Ebro Voiceis the blog of expat author Rosie Reay to complement her website Brighter Spain by providing current news, trends, reviews and other information on this lovely river valley and delta in Catalonia, almost midway between Barcelona and Valencia in Northeast Spain.
From a pick-up in one country, to a timely delivery drop-off at a doorstep in another and back again –the Van man that can– Alan Holt! Some of you may not recognize him as he is now all smooth, clean-shaven Yorkshireman.
However, this ‘new-normal’- look only enhances the character and integrity of this man. Alan is open, honest, fair-minded on his pricing, his service and does deliver in an efficient and assured timely manner. https://www.facebook.com/europeanvancourier
Currently, Alan is doing a very popular two trips a month. He will not only deliver in one direction but bring pre-arranged, synchronized cargo back on the home-run. Please give him notice as he fulls up pretty quickly. He is a very approachable guy so don’t hesitate to give him a call. (Usually replies within a few hours, as he may be driving.)Or drop him a line on :email@example.com
UK: +44 7823 596124
This is a perfect legally, registered and fully insured business, as well as all items, for your peace of mind. He is not flying under the radar. So your goods are safe. He is totally reliable and trustworthy.I personally received cargo delivered promptly to my finca here, near Tortosa, today. He was courteous, professional and helpful. I will definitely be using him again, but for a family box to be delivered to West Yorkshire, U.K., in late October.
“With decades of experience in the haulage industry, planning and transporting sensitive, delicate and high-value items throughout the UK and Europe, we have the knowledge and experience to move your items safely and efficiently from door to door. Whether you need us to transport documents in an envelope, house contents or a classic motorbike, we can transport it safely and efficiently. European Van Courier Ltd. provide you with a live tracking link, so you can monitor our vehicle throughout its journey, and you can message the driver directly to rearrange delivery.”
– has a soft feel for both male and female professional and amateur players.
The selection of which golf ball to tee-off with is a personal choice of the player.Srixonhas them in both ‘notice-me’ yellow, snow-white or lady-pink, with an appropriate same-slogan on both – soft feel.
The Brand name.
The golf product name is as important to the manufactures survival in this crowded global field, as to the players choice. It needs to be unique, modern, (even if it has evolved from the long parent company’s descriptive name) and of course, trademark clear! The spelling can be coined and unusual, by that it becomes memorable and identifiable! Yet, have a feel and tone in the name that flows implying the texture and potential of these golf balls in every swing-male or female.
So, where does the name Srixon come from?
Believe it or not, the Japanese parent company (Sumitomo Rubber Ltd, now SRI Sports Ltd), first manufactured rubber products since 1909 especially, motor racing tyres. So too did Michelin and Dunlop.
Sumitomo is a surname and their Marketing team soon realized that name would not fly, even though some surnames still have a place of longevity in the naming world.
How do you pronounce Srixon correctly?
Aside: I asked once again for clarification from my resident linguistic colleague in Japan.
ts スリクソン、surikuson (the ku is relatively quiet). So the main feeling is “slick” + “on”
Also, in Japanese, R and L are not easily distinguished from each other as there is only one sound they have which is similar to both of them. They often will mix these letters when translating to Roman characters, such as writing rice as “lice” etc.. so Srixon should have been Slixon if they had carefully considered the name for English speaking customers.
Global English speaking variations on the name Srixon.
These are for information (but please refer to the correct Japanese pronunciation above) to company directors and product managers how important it is to say your name out loud on the international markets before committing to the name on the table. You may not have a century to prove your brand worth!
Below are a few of the more common one’s heard around the golf fraternity
Six iron -(Where did that come from as syllables are transposed?)
I wasn’t seeking out Japanese words/products/names per se. I was merely fascinated by the spelling compared to how different continents would pronounce that morpheme “srix”. Fortunately, the mispronunciation has caused no harm in this case and the Brand is strong with world recognition and lasted over a century.
Furthermore, setting aside the Japanese prefix element the suffix “Xon” is a person’s first name that means “God is good” and is of Hebrew origin. It sounds like <Shon> but is common among modern-day naming of Asiatic children.
Srixon (always designing new products)holds the largest number of golf ball patents in the world! The product name works- it flies off the golf shelves as fast as it flies off the tees! It has that soft feel and tone to it. If you missed this golfparty.es because of ‘lockdown’ there will be many more supporting this strong brand name – S-R-I-X-O-N.
The term “country cousins” often pops up in English literature with no implied intention of insulting their sophistication, but rather as an affection or a tongue in cheek expression. Prior to the days of London’s Zoological gardens when friends, relatives, or strangers from the countryside were visiting the City, it was a wonder what to do or where to take them. Thus, in novels it is written to take the “country cousins” to see the Royal lions guarding at the Tower.
However, I (their birth-“Foden” Cousin from Jesús. Tortosa) was treated to the first break with my cousins( from higher up River Ebro at Benifallet) for a drink and a chat outside, since the lockdown on 14th March, 2020.
The quandary: Where do we go? We don’t have lions in Tortosa, except one statue on my gateway entrance and that doesn’t count as a place of interest. We were all in agreeance that a beer or two and some nibbles (aka tapas) to sit outside were on the cards, but preferably near greenery and not pavement side. So my cousin headed for Tortosa Parc.
We are only in Phase 1 of the opening up of Terres de l’Ebre region since the lockdown. We were all masked up and like excited kids (or thirsty camels heading towards an oasis) hurried to the freedom of the park, along with an over-excited 5 month-old Maya, the German Shepherd puppy. Oh so cute!
The tables were all well spaced out as they are to do so under the controls as stated and no inside drinking. My cousin told me not to touch the table until she’d thoughtfully brought out her mobile bleach and sponge cleaning kit. I was impressed. She also placed a sanitizer bottle on the table for us to share.
Aside: the only slightly awkward issue was the fact that we could eat and drink outside the bars, but we were not allowed to use their toilet facilities – nor any others available! So it was prudent to control your consumption. (LOL)
It was crazy busy with not enough waiters to cope. So the service was slow but the Bokatines staff were friendly, courteous, and well protected. We were all just so happy to have that time in open spaces away from our respective fincas but to people-watch instead. We have been more fortunate than most as we have not been enclosed in confined spaces of apartments – many without balconies or open roof-top places to breathe and enjoy the evening air.
However, I personally feel I have had too much of the countryside and yearn for people’s contact. My cousin asked me how I was feeling now. I replied that I keep looking at the people and feel like they are two-legged aliens that I once knew in another life. It felt so strange to be seeing so many people in, what was such a normal pre-Covid-19 area, where the bars next to each other, overflow across the main rain of Avenigua Generalitat into Tortosa Parc.
I felt exhilarated!
Three canyons of beer arrived with the dew running down the glass, served in gloved hands, and plates of tapas of nachos with bacon and cheese and patatas bravos withallioli. We dived on the food like hungry lion cubs and the lager beer hit the spot -every time! Well- there was one or two top-ups but no-one was really counting.
The conversation flowed to and fro between local family catch-ups about Valencianos and Brits, Californians and New Yorkers too, not to leave out our nephew and niece in Japan. Much discussion of how this pandemic has impacted everyone personally and their private lives, their businesses, and those in the tourist rental industries. Yet, everyone seems to have continued working online, new projects, existing projects, and finding activities to occupy themselves. It is encouraging to hear that Germans are still enquiring to come down to Spain, just aren’t allowed across borders if no Spanish residencies in place.
So please tell me:
~ How has your first week in Phase 1 passed in Terres de l’Ebre?
~How do you envisage improving or changing anything in the coming week while still in Phase1?
~What ideas or motivation can you share within the community?
The coined abbreviated historic founders’ name of T O S H I B AMemory announced in April 2022 their brand name change to Kioxia.
The new name is a commingling of the parent manufacturing company’s home language of Japanese and Classical Greek, to form a smooth tone, a sleek unique global name that will ‘be heard above the herd’ of their competitors.
K i o k u is Japanese meaning memory
A x i a is Greek denoting value
End result equals K I O X I A
So how do we say it in Global English: Key-oh-koo-she-uh
Spelled out in Japanese it’s キオクシア (My thanks goes to the pronunciation guidance from a resident Japanese speaking Naming Consultant colleague.)
On their website, they have ニュース beneath the name. By merely looking at the graphic image of that word as a non-Japanese speaker I read it (with a tongue in cheek quip) as ‘equals 1 name from 2 words’.
Why the name change?
Damage limitation to a global name that incurred a massive financial disaster investment in the American nuclear reactor industry and as a result, suffered a tarnished brand image.
Now Toshiba has a complex infrastructure and a nightmare of a headache to bring all their global companies of varying names from creation or from mergers and amalgamations to all fall inline under the new and I’m sure what is going to be an eye-opener of a strong, unified umbrella shouting out Kioxia.
One of the European companies to undergo a radical name change is OCZ Storage Solutions Ltd in the UK. The OCZ part of the name flies out of American parentage originally. Yet the ‘Storage Solutions’ is very generic and to someone not in the know, it could imply any kind of general storage and not necessarily Memory. Thus, metamorphosis has seen Kioxia Technology UK Ltdemerge.
On the continent, the formerly Toshiba Memory Europe GMBH embraced their new name as Kioxia Europe GMBH
The innovative new-look corporate logo of a silver Kioxia is refreshing – encircling cleverly the different and individual product colours of magenta, light green, orange, yellow, white the light blue, and black writing enhances the final touches of the brand image “Communication colours.”
The reasoning behind the colour branding is to make them highly recognizable and customer friendly so they can select and recall quickly the right product for their specific memory application solutions.
The heritage foundations of the mature Toshiba still exists but this progressive memory technology is the new growth and the core creating uplifting choice experiences to be the world leader of ever-evolving Memory.
Under Covid-19 Conditions
More and more people are being forced under Covid-19 virus lockdown restrictions to stay safe at home and need to continue work online remotely from their normal workplace. They need a product that is reliable for their comprehensive Memory Portfolio.
Kioxia is so dedicated to expanding their new brand and customer needs they have continued manufacturing at two plants in Japan: Yokkaichi Plant and Kitakama Plant even while the Japanese government extended the State of Emergency across the whole country.
October 2019 they formally altered the company name but all the marketing and opening out globally was planned for April 2020, and they tried not to succumb to the Covid-19 pandemic as a deterrent to their evolving new Memory businesses. Yet their care and safety to those employees on the production lines have been increased, monitored, tested, and is paramount to the Corporation of Kioxia.
No, El Dia del Llibre is not cancelled in 2020, merely moved forward to July 23rd after the Covid-19 virus lockdown is lifted, (even if social distancing must still be strictly adhered to), the show must go on! I for one would love to see the national dance of Catalonia, Sardana, performed in Barcelona’s Plaça Sant Jaume or even to attend one of the bars where they have 24-hour Readathon (if a lady of my age can stay awake that long. Hmm!)
Sant Jordi’s Importance to the Catalans
23rd of April is known as Sant Jordi’s fiesta day throughout Spain, but he is the patron saint of Catalonia. The Catalans’ attitude towards this romantic celebration of giving books (El Dia del Llibre)and roses (El Dia de la Rosa) on this special feast day is of unwavering importance to each and every one of them. The gift of roses has dated back to medieval times as a romantic gesture. Yet, it was only a lover of all literature Barcelona bookseller who in 1923 started promoting this bookselling day in esteem remembrance of some of our greatest writers in Shakespeare the Bard and Miguel Cervantes, who both deceased on this same day.
The legends of Sant Jordi slaying the dragon and saving the princess (Montblanc, Medieval festival, Catalonia- except cancelled this year) have been written about in many children’s books in as many languages. I have often favoured to use them in tutoring materials for youngsters. Today, I still delight in reading them myself.
However, in March Catalan News reported that “the Som cooperative and the Mortensen agency launched the #LlibreriesObertes campaign“. This is an innovative way to assist the booksellers who would suffer an untold financial loss during this crisis where they normally sell over 800,000 books on this one day. Thus, this scheme allows us during the virus isolation period to order and pre-paid (the money is forward immediately to the bookshops to keep them afloat) for the books of our choice and post-lockdown we can pop along and pick them up. These co-operatives were encouraging the people to come out on their balconies and read out loud from a chosen book today. How cool is that?
The Florists who make the lion share of their income on Sant Jordi’s day were also encouraging people to order their flowers online and to decorate their balconies still in the celebration of this feast.
2020, 23rd April-Barcelona to Terres del Ebre
So how did you spend this day?
I was delighted to wake up to see some awesome and cleverly crafted cartoons being shared with me across both Facebook and WhatsApp. They were so clever and so depicted the times we live in under this pandemic. I think these cartoonists justly deserve praise and airing to those who did not see them. They say a picture speaks a thousand words – well, these did speak to me as a voracious reader.
Then another writer/artist friend of mine Nuria Vives who usually resides on the outskirts of the Ebro Delta sent me a deserted street photo of Barcelona – a view from her Mums apartment. This crossroads junction (Arago’ Street) would pre-shutdown be hustling and bustling and full of people on the street celebrating El Dia del Llibre. Furthermore, knowing my obsession with books shared a quotation/drawing from “one of the most beautiful books I have read,” by Antoine de Saint Exupery, l’auteur aussi des dessins – The little Prince. So I look forward to reading both the English and French versions.
A young romantic couple sent me a lovely photo of themselves with a cheery message, “Much love from Jesus, El Canalet, “Jaume and Fressia. Due to the closure of businesses in Barcelona they have returned to spend isolation in the countryside, just outside Tortosa. They are fortunate to now have a garden/land to walk about in, unlike many confined to their apartments with or without balconies back in the capital. Yet, I’m sure they would have preferred to have been able to celebrate Sant Jordi’s day in the traditional Catalan way if we were virus-free. At least they are thankfully safe!
A close friend and another prolific reader, Araceli who hales from the Tortosa area, shared my sentiments indeed when she posted today quoting Oscar Wilde “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
I smiled to myself as I’ve started re-reading one of my favourite books (in English) of a well-known author from Catalonia: Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind while I was sitting on my finca admiring my roses coming into bloom.
Well, while the likes of Araceli and myself await the libraries re-opening or personally pouring over umpteen bookstalls (now 23rd July, 2020) and finally hand-picking an armful of literary geniuses that we have not read, we will merely make-do with what we have in-house. (Charles Dickens and Shakespeare I’ve read several times and will again.) Yes, my soul-sister as you rightly say we will never be deprived of our love of literature, no matter how strange the confinements were on this Saint George’s day.
Aside: I look forward to you sharing your experiences and photographs in my Comments .
April 23rd in World History:
1154 Damascus surrenders to Sultan Nur ad-Din van Aleppo
1229 Ferdinand 111 of Castile conquers Cáceres
1343 St.George’s Night Uprising in Estonia
1348 1st English order of knighthood founded (Order of the Garter)
1456 Sant Jordi (Saint George) became the patron saint of Catalonia,
1504 King Maximillan 1 route troops to Bavaria
1616 simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare
1926El Dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) officially declared
1988 ‘Pa de Sant Jordi‘ culinary tradition for April 23rd was created by master baker Eduard Cresp at La Feca Balmes in Barcelona
In 1995, UNESCO adopted 23 April as WORLD BOOK DAY
Crop circles mysteries have baffled us over the history of time. We have marvelled in their beauty, their mysteries, legends of ominous satanic work at large, questionable hoaxers, climatic changes, studied by the intellectual professors, Crop circle (s) are preserved in stunning photographs until the end of time or even aliens landing (fringe theorists) and working their ‘butts off’ through the night while farmers slept.
Liz Crichton (started her project around 2017) gave thanks in 2018 saying: ”And still our wonderful crop circles keep producing! #abundance#gratitude”. Now wait a minute, Ayrshire tatties grown by a Scottish lassie relocated to the countryside in Camarles, Terres del Ebre? I’m awfully impressed as the climatic conditions could not be at more opposite extremes. I for one will hint for a specimen from next harvest to try one ‘lonely’ plant to propagate. After all, I was not nicknamed by my brother as Spud, when I was no more than knee-high to a grasshopper, for nothing!
So how does Liz still do it in 2020? Here is what was relayed to me as I lamented about my rock hard Spanish soil ideal for olive plantation, but vegetables-really?
“Crop circles – without a doubt!”
Take all your composting materials, cuttings, weeds, food compost waste twigs etc., and gradually layer the inside any size circle that is manageable for you to reach a circumference of 4 metres and a depth of 25cm. The tougher twigs /cuttings go on the bottom. Create a thick layer and stamp it down under your boot(advisable to wear on the el campo), then fill up the rest with mixed layers (any old way works). Finally, tramp it down again and water it.
Once it has created a kind of dense vegetation mat you can immediately pour over a whole 70-litre bag of compost on top and plant in either seeds or plugs of anything that grows upwards i.e. lettuce, chard, spinach and so on.
In the 2nd year (or winter) top the circles up with another bag of your compost material and you can grow deep plants, like potatoes, carrots beetroot or even parsnips, as by then your initial compost material will be turning into soil in your crop circle. It is important to line the edges of your wire with the drying grass or weeds to save the new compost or precious water flowing away.
After the 2nd year, you can remove the encircled wire meshing and spread the compost and dig into your ground. It will now be soil down to a depth of 6″ (15.24cm) because of the worm activity and water( you can hand water if irrigation is not doable) that has nourished below your circles!
“This year I’ve used a light sprinkling of 15/15/15 feed to once a week with great results!”
“Mind you, I talk to them as well!” quipped Liz Crichton, “and I always ask before I pick and use www.moonandgarden.com“. The Moon & Garden is guided by the moon’s influence. Avery nifty application (French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch) as your coordinator to optimize your daily ‘best to do’ organic gardening by using biodynamics to use earth’s energy of the sun and moon enhanced with your personalized recording of Calendar, Gallery and action Alarms.
However, this is not a new-fangled idea amongst the traditional farmers in this valley. When we first moved to our Finca (2005), Partida de San Bernabe’, our neighbours aka. vecinos, came across to see what small vegetable plants for sewing I had just proudly bought. (I say proudly as my run of Spanish verbiage was almost non-existant!) He muttered away through his toothless grin in Catalan -no normal, no no- HIs wife explained in Spanish that I must only plant according to the moon cycle as his grandfathers had always done –Siempre– I considered myself rightly told off!
“Lockdown in Catalonia” since March 16th and counting. It is a necessary and essential means to justify and contain this pandemic. Yet, out of this disaster the true values of living are being pushed to the surface, like young plants in spring. They have been buried for too long.
It is a time of not only unity in the Ebro River valley communities: forming new friendships (be it digital or otherwise); taking time to revive family talk-time; dusting off the old chess set that has been sat on top of the wardrobe for too long; but also a period of inner reflection; drawing on the deeper strengths of our character ; exploring new hobbies and crafts; reading and studying; paying respects, thanks and gratitude to all our health care professionals and workers and the bio-technological researchers racing against time to find a vacinal cure.
So, I ponder on the Zen of life by taking a word and digesting it letter by letter in my thoughts’ recipe.
E =B = R = O =V = O = I = C= E
E = Ebro River is the essence of life to our valley, mountains, towns and Delta. The essence of your day depends on you. Think about it!
B = Believe in yourself, then others will too.
R = Remember / reflections – that silence is sometimes the best answer. Hum along to the old song “The Sounds of Silence” or as my old Mum used to say, “Silence is golden.”
O = Open your arms to change and opportunities, open your thoughts to new mediums and open your eyes to what is going on around you. We cannot be an oyster in times like these. Shine like an opal for others.
V = Visualize it!Venture out of your comfort zones. The virtual world engulfs us in isolation. Use it to your advantage especially if you are alone. Learn to play chess or scrabble online you will make many new friends. If you have land go grow some vegetables. I know we can’t pop down to garden centres, but we all eat veggies and can grow new vegetables the old fashioned way or how we did so as kids. Carrots/beetroot/onion toppings, or even aubergine and garlic-they all grow out of nothing. Potatoes propagate in a pot just by cutting one up into cubes. Red,yellow, green peppers taste them, visualize them as you cover the seed head under compost.
O = Opinions tread carefully here. Our opinion may not be the same as someone else’s. There is no right or wrong. In this period of containment we are living in close quarters with others. Feelings run high and patience expires quickly. A colloquial expression that is very appropriate here is; Put your brain into gear, before opening your mouth. ( I need to often remind myself of this.)
I = If opportunity doesn’t come knocking, build a door. We all have intelligence, different levels but we can expand them. We may have to be inside, but we don’t have to live 24/7 inside our own thoughts. Communicate, share inter-cultural activities (digital or otherwise) and remember knowledge is only as powerful as the next person you share it with . That is intelligence!
I think the ‘Balcony singers of Italy’ were so inspirational to the nation and Europe – it soon caught on and viral orchestras and operas have given so much pleasure to so many people – ‘Grazie mille italiani’.
C = Compassion / consideration /commitment/control. All very powerful words use them in your actions cleverly. Don’t complain about being bored. Everyday get up, get dressed, make your bed and do something. It doesn’t matter what. Just do something!
E = Expressions /excitement/excel/enlighten/encouragement . Look around you and see how a smile can change the whole day of an old person or a child. Encourage others at home to live and not just go about grumpily. Excel in learning new things from others young and old. When someone doesn’t know or understand something in a second, third or even their home language enlighten them or teach them how to use Thesaurus. Encourage your youngsters keep a scrapbook, journal and adults to can write down the humour as well as horrors and sprinkle with ideas on how they kept themselves amused and others with hyperlinks and images. I’m sure there will be a film coming out after all of this.
Embrace the family you have – near and far. In these horrifically, scary times we are living in some people may lose all their loved ones. Be grateful for all the odds and sods, warts and kisses too.
Charlie Brown summed it all up: “Keep looking up – that’s the secret of life.”
Credits: Thank you kindly to Claudia Tapalagas for this tranquil scenery of our beautiful River Ebro.
At Camarles this Saturday 29th July, 2017 from 9am-1pm is an antique/craft sale where we will be selling a variety of homemade, delicious edibles and art items.
Be sure to get there early if you want a bottle of “No Mas Moscas” (fly repellent) as the word spreads of its effectiveness, it is selling very fast!
We are running an end of the month try it special (only a few more days left on offer) on our homemade, ecological goat cheese buy 1 get 1 free. It can be used as a delicious alternative to soft cheese, cream cheese or sour cream in any recipe, topping for pizza or baked potato or eaten fresh with crackers or bread. It also freezes well so stock up now during this one time special!
All of our products are made with love. We’ve been told you can taste it and as we are there each week we take requests for colors on the art projects and flavor combinations in the homemade cheese. We use almost exclusively organic herbs from our own garden and wild ones from our land. We can make vegetarian cheese on request as our in stock stuff has a quarter of a gram of cuajo per cheese along with a bifidous culture and milk from our own goats plus our homegrown herbs and that’s it no chemicals, no salt (except dried Parmesan style) and nothing else. We grow oregano, basil, cinnamon basil, chives, sage, tarragon and harvest wild garlic, wild thyme and wild Rosemary.
Born in the beautiful high Alps and rivers of Austria, TranQuini® epitomizes the image of relief you look for in a refreshing, revitalizing and calming drink. Even their tagline Positively Relaxed is prominent on all their packaging to help drive this message home.
Tranquil or tranquillity image – a perfect name with an international flavor that travels well across the globe and nestles in well throughout Europe, mingling among roots from all the romance languages – tranquilo(a), tranquilidad, (Sp. & It.) or tranquille(Fr.) where the mountains kiss the Mediterranean shorelines.
This product name is so easy to pronounce and remember, even though it is a coined word. The drink has such a smooth name, that easily rolls off the tongue. Indeed, a memorably named new drink. I wonder if it tastes as good as it sounds!
Full of herbal extracts, tasty teas and natural fruit juices oozing with Vitamin B12 it delights, excites and re-enhances your positive energy levels while encouraging relaxation. Thus, it is a very clever marketing ploy that they package two cans in a gift box with a pair of flip-flop sandals, that silently shouts “beach time – let’s go unwind.” The alliteration expands more with the thought it creates of Tranquini – bikini time.
This is where a blend of product naming doesn’t fall far from the apple tree – the company name!