is not easily intimidated, is she? And we all agreed hers was the model to follow: learning English in a real environment, even if you may be a little short of cash at times, is the key to success.
Hey, the group is gathering momentum: we told a couple of jokes!!
Not only did we discuss the ills of dictatorship or the drawbacks of democracy, but we also talked about personalities like Pérez Jiménez or Oscar de León, and traditional recipes such as arepas or pabellón criollo. Then, we were told about the magnificence of Venezuelan natural landscapes by René (and Assum, who has been there too!) Now, how do lamas, baboons (?), Bielorússia or Albania fit into the previous discussion is a little more complicated to explain. If you did not come, you missed our participants telling you about all that. Thank you Frank, Eduard and Maria for your valuable and humourous contributions: we had a very good time!!
After a few harmless raindrops, twelve people gathered again at the swimming pool in good companionship and lovely weather. With three of the attendants coming from Balaguer, our Speak Up group seems to be gaining popularity. However, we hope Menarguins/ines on holidays and those attending different duties can join us again next week.
Just as promised, here is the short glossary of political terms we introduced yesterday, before a long talk and very nice discussion about projects, parliaments, politicians and historical heroes:
POLICY una política
POLITICS la política
POLITICIANS els polítics
POLITICAL PARTIES els partits
TO CALL AN ELECTION convocar unes eleccions
TO HOLD AN ELECTION celebrar
TO VOTE IN AN ELECTION
CANDIDATES STAND FOR ELECTIONS es presenten
MPs / MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT diputats
TO PASS A LAW aprovar una llei
STATUTORY LAWS estatut
DEVOLVED POWERS competències
PRIME MINISTER <> FIRST MINISTER
It was a wonderful evening with our first guest, Judith Munsó, who had a lot to say about life in the Scottish Highlands. She is an experienced language teacher (German, French and Spanish,...wow!) well on her way to become truly Scottish: "It is not that cold, really", we heard her say!! We could see this brave woman has really settled down and feels very much at home among friendly Scottish people. Lovely little Lydia is not to be forgotten, so well behaved and patient -for over an hour!- as she looked at her mother in surprise: It is Catalan in Scotland, now English in Menarguens! Who can understand these grown ups! (my own thoughts). Jordi Casals deserves a special mention for bringing a nice touch to the closing part of the session, in which he asked Judith to read a well-known poem by Robert Burns (from a compilation of European poetry translated by Marius Torres). Wasn't it a little present to be able to hear Burns with the proper Scottish accent?
Judith, thank you for your vivid account of life on the Isles!
My heart's in the Highlands
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer -
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow;
Farewell to the Straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go
El meu cor és als Highlands
El meu cor és als Highlands, el meu cor no és ací,
el meu cor és als Highlands, cérvols a perseguir;
caçant cérvols salvatges i daines -per això,
el meu cor és als Highlands, vaig allà on vagi jo.
Adéu-siau els Highlands, adéu-siau el Nord,
on sigui que jo vagi, on em dugui la sort,
la contrada dels nobles, el bressol del valor,
les muntanyes dels Highlands són sempre el meu amor.
Adéu-siau muntanyes ben cobertes de neu,
adéu penyes, valls tendres que als seus peus verdegen,
adéu-siau arbredes i boscúries penjants,
adéu torrents i salts d'aigua remorejants.
El meu cor és els Highlands, el meu cor no és ací,
El meu cor és als Highlands, cérvols a perseguir;
caçant cérvols salvatges i daines -per això,
el meu cor és als Highlands, vagi allà on vagi jo.