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Tuesday, 13 September 2011


In George Mikes' How To Be An Alien he talks about people on the continent wearing their best on Sunday and folk in England wearing their worst. I must admit that this is still true at least in my parents' house as I witnessed my father, who is the owner of many jumpers, wearing his 'favourite' with the elbow missing. I thought it might be just attention seeking but judging from the state of his Barbour jacket, the opposite of the ones I see here in Spain, I think it is just the norm with him. British people have a strange dress sense. In big cities people look quite slim and sophisticated but miserable and self obsessed. Go further afield and look around you in the post office queue and everyone looks like they are wearing their pyjamas with a dash of autism. However, I did my own study last night, inspired by my aunt who I mentioned before with her own 'survey' and had a butcher's at the crowds milling around outside the Cafe Centrale here in the centre of town. Admittedly it was two o'clock in the morning and in the rough end of 'El Tubo' and my investigation led me to believe that most people here have no idea how to dress either but in a different way to the English or the Brits. It's still 'Cardiff with a suntan' or maybe Merthyr Tydfil, with the shortest of skirts with high heels for women and the men wear their trousers on the hip with very few adopting the trousers round their arse look which is slowly creeping in. I'm trying to remember my most ridiculous outfit or look from my salad days and I guess it would have to be the amount of make-up I once wore which had some small children telling me I looked like a clown. There is also a fading memory of some Dr Marten shoes that I thought looked lovely with my dress. 

There are a couple of condemned houses on our street and they have been for some time. This didn't stop a family moving in and living there for a couple of years. From time to time as I walked past these houses I would remember that they were about to collapse but when in Rome do as the Romans do, which here means nothing. On Saturday nobody was allowed to walk up our road as one of the buildings had given up and partially collapsed. Nobody was killed for a change, and the latest is that well yes, they will have to be pulled down. I presume they got the family out and the caged birds they had pinned to the side of the walls. It will be interesting to see how many police and fire folk will be needed for the espectaculo. The other day I counted about twenty milling around. I am sure there will be lots of men congregating with their hands behind their backs, the same ones who appear whenever there is a big hole in the road.

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