I’m very fond of Spanish hardware stores. Or ironmongers as I think they used to be called in the UK. They are appealingly old-fashioned and will, for example, sell you one screw if that’s all you want. But there’s another side to this charm. Six weeks ago I tried to get an item I’d seen in the window of one particular store. Come back at the end of August, they said, as supplies would be disrupted by the annual 3 week fiesta. So I duly returned this week, to be told it still wasn’t in stock and I should pop in every week until it was. If there was any suggestion they’d order it for me, I missed it. My conclusion was that, if one shop doesn’t have what you want, then your best option is to time-consumingly try all the others in town as any promise of availability is worthless. Perhaps this is because the shopkeeper doesn’t trust the shopper to return so won’t risk being caught with an item. All very self-perpetuating, of course.
In my blog of 11 September I asked whether we’d soon see football matches sponsored by one of Spain’s ubiquitous brothels. Well, not quite but last weekend a match involving Deportiva La Coruña was disrupted when 4 or 5 young women stripped off their tops to reveal naked torsos on which, bizarrely, had been painted shirts in the colours of the team. And on their backs? Why an ad for a local brothel! Needless to say - because of the bare breasts - Spanish TV gave the incident maximum publicity.
By the way, I’ve been accused [‘tellingly’] of returning rather frequently to the issue of prostitution in Spain. Absolutely true, but can I really be blamed, against this backcloth? Perhaps I wouldn’t if I patronised them.