There is a persistent urban legend that claims the prevalence of the ‘thhhh’ sound in cerveza (funny how beer is the first example that springs to mind!) in Castilian Spanish can be traced back to a Spanish king who spoke with a lisp, and thus his subjects felt duty bound to follow him. This myth has been discredited by scholars for lack of evidence but I wonder whether they were right…
I ask myself this as I now have a lisp and have had it for a couple of weeks; perhaps my allegiance to King Pedro of Castile has been latent and has now surfaced? It certainly has made ordering a beer in ‘Barthelona’ easier and as for reading ‘Therevantes’ well, that’s a doddle.
There are, however, drawbacks as I found out last week when I had to give presentations in public; people look at you oddly and, in my case, say ‘He’s even scarier than he normally is!” But more about this later.
The presentations I gave were at FIREX International, the mega fire trade show by UBM at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. I had to give two back-to-back presentations which, at my age, is a mental strain! I guess the drop in audience for the latter one on Fire Service Trading is a reflection of this! At this stage I have to award the Ellicott Prize for Perseverance to Malcolm Brightman of Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service who sat through both and is living proof that my presentations are not a total cure for insomnia. Malcolm I’m next presenting at…
From the FIA’s point of view, FIREX International was a success with plenty of visitors to our stands, plus we won the Charity Quiz! Any further innuendos about a fix will not be tolerated; indeed, such unkind comments could warrant a visit from me with both presentations.
Back to the ‘even scarier’ comment that possibly was generated by the fact that I have a front tooth missing at the moment; these run ins with the Chief Fire Officers Association can be hazardous and as one Chief Fire Officer said to me ‘You look really scary with your tie done up and as for that poking your tongue through the gap well’. His brigade has been signed up for the Ellicott 2013 summer reading of ‘Oranges are not the only fruit’ so they can remove the pith- that is assuming that they stay awake…
01 July 2019
By David Smith, FIA, FIRESA Secretary
08 March 2019
By Catherine Oliver, Content Executive
08 February 2019
By Robert Thilthorpe, FIA Technical Manager