I don't know if you have heard many Cuckoos (cuco común) this year, but where I live they have been noticeable by their scarcity. It is a bird whose population has been declining rapidly in the UK and over there it is on the red list for conservation concern - definitely not good news.
The death of the Spanish king Charles II in 1700, childless and heirless, led to a war of succession between the supporters of the Austrian Habsburgs and those of the French Bourbon dynasty.
In an attempt to capture the City of Murcia, a combined British and Dutch force faced against the Spanish garrison on September 4th 1706 on what is now the district of Santa María de Garcia, Murcia. The victory of the Spanish army led by Bishop Luis de Belluga at the Battle of the "Huerto de las Bombas" helped turn the tide of the war in favor of the Bourbons, which have held the Spanish Crown to this day.
Since 2015, the Municipal Board of Santa María de Garcia - San Antonio has been working on the recovery of our historical heritage.
To commemorate this important moment in our history, the Municipal Board will hold a conference panel with renowned historians in the halls of the Real Casino de Murcia, on Wednesday September 6th from 7.30pm.
On Saturday morning, September 9th, the Municipal Board will set up an Outdoor Exhibition in the gardens where the battle took place, from 12pm. Along with explanatory panels and a diorama that reproduces the battle, a group of historical re-enactors dressed in authentic period costume will help explain the events. The board will also provide an English translation of the panels for the visitors.
At 12.30pm a Memorial Service will be held and a plaque will be unveiled to serve not only as a commemoration of the battle, but also to pay homage to the combatants of both sides.
All activities are free and open to the public, and from 2.15pm visitors and participants will be greeted with free paella and refreshments.
Programme of Events
Battle of the "Huerto de las Bombas" 2017
Wednesday September 6th
12pm - Press Conference and official presentation of the poster
Venue - Municipal Center of Sta. Maria de Gracia, San Antonio.
7.30pm - Panel Discussion on the importance of the Battle of the "Huerto de las Bombas" for the War of Spanish Succession.
Venue - Real Casino of Murcia.
Saturday September 9th
12pm - Opening of the Exhibition.
12.30pm - Memorial Service and Unveiling the Commemorative Plaque.
2.15pm - Paella and refreshments for the visitors.
Venue - Plaza Bohemia, Murcia.
We are still looking through the various changes that are made to verbs in the Present Tense. We are on 'standard' verbs and last month we tackled the '-er' group, with our basic example of the verb 'comer' meaning 'to eat'.
The important thing to remember is that the 'root' of the verb remains the same; in this case 'com' and the endings follow a strict pattern to indicate the person who eats. These changes are always laid out in a group of six (1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular, 1st 2nd and 3rd person plural) and we call this pattern a 'conjugation'.
The last thing we commented on was that there are a few of these standard '-er' verbs that make a slight alteration to the first person singular form. This does not mean that they are 'irregular', because they obey all the other rules exactly; they just have this one little idiosyncrasy and there is usually a good reason for it as well.
Now we're going to look at four of these and attempt to explain them. If the explanation doesn't mean a lot to you, you've always got the option of just learning the verb form in the spirit of acceptance "That's how they say it; just that's how I have to say it too". I just prefer to explain the reasons if I can because it might help some people to make sense of them.
The first two verbs are 'caer' (to fall) and 'hacer' (to do or to make). These are standard verbs and follow the pattern we learnt last month; that is adding endings on to the roots 'ca' and 'hac'. In the first person singular though, they change to caigo (I fall) and hago (I do, I make). Both these changes are to do with ease of speech. 'cao' on its own would be hard to get across (especially when you're falling!) and in the case of 'hacer', there is an issue to do with the sound change to the letter 'c' before the ending 'o'. As we go forward we will see that quite a few first person verb changes involve the letter 'g' in its harder form and this is an easy sound to make.
Another change is 'I see', which, according to our rules, should be 'vo', but it isn't. 'I see' is in fact 'veo'. If you are around Spanish children at all, or English children in Spanish schools, you can play the Spanish version of 'I spy with my little eye' with them (it's a really good game for learning new vocabulary!) The game starts 'Veo, veo' '¿Qué ves?' (I see, I see. What do you see?) You can ask them to teach you the rest of the game; it might help you to remember 'veo' (I see).
Lastly, we are going to look at a first person singular form that is totally regular in speech, but has to make a spelling adjustment so we can read it correctly. This is the verb 'coger' which means 'to pick up' which, you will realize, is pronounced with that throaty Scottish 'ch' sound. Again we have a pronunciation problem here caused by the letter 'g' being followed by an 'o' in the first person. If we were to write 'cogo' it would then read incorrectly, so to preserve the sound of the word we have to spell it 'cojo'. Now when we read it, it sounds completely regular, along with the rest of the verb changes.
I hope all of that made sense. If it didn't, just remember 'caigo' (I fall), 'hago' (I do, I make), 'veo' (I see) and 'cojo' (I pick up) and that I told you these minor blips on the landscape of standard '-er' verbs. Stick with it! We're on to '-ir' verbs next month!
Jane Cronin's "Step by Step Spanish" articles are available as e-books at www.janecronin.eu where you can also obtain Jane's "Step by Step Internet Spanish" course.
As a kid I remember spending hours flicking through my book of European birds and marvelling at all the exotic looking ones that could be seen in mainland Europe.
Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do, but there ain't no cure for the summertime blues. Oh yes there is! Hit the road, spin the wheels and sing out loud. Wherever you're going, let 'em know you're coming! Make it memorable.
We are still at the early stages of our mission to learn about the Present Simple tense and how it is formed. Remember that verbs in the Present Simple are divided into three categories – standard, root-changing and irregular.