matasellos [noun, m] postmark
(Photo by the very talented Helen Haden on Flickr.)
I’m writing this from a rooftop café in central Madrid with views over the royal palace, the cathedral, the traffic and chaos of Gran Vía, and lush green Casa de Campo in the background. I’m here with Chus, María Jesús, my creativity buddy. We meet once a month (sometimes twice) to get our heads down and have a whole morning of pure creativity. Chus has been known to bring her paintset along on occasion. 🙂
Chus has just been updating me on her progress over the last month. She’s been sending off her poems, stories, paintings and illustrations for entry into art competitions and literary contests of all kinds.
“Normalmente, tienes que entregar antes de una hora específica pero para el último concurso les valía con el matasellos–”
I had to stop her right there.
“¿El qué?” (Not a Scooby.)
“¿No sabes lo que es el matasellos?”
Turns out to be the word for what we call in English the postmark – the ink mark that is stamped over the stamp you stick on an envelope when you send a letter. Yes, and that was as tricky and wordy for Chus to explain to me in Spanish (hand gestures and all) as it was for me to describe it to you, thanks to the dual meaning of the word “sello” meaning “stamp” that you stick on the envelope and “stamp” that you, er, stamp the postage stamp with. (I wonder if I could get the word stamp into that sentence any more times. Stamp stampy-stamp stamp. Pos claro.)
Anyway, after a quiet couple of months, it looks like I’m blogging again folks. That’s the beauty of a creativity day – inspiration springs up out of the most unexpected places. One reason for my dry spell is that I’ve been writing intermediate level materials, which could hopefully help people that are struggling with getting to grips with the real Spanish spoken in this fabulous country. I’m going to publish my intermediate stuff separately from this blog, and continue to post ñerdy stuff here as and when I feel inspired. So whaddyareck, folks? How many of you are true ñerdies and how many of you would prefer intermediate level (or even beginner level) nuggets of real Spanish? How often do you want to hear from me? Ebook, blog, podcast or video content? (Yep, I’m really considering shaking things up around here. Gulp!) Answers on a postcard please – con matasellos antes del fin del mes. 😉