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Spanish names

Spaniards have two surnames - the first surname comes from the father and the second surname is the first surname of the mother. So if Juan Martínez Escudero and Marta Villanueva Cortés have a child then she or he will be called Something Martínez Villanueva. On a day to day basis the first surname is the one used - the double barrelled version is used for Sunday best.

Now there are lots of variations on this basic theme. For instance it is possible to reverse the order of the surnames - in the above case to give Something Villanueva Martínez. Or it is possible to carry forward a compound surname - Something Martínez-Escudero Villanueva. There are many more possibilities.

At times this causes Maggie and me some difficulties. Lots of times telephone sales people want to talk to Señor John (from Christopher John Thompson) and it can be quite difficult using a Spanish Internet site as many of them ask for your first and second surname and absolutely refuse to let you leave the spaces blank or put in some non obtrusive character, such as a dash or underscore. I'm sure that plenty of organisations here must think I'm related to Malcolm X in some way - Christopher Thompson X

Someone had told me that there were restrctions on first names too - that they had to be "Biblical" but I was put right on this the other day. The law apparently says a child can only have one compound first name or two simple first names and that those names can't be diminuitives nor can they be family nicknames. They can't they be names that "aren't real" or make it difficult to identify a person or cause confusion in relation to the sex of the person. 

So in Spain there are can't be anyone named after the whole of the 1976 cup winning Manchester City squad, it has to be William and Benjamin not Bill and Ben, no Lords, no Blankets nor Apples and no boys named Sue. Furthermore you can't decide to call all your sons George (unless all the earlier Georges have died) and it has to be a Spanish name not a translated variant - so Maria not Mary and José not Joseph. 

I don't suppose this law avoids the Spanish equivalents of names like Nebuchednezzar and Ezekiel but at least it would stop children being saddled with those trendy names that become an embarassment to them as soon as they get to school. Then again all of those Beckies, Vickies, Toms and Bobs would be in trouble.


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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.