matasellos [noun, m] postmark

First class Cally! small

En el matasellos se puede ver claramente la fecha y hora a la que se envió la carta.

(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?

Ni idea.

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. 😉




4 thoughts on “matasellos

  1. tobyo

    fun word!! you could also think of it as the thing that “kills” the stamps? you know “mata los sellos” shortened to “matasellos” 🙂

    which rooftop cafe did you visit so that I can note it for my next trip to Madrid. I had marked down to to go Circulo de Bellas Artes but never made it. perhaps next time 🙂

    1. My Little Spanish Notebook Post author

      Hehe. That’s it – the stamp-killer! The rooftop café we went to is the Gourmet Experience on the top floor of the Corte Inglés in Callao. It’s wonderful. I’ve been there loads recently and never tire of the view. I’ve lived in Madrid for about six years, and STILL not been to the top floor of the Círculo de Bellas Artes. We nearly went on date night last weekend (after the wonderful string quartet concert at the Templo de Debod) but ran out of time. They were showing fireworks at the Retiro for the fiestas (San Isidro). Next year I’m there for sure!

      1. tobyo

        that must be where the keep the different varieties of pimenton? Is that Gourmet Experience new since I was in Madrid 5 years ago? Something else to put on my list for next time 🙂

  2. My Little Spanish Notebook Post author

    No idea about the pimentón, sorry! I think there are four GE’s Madrid (all in in Corte Inglés stores). This is the one on the top floor of the CI in Callao/Gran Vía. I don’t know if it’s new or not. Probably not, but I’ve only recently discovered it, and I can’t stop going there! 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s