Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One of them zip a dee doo dah days!

Song of the south was possibly the movie I enjoyed most as a child. I had become fascinated with the Uncle Remus stories from reading my sister Ann's books. That old Brer Rabbit and his friends were larger than life itself! I still enjoy seeing that opening sequence with the blue birds and Uncle Remus.

The birds of northern Spain have provided much needed company in the course of the last year.

We have had the European roller, Bee eaters, Finches galore, Dipper, Robins , Swallows, Jays, Magpies, and others too numerous to mention.

The rollers put on the early morning show along with the finches. The atmosphere changes in mid morning with the arrival of the birds of prey, a variety of hawks hunting the smaller birds.

The kitchen fitter from Figueres, we had employed on our home, was amazed to see four eagles riding the thermal currents above the finca, a familiar sight to ourselves.

On another occaision, I watched in amazement when a flight of swallows rose into the air high above Ordis to drive away a golden eagle.

Working in the finca is always a pleasure surrounded by these colourful creatures.

Everybody sing along now.............


Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my what a wonderful day!
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird on my shoulder
It's the truth, it's actch'll
Ev'rything is satisfactch'll
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!


The movie 'The Twin Towers'’, part of the 'Lord of the Rings' was shown on Spanish television and provided an opportunity for me to test my theory. My theory that it was possible to learn the language in an enjoyable way.

This after all was a story I was familiar with from both the book and the movie. Well known characters from the story would speak perfect Spanish, as I read the corresponding text from the subtitles below thereby reinforcing my learning of the language; simple but brilliant!

I had equipped my new language lab with all the essentials, a wide-screen T.V. with remote control, copious amounts of ice cold beer, and a variety of junk food to snack on. Oh! And the not quite so important pencil and paper, dictionary etc. This would be the deluxe learning package; maybe I should patent my new method.

The story unfolded as expected and I tried to follow the Spanish text, though this was often interrupted by pop up ads for forthcoming football matches and other programmes. Still that provided an opportunity for further refreshments to be enjoyed.

As the movie continued the text seemed to be quite succinct compared to the actors spoken words; paraphrasing important dialogue possibly kept the flow but lost the subtlety of the script.

Later as I watched a scene involving the hobbits Sam and Frodo, the discrepancies were more apparent.

Frodo Spoken Spanish, '‘yakity yak yakity yak yakity yakity yakity yak: yakity yak yakity yak yakity yak yakity yak Sam'

Frodo text version '‘Sam'’.

The further into the movie I watched the worse it got, I formed the opinion that the sub title writer was watching another channel, flicking backwards and forwards on his remote control with little interest in the story. My experiment had failed!