June 15th, 2009


Tuigim anois

I guess that the idiom of "to twig" meaning "to understand" originates in a direct lift from the Irish verb "tuigeann".

Do you know what I mean?

I am familiar with the phrase "to twig" or "to twig on" meaning "to understand"
I have never heard anyone using this phrase, you are making it up


Telecoms package latest

I was off work for most of last week, but clearing my inbox have found this press release from the Czech government (currently holding the EU presidency), published last Thursday (11 June):
Presidency Press Statement on the state of play regarding the ‘telecoms package’

The Council of the European Union today held an informal discussion on the state of play regarding the ‘telecoms package’. The Member States consider this set of legislative proposals very important, not least because of the current economic downturn and the role the sector of information and communication technologies can play in mitigating its impact. The Council agrees that the three proposals of the ‘telecoms package’ should be adopted as soon as possible.

That is also why the Council, represented by the Czech Presidency, had spared no effort in intense discussions with the European Parliament on the package earlier this year, and finally reached a compromise solution with the Parliament’s negotiators on 28 April. However, in a plenary session on 6 May, the European Parliament adopted one provision (known as amendment 138 or 46) that runs counter to the agreement.

The Council is ready to work towards a solution of this last outstanding problem and looks forward to working with the newly appointed European Parliament during conciliation. However, the Council cannot take any formal position at present, since the Parliament has still not officially informed the Member States about its second reading position.
I suspect this is more an attempt by the caretaker technocratic Czech government to explain to the more impatient member states (ie France) why they haven't done anything about it, rather than an attempt to nudge the new European Parliament into changing its mind. Will keep watching this space though.

June Books 9) The Last Dodo, by Jacqueline Rayner

Another solid enough Tenth Doctor novel from Rayner (I haven't checked, but she must by now be one of the most prolific of Who writers, combining books and audio). In a slightly confusing stylistic quirk, about half of the book is told by Martha Jones in the first person, while most of the rest is also from her point of view but in the third person in varying degrees of tightness. This does give us odd moments of nice characterisation like this:
‘Doctor!’ Vanni said (people do that, you know. It’s always ‘Doctor!’ Never ‘Martha!’ Same with villains. ‘Get the Doctor and the girl!’ Oh well, maybe one day it’ll be ‘Get Martha and the man!’ and he’ll know what it feels like to be the anonymous spare part. Not that I actually want to be captured by villains or anything, I should point out).
Which is more of a meditation on the companion's lot than we are used to. As usual (as I'm beginning to realise) a slightly out-of-nowhere ending, but basically a decent addition to the shelves.

June Books 10) To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

Some day, or set of days, I shall have a nice long holiday in a temperate climate without too many distractions, and immerse myself in Proust, Ulysses and Virginia Woolf. As communicator predicted when I read Mrs Dalloway, I very much enjoyed To the Lighthouse, with its intense description of two days separated by years and a war, but its not really the kind of book to fit into my commuting, or to get to grips with over a hot weekend when one is cooking lunch for guests. It requires, and I suspect rewards, patient concentration; and yet is only 150 pages long. Very easy to pick up, very difficult to properly absorb. (Perhaps this is one book that might work well in audio format.)