Sunday, May 01, 2005

Two things Spain is blessedly free of are a tabloid press and a greetings card industry. But I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the latter, at least, blights our lives. That said, most Spanish families still live cheek by jowl so there’s not a great deal of incentive to send a card to someone you see at least once a day.

Meanwhile, though, I read today that in the UK one can buy a wide variety of cards which would have been scandalous only a generation ago. These include ‘Happy Christmas to my Mum and boyfriend’ and ‘Happy Wedding to my Parents’. Personally, I am shocked. Why should ‘Mum’ merit a capital letter, whereas ‘boyfriend’ doesn’t? Is British society now so emasculated that this sort of thing is allowed to happen without street riots?

Today is Mothers’ Day here and, although we may not yet have a card for the occasion, we do have advertising campaigns in all the media. There is a cartoon in one paper today which highlights the rampant commercialism of all this by showing a businessman sucking on a breast while hundreds of shoppers stampede into a store. IKEA possibly. As ever, we know it’s a greedy businessman because he's wearing a tailcoat and a very tall stovepipe hat. This image of the 1930s has cleared seared itself into the Spanish collective consciousness.

At the bottom of the artificial hill down the road [see yesterday’s blog], there’s now a flimsy barrier closing off the pavement and road in what I suspect would be a futile attempt to protect pedestrians and drivers in the event of a landslide. This appeared very shortly after I took the photo that’s on my web page. A coincidence, no doubt. No one thought it necessary during the previous 6 days of work

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