Con arreglo al …..cocidito madrileño

Yes, I´m afraid the title of this post is Real Academia Española level Spanish.   I hope to get to its meaning by the end of this post.

I just got the following message from Malassie, aged 12.  It´s from the school AMPA, or PTA.  After the initial, the accompanying and the unnecessary blah blah, it goes like this:

“…os convocamos a la Asamblea General Ordinaria de esta Asociación que se celebrará el próximo día 9 de noviembre de 2011 (miércoles), a las 18:00 horas, en segunda convocatoria, en la Biblioteca del Instituto, supuesto que no se darán las condiciones para celebrarla en primera convocatoria, que por esta misma queda convocada a las 17:30 horas del mismo día y en el mismo lugar, con arreglo al siguiente…”

What follows is the ORDEN DEL DÍA or list of issues to be dealt with at the meeting.


What´s it mean?  What time to I need to be there, half five or six?

Six, surely, with all the underlining and bold text.


According to my husband, who enjoys, not only the condition of Spanishness but of Court Translator, the meeting´s at five thirty.

So what´s all this segunda and primera convocatoria stuff?

If everybody shows up at half five the meeting goes ahead. If not enough folk show up at half five, the meeting waits till six.  So we should all try and show up at half five.

And maybe have to wait till six till everybody´s there.

So maybe I´ll give myself another half an hour to lie moribund on the sofa after my big, mid-day meal then mosey on down for six.

After all, as they´ve kindly informed us, the second convocatoria (or time – why don´t they just call it that?), which is the new time of the meeting, has been superceded by the first convocatoria, which was the initial time of the meeting, now not contemplated since some folk might turn up late and therefore we must ….

No wait, hubby informs me that the meeting was ALWAYS going to be at five thirty, but you can show up till six.

After six, you´re LATE!

So, do you get in or not?

There´s a song called Cocidito madrileño in which a very great fuss is made of a basic and typical Madrid “delicacy” of the same name.  It´s a poor folks´stew, made up of very simple and uncomplicated ingredients such as chickpeas, cabbage and an arreglo of ham bones, boiling beef and sausages.  Anybody can cook it, but they make a big song and dance about it.

Malassie´s school meeting is of a similar nature. It´s a PTA meeting in a Secondary School of a small provincial town to discuss a couple of issues pertaining to the activities planned for this coming year. But they turn it into Masterchef.

Here, the arreglo to be added to the basic meeting ingredients is the reading and approval, SI PROCEDE (if approval is given) of the minutes of the previous Assembly, the presentation and approval of the Management Board of the Association, Economic information, information on planned activities and questions.

And “due to the importance of the issues to be dealt with, we´re counting on your presence in this Assembly.”

I´ll be there, at half five probably.

And I don´t know what my post title means.

My head is completely boiled by Madrid.


I just found this great explanation of the whole idiotic subject, in Spanish.




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