Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Some of life's little anomalies.

We have been told that while we were in England Vigo had the hottest and driest July in a long time. According to a friend of ours, we would have melted. Well, we did have a week in The Manchester area when we very nearly melted. In that typical North of England way, the weather went from cool to scorching almost overnight. I crossed paths with a friend one morning while out for a run. She had been caught in the thunderstorm that had delayed my departure and was quite soaked. However, she was glad to have been given a shower as she was feeling so hot already at 8.30 in the morning. Contrary to some people's belief, we do have baking hot weather in England from time to time. You just have very little warning, no acclimatisation period and no guarantee that the "summer" will last more than a few days. 

So there it was, a hot Vigo July that we missed. What I want to know, if it truly was the driest July, is where did the huge puddle come from on the carpark down the road. This is one of those patches of waste land which people park on, not an official carpark but regularly used. Whenever it rains the middle of the area becomes muddy and eventually turns into a huge puddle. We went past it yesterday and there it was: a large puddle in the middle of the carpark. One of life's mysteries! 

Another mystery is why Facebook translates some posts in foreign languages into English but not all. In fact, the real mystery is why any of the posts are translated at all as the translation is almost always so poor as to be almost incomprehensible. One friend commented about her wedding anniversary: "Sono 24 anni" or something like that, meaning that it's been 24 years that she and her husband have been married. It translated to "I am 24 years". Surely there must be some way of programming an automatic translation programme to recognise that Latin-based languages don't do ages that way. 

Even better was a young friend's status update: "I am of cows!". Intrigued, I found the original Spanish: "¡Estoy de vacas!" Word for word the translation was correct but made no sense. My young friend was using the youth slang abbreviation "vacas" for "vacaciones". Autotranslate can't do slang or it would have said "I'm on my hols". 

Autocorrect is no better, giving weird and wonderful versions of what you really want to say. "Más tarde" changes to "mad stare", especially if you are typing it quickly in a text message and don't put the accent on the a of "más". Technology is a wonderful thing! Always proof read your text messages before hitting "send". 

 In view of the continuing fine and sunny weather, I expected our pool to be full when I went down this morning. But no; there were just a few people sunbathing, and all of them my age or older. Where is everyone? Are there no children around? Or has everyone gone to the beach? Of course, it is August so quite a lot of folk will have gone on holiday or at least gone off to their pueblo to see family or to stay in their place closer to the beaches. Not that I am complaining! Far from it! I really enjoy having an empty pool to swim in. 

And then I found myself having a strange conversation in a mix of Spanish and Italian. Strange only because of the language mix. A couple I have seen numerous times and assumed were Spanish were switching to Italian when answering the phone. They turned out to be Spanish, having been born here, but from an Italian background originally. And when you speak to them, they sort of drift from one language to the other. 

Life is full of curious things!

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