Category: Terres de l’Ebre

Evacuees Spanish Civil War -Tortosa.

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One of the highlights of this year’s programme is the forced exile by this unpleasant, unwelcomed Civil War, the evacuated route, those Tortoisins followed away from the bloodiest, most horrific bombing cascaded on them by the Italian fascist aircraft they did endure on April 15, 1938. Twenty tons of bombs fell from the skies, more than in Guernica -the Basque country, on good Friday. Later sadly referred to as Blood Friday.

[Aside: There is so much about my immigrant, beloved Catalonian homeland of seventeen years, that I do not know the history about. Through my writings, readings and research I endeavour to resolve and share it with you, my readers. I apologize profusely for ignoring these facts purely because they were written in Catalan. And why shouldn’t they be? It is their language- it is up to me to conquer and understand it.]

Starting today a week of exhibitions, conferences, book presentations have been coordinated by the Tortosa City council for the second year running. (The covid restriction guidelines have been applied accordingly. )

  • Wednesday 14th, at 7 pm, A Week of Historical Memory from 14 to 19 April. ‘Displaced people from Tortosa, rooted in Vic’ will take place, which aims to follow the path taken by the Tortosa community that settled in the capital of Osona. “We know that many people from the city had to take refuge in Vic, and that is why we will have the dissertation of the Osona historian Xavier Cateura,
  • Thursday 15, the Marcel·lí Domingo library reading club will focus on the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning comic ‘Maus’, which narrates with illustrations the torment of the Jewish community in Nazi Germany. The event, at 7 pm, has limited access due to the covid measures and a place must be reserved at bmd@tortosa.cat or at 977 445 566.
  • Later, at 7.30 pm, in the didactic classroom of the Museu de Tortosa, The second Petjades Awards will be presented, which recognize the research work on historical memory carried out by students at Terres de l’Ebre high schools.
  • The following Friday at 6 pm sharp in the Marcel·lí Domingo library (necessary to reserve space due to limited capacity), the in-person presentation of Víctor Amela’s book ‘Ens robar la joventut‘ {‘We steal the youth.’}
  • Lastly, on Saturday at 12 noon, the inauguration of the exhibition ‘Persecuted and Saved’ (‘Perseguits i salvats’)will take place, organized by Amics i Amigues de l’Ebre at the Museu de l’Ebre. A sample that revisits the journey of the evacuees, through the escape routes of exiles during the Civil War. These same tracks later served the Jewish arrival from their persecution, during World War II.

Ernest Hemingway

There is a fathom of written works out there to delve into and immerse yourself for never-ending hours in history, stories, well-written journalism and biographies. The man I am partial to is Ernest Hemingway. – the more I read his writings the more I want to know. Despite what some may feel that the Civil War is boring to hear about, he was here in Tortosa reporting on thises horrors -read his works!

A Week of Historical Memory from 14 to 19 April.

Councilor Dolors Bel emphasized that “it is important to know our history and delve into what has happened to our environment, to our ancestors”, (“és important conèixer la nostra història i aprofundir en el que ha passat amb el nostre entorn, amb els nostres avantpassats”)

Tortosa remembers!

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ASTRA ZENECA – a brighter name for a brighter solution

Covid-19 Vaccine

Forthcoming vaccine out of Europe as a cure for Covid-19. A giant step forward in the right direction.

Do you ever pause and wonder how linguistic, international naming consultants come up with such awe-inspiring and memorable names?

Product Naming

Naming a great product brand and company names are not achieved by merely throwing random names into the magician’s hat and saying, “white rabbits” and hoping thé name hops across the polished boardroom table. Naming is a carefully crafted process with many years of in-depth knowledge, long hours of study and research into the etymology of word origin related to thoughts and ideas. These are usually requested by directives within the prospective Naming worksheet (hopefully supporting company documentation on product details/corporate images is forthcoming). However, with Start-ups, they may/may not have the marketing knowledge. 

Company Naming

This Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pharmaceutical company’s impressive name came about from a massive merger, of not only 2 great companies, but by design, they co-joined two historic names in the bio-medicinal industry. “AstraZeneca” is a made-up name, formulated by a Naming/Banding agency directed to discover a unique name, trademark free, which began with the first and last letter of our English alphabet letter. Furthermore, phonology must ensure memorability in the customer’s minds, while morphology consisted of no greater than three syllables and without an insulting innuendo in any language.

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/3108924/astrazeneca-ceo-says-coronavirus-vaccine-could-be-ready-december

Yet, how did they originally come up with Two names👉 Astra+ Zeneca👈?

Hmm?😷👀👂🌟💢 👆💡

Zeneca was successfully formed in June 1993 by the demerger of the pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals businesses of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) into a separate company. Oct 17, 2019

Origin of zen

Zen means https://www.yourdictionary.com/zen

It is from Japanese 禅 (zen ぜん).

In Buddhism: A philosophy of calm, reminiscent of that of the Buddhist denomination. Zen focuses on awareness through the practice of meditation to become extremely relaxed and collected.

An approach to an activity, skill, or subject that emphasizes simplicity and intuition rather than conventional thinking or fixation on goals.”

Origin of astral

Astra has deep, poignant roots in the Greek Astron, meaning ‘a star’ = /ˈastr(ə)l/; pertaining to resembling the stars and the importance of astral navigation Also one of the five Greeks gods of the “Wandering Stars” Astra-Planeta = and Astraeus (god of the dusk); their spiritual beings; an existence linking to differing psychic and paranormal phenomena- of which the actual human body is considered a counterpart.

Conclusion

The Oxford counterpart for the Covid-19 seems to be racing against the clock to out-smart Astra Zeneca, as delivering the first vaccine against this awful pandemic virus. We don’t know for 100% surety which will have a more effective cure. Yet, what I do know, is that the name Astra Zeneca does stand out in the crowd and is not in lost in all the other generic names containing “Oxford”. Their name is co-joined. It is unique. It has longevity.

AstraZeneca logo 3D
Designed by Interbrand in 1999

Naming Alphabet Soup 101

(c)Rosie Reay and BrighterNaming

Srixon golf balls

has a soft feel for both male and female professional and amateur players.

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The selection of which golf ball to tee-off with is a personal choice of the player. Srixon has them in both ‘notice-me’ yellow, snow-white or lady-pink, with an appropriate same-slogan on both – soft feel.

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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

  • Sir-icks-on;
  • Sh-ryan;
  • See-ree-on;
  • Six iron -(Where did that come from as syllables are transposed?)

Conclusion.

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.

(c) Naming Alphabet Soup 101: Rosie Reay and www.brighternaming.com

“Country cousins” Tortosa Free-day

Tres amics són tres cosins, tres cerveses … potser!

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!

Sunday evening 16th May beers and tapas in Tortosa Parc




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 with allioli. 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?

(c) Tales from the Ebro River Valley: RosieReay

Ebro Valley crop circles cultivation- Camarles style.

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.

Crop circle preparation

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.

crop circle young lettuce

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.

Crop circle 1st year growth

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!

End of crop circle year 2: Ayrshire potatoes

“This year I’ve used a light sprinkling of 15/15/15 feed to once a week with great results!”

Multi Crop circles

“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.

“May I pick you now, por favor?”

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!

(c)Tales from the Ebro River Valley: RosieReay

EbroVoice -the Zen of Life

Where the local stories flow

“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.

(c)Tales from the Ebro River Valley: RosieReay

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