Saturday, March 10, 2012

I can't speak Spanish!

I'm in the slightly embarrassing position of not knowing any more vocabulary than "no habla espanol", but that's not normally a problem in fast food restaurants, where you can order meals by pointing and sign language and usually get more or less what you asked for.

But for some reason here in Spain I just can't get my head around what country I'm in. I find myself automatically saying "hai" for yes, or "bitte" for please, and I think I lapsed into French today too. Although I'm wearing my "I Am From Space" T-shirt, so people probably expect a language barrier.

Incidentally, that shirt gets more comments and laughs from people on the street than everything else I own put together. I need to wear it more often.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Athletic, Athletic!

I can write about this with impunity - I've just been to a pub in Bilbao with the Spanish crew to watch Man Utd get well and truly trounced by the Athletic Club. Isn't it groovy to have your home-town football team called The Athletic Club? They don't like adding 'Bilbao' after it, apparently, because the whole world should know where the one and only Athletic Club is. Even groovier is that they have a policy of only using Basque players. They're the Yorkshire of football, which is a bit strange since Bilbao is definitely the Wales of Spain, with everything in both Spanish and Basque.

It was a great game, though. Must remember not to cheer so loudly for Bilbao when I'm back in England for the return fixture.

The Ballad of Bilbo Pridmore

Wow, I've got a lot to talk about. It'll have to be another week or so, because I'll spoil the surprise otherwise (not that big a surprise, really, so don't hold your collective breath), but I've spent today being followed around by about twelve Spanish people, and this was just the pre-filming day...

Great place for a holiday, though!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Blue Spanish Eyes

Okay, tomorrow I'm jetting off to Bilbao, at ironically the same time as the football-loving people of Bilbao are coming to Manchester. And then I'm coming back on the 13th, while the football-loving people of Manchester are going to Bilbao. I bet I'll still offend someone who can't afford to go to the game, though.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


I'm going to Spain next Wednesday, almost certainly, on another secret project that I'll tell you about later. My life is full of secret projects lately. This is a pretty cool one, though.

But while I'm still here, let's talk about football. Getting the obvious joke out of the way, can I say I'd do a really great job as the next manager of Chelsea, and they'd only have to pay me half a million pounds or so? I'm not greedy and I've got a couple of weeks with nothing better to do.

Having done with that, this is a great premier league season, isn't it? We've had a lot of good ones lately, but this one looks like going all the way. Man Utd actually have an easier last eleven games than City - they've played all the other big teams, whereas City have to play Chelsea-with-a-new-manager in a couple of weeks, then Arsenal and Newcastle away. The derby match on April 30th really is very likely to be decisive, which is awesome.

Also awesome is the race for the other two Champions League spots. Chelsea and Arsenal both have long, distinguished records of qualifying every year for a long time, but it really doesn't look like they can both overtake Spurs. Arsenal for my money will take it now - they're half-way through a run of four extremely tough games, and they've won the two most difficult ones already. But then there's that new manager aspect, which usually gives teams a boost. There are going to be some really great games the next couple of weeks. Hope I don't miss it all in Spain.

Or Germany. This isn't a secret, I think, but I'm going to Germany on the 23rd for a memory competition, most likely. The North German championships, which will happen at the same time as the US Championships, give or take a time zone difference. Or I could go to America instead, I suppose. Or stay at home and have my own Beeston Memory Championship that only I'm allowed to compete in. I haven't quite decided yet.