Irish-Language

Life is a beach where you can forget about all your troubles - for a while anyway

La playa: One of the beaches in Alicante which are havens for people escaping the hustle and bustle of everday life, tourists and locals alike. April has been a good month to visit as the city and beaches aren’t at all over-crowded
La playa: One of the beaches in Alicante which are havens for people escaping the hustle and bustle of everday life, tourists and locals alike. April has been a good month to visit as the city and beaches aren’t at all over-crowded La playa: One of the beaches in Alicante which are havens for people escaping the hustle and bustle of everday life, tourists and locals alike. April has been a good month to visit as the city and beaches aren’t at all over-crowded

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh, a chairde, hola to all my Hispanic friends and welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish, live from Alicante.

Wabi-sabi is not the dangerously hot green stuff you get with your sushi, but the Japanese idea of the beauty of the imperfect.

Sitting here ar an trá - on the beach in Alicante, he is seeing it all in action.

There are two words for a body in Irish - corp and colainn and there is an enormous variety of human form on display here as it glides across the sand or dances like a demented dervish due to a lack of flip-flops.

Others are better prepared. Hata gréine - sun hat, check.

Uachtar gréine - sun cream, check. Spéiclí gréine - sunnies, check.

Then there is beach attire.

There was a time when the sight of a Spanish woman’s shoulders or her knees was banned in Spain – right up until the 1950s.

Here in the south of Spain where an teocht - the temperature can reach the 40s Celsius in the summer, that was of course very oppressive, but things changed when the mayor of Benidorm – allegedly – went to see Franco and asked him to permit the wearing of the bikini on Benidorm’s beaches.

El caudillo said and so Benidorm and Alicante became the first beaches in Spain where one could get an all-over tan, almost.

Sitting on my cathaoir shuaimhnis - lounger, I can see men in cultacha snámha - swim suits of all colours, women in bikinis and cultachta aonphíosa - one-pieces.

Some mná óga - young women come out of the water like Ursula Andress in Dr No; others are more like Jabba the Hutt, but not as graceful.

Some of the guys would have been recruited by dealbhóirí Rómhánacha - Roman sculptors because of their body shape while others just look like your Da, ag titim chun mearóige - getting a wee beer belly and blagaid ag teacht air - going bald.

Still, no matter what body shape they are, the people around me seem to be having a great time.

Tá gasúr óg ag caitheamh uisce ar a Mhamaí - a young boy is throwing water on his mother who chases him, much to his delight.

Lánúin óg - a young couple re-enact a scene from Love Island; the topless granny beside me lovingly puts Ambre Solaire on her husband’s back.

A waitress walks on the sand with a tray of Sangria to sell.

Children throw beach balls to each other while the sun shines benignly down from above.

Life is a beach. Some are happy to enjoy bolg le grian - sunbathing, others love the thrill of ag snámh san fharraige - swimming in the sea, some like reading books by John Grisham or his Spanish equivalent.

It is all such an éalú glórmhar - a glorious escape – however temporary – from the cost of living crisis, grey skies, a hopeless political situation and the worries of everyday life that beset most of us.

So damn you, Geography. A couple of latitudes to the south and Ireland could be like this. Goodbye Guinness, hello Sex on the Beach.

(It’s a manglam - a cocktail to the innocent amongst you.)

Home tomorrow. Sigh!

CÚPLA FOCAL

ar an trá (er un traa) - on the beach 

corp (corp) - a body

colainn(colain) - a body

tá éagsúlacht mhór (taa aygsoolakht wore) - there is a big variety

hata gréine (hata graynya) - sun hat

uachtar gréine(ooakhter graynya) - sun cream

spéiclí gréine (spayklee graynya) - sunnies

an teocht (un chawkht) - the temperature

cultacha snámha (cultaha smaowa) - swim suits

cultachta aonphíosa (cultaha aynfeesa) - one-pieces

mná óga (mraa awga) - young women

dealbhóirí Rómhánacha(jalaworee rowanaha) - Roman sculptors 

ag titim chun mearóige (eg chitchim hun maroyga) - getting a wee beer belly

blagaid ag teacht air (blagadge eg chakht er) - going bald

Tá gasúr óg ag caitheamh uisce ar a Mhamaí (taa gasoor awg eg kyhoo ishka er a waamee) - a young boy is throwing water on his mother

lánúin óg (lanoo-in awg) - a young couple

bolg le grian (bulag le greean) - sunbathing

ag snámh san fharraige (eg snaow san arreega) - swimming in the sea

éalú glórmhar (ayloo glorewar) - a glorious escape 

manglam (manglam) - a cocktail