Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Viva La Duquesa!

I don't know about you lot out there, but with the terrible events in Madrid last week chilling me to the bone, and nothing but talk of the economic crisis to fill the remaining pages of the newspapers, I for one am crying out for a bit of cheering up. So it's at times like these that I like to look to my elders and betters for inspiration, and who's elder, and indeed who's better, than everyone's favourite octogenarian party girl... La Duquesa de Alba!

OK, so she may struggle to be physically able to raise a smile, but she never fails to put one on my face with her antics, that's for sure. Whether it's waving her hanky in appreciation at Franciso Rivera's 1000th bullfight last week, or just gadding about town in her surgical stockings going from select social engagement to select social engagement, all the while persued by a hungry pack of reporters desperate for her to pass comment on her children's ever-present marriage woes (or even the possibility of an upcoming marriage of her own!), the woman is a true marvel and the best advert for the nobility since the Queen Mother downed her final G&T and toddled off to the hospitality tent at the big Derby course in the sky. Chin-chin!!

Here are some of my favourite Duquesa moments to treasure.

First we have the Duquesa giving the press a piece of her mind, telling it straight that they're nothing but a bunch of shits (which we all know they are):

And here she is again, as ever hounded by the press, making it clear who's boss. The way she shouts "Hijo de tal!!!" as she's aided into the car by her helper puts me in mind of a shoplifter who's being taken away in a police car. I almost expect the aid to put her hand on the Duquesa's head (like all good coppers do when putting criminals in the backseat) with a sarcastic "Come on now love... in you go... yes that's right... save your ranting for the Judge why don't you" :-)

So in times of ongoing war and destruction, nothing but misery all around, and the likelihood of a peaceful death in old-age looking so remote it could almost be classed as an acceptable career goal, it's time we all stopped a moment to give thanks for the one, the only, the institution that is.... María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, duquesa de Alba y de Berwick; de Montoro, de Liria y Jérica, de Arjona, de Híjar, condesa-duquesa de Olivares, marquesa de San Vicente del Barco, de El Carpio, de Coria, de Eliache, de la Mota, de San Leonardo, de Sarria, de Villanueva del Rio, de Tarazona, de Villanueva del Fresno, de Barcarrota, de la Algaba, de Osera, de Moya, de Almenara, de Valdunquillo y de Mirallo, condesa de Lemos, de Lerín, condestable de Navarra, de Monterrey, de Osorno, de Miranda del Castañar, de Palma del Rio, de Aranda, de Salvatierra, de Andrade, de Ayala, de Fuentes de Valdepero, de Gelves de Villalba, de san Esteban de Gormaz, de Fuentidueña, de Casarrubios del Monte, de Galve, de Santa Cruz de la Sierra y Ribadeo , vizcondesa de la Calzada, marquesa de Oraní. Phew!

God bless you ma´am, I for one think you're amazing!


At August 27, 2008 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She has more titles than Muhammad Ali!


At August 27, 2008 8:42 PM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

I had to look twice to be sure that WBO Ultra Featherweight Champion of the world wasn't in the list! :-)

At August 28, 2008 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spent yesterday with my version(s) of the Duquesa... home wirth the wrinklies in Leeds.

Its like taking part in a weekly family episode of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Ya gotta love 'em...


At February 12, 2010 7:16 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

Seems like you haven't posted in quite awhile. Still, I enjoyed the old posts.

I was hoping you could answer a few questions about working in Spain for me please:

Do Spanish companies usually refer to salaries as annual before taxes (like in the USA)? Or is it referred to another way, such as net annual or net monthly?

Also, Do you have any idea what the average salary would be for a senior graphic designer with 7-10 years experience in Madrid or Barcelona? I have started to talk with a few potential employers and I am being pushed to give them salary expectations, and I have no idea what to say at this point. And I've already side-stepped the issue a few times.

I greatly appreciate any advice you can give me!


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