Thursday, December 18, 2003

As Christmas approaches, the whole of Spain gears up for next week’s bumper lottery. This is called El Gordo (The Fat One) and, if my maths is right, a ticket cost 200 Euros. But you can buy parts of a ticket, down to quite a low price for, say, a 20th. The prizes are equally humungous and the press coverage correspondingly vast. Last year one of our local papers devoted 26 pages to it, including an analysis of where the prizes had gone in Spain and lengthy complaints that Galicia had deserved more after the Prestige oil slick disaster. This year there was a frisson of something a week or so ago when it was revealed that the tall, bald man in the national ad campaign was a Brit and not a Spaniard. I think the subtext was that Spain has quite enough bald men of its own, some of them quite possibly quite tall. This is in contrast to white-haired men, who are thin on the ground. As a happy snow-top myself, I am somewhat suspicious of this state of affairs and put it down to liberal use of pomade.

By the way, the average spend per person on the lottery in the Province of Pontevedra will be 50 Euros. We know this because the Government Tax Office issues the tickets on a quota basis to each region/province. Unlike in the UK, they must get their cut.

I had a curry dinner at my house last night for seven guests plus me and my two daughters. In the end, we had a mere three guests. This was because my elder daughter’s boyfriend had forgotten that he was playing a football match at 11pm (sic) and because the other three males turned up without their wives. Needless to say, no explanation or apology was offered, this sort of thing being common in Spain. No wonder legions of Spanish women ask me if it is true that British men make much better husbands than Spanish men. My answer is that it is all relative. Since the divorce rate in the UK is even higher than in Spain and since 60% of divorces there are initiated by the wife, it is clear that British women are not much happier with their spouses than their Spanish sisters. On the other hand, it is possible to imagine Spanish women being unimaginably happy with the British rejects. Especially if it is true, as claimed, that a whopping 40% of Spanish women have never experienced an orgasm. Perhaps there is a business opportunity here. Move over Russian Brides. Make way for British Hubbies.

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