THIS BEING ENGLAND 1: At 3.30 this afternoon, I thought I'd nip down to the the Sainsbury supermarket before it closed at 4. To find that half of the student population of Headingley had had the same notion. Anyway, accosting two of the store assistants standing by to help the hundreds who can't master the self-checkout machines, I asked them where I could find capers. One of them asked me if I meant 'kippers' and being assured that it really was capers I was after, they both giggled and said they had no idea as they didn't know what they were. Fortunately, another assistant had overheard the conversation and took me to the right shelf.
TBE 2: Yesterday's gloriously sunny autumn day has turned into a dank and dismally damp day as foul as you could imagine. It doesn't help that it's dark by 4.14.
TBE 3: The construction workers transforming a house opposite the supermarket into something as yet undetermined are on the job today and will have finished the project in a little over a week. In Spain, I fancy this would have taken a little longer.
Talking of home . . . What would your guess be for the region of Spain with the most licences to offer flamenco performances? Andalucia perhaps. Well, no. It's Galicia. Where I've yet to see flamenco offered anywhere. Why should this be, I hear you ask? Well, it's because such a licence allows you to stay open until 5.30am and not the 4.30am that disco bars are limited to. The terms of the licence say there must be a raised dais for the performers and no dance floor. I suspect you could search until eternity to find one such place in Galicia, whether or not it has a flamenco licence, There are rules and rules in Spain.
And talking about Galicia . . . Here's a Guardian profile of the Pontevedran who will head the Spanish government after the general elections on 20 November. As the writer says, one of the problems that confront him may require his to employ a stereotypical skill attributed to some Galicians – of doing one thing while persuading people he is actually doing the opposite. Interestingly, a Galician friend has written to me to say he finds the article spot on.
As for the Duke of Palma and his alleged crooked dealings, he's said ‘When I know all the details of the allegations I will make a full statement’, adding that his professional behaviour had always been correct. The Palace, meanwhile, has attempted to distance itself from the monarchs' son-in-law, saying that if he's indicted, he'll have to defend himself ‘like any other citizen’.
Finally . . . I've cited a few warnings about Facebook recently and here's one specific to me:- For no reason in particular, I added my secondary school and university to my profile this week. Within a couple of days, I got a picture of a stunning young woman claiming to be attending the college now and asking me to become a friend. I've little doubt that if I answered, it'd cost me, one way or another.