There's been considerable concern in Spain in the last few weeks that the major olive oil producer, Deoleo, would pass into the hands of foreigners. Worse, into those of a major competitor from, say, Italy. But who could have predicted that the new owners would be the dastardly British? Even worse, a venture capital group. Hey ho, this is part of what being in the EU means. It's not just about hand-outs from Brussels. Or 'solidarity', as it's called in Spain.
No sooner do I mention that Spanish families are not quite as close-knit as we Anglos think, than along comes a report to confirm this. According to Spain's state research organisation INE, the average number of members per household has shrunk from 2.58 in 2011 to 2.53 in 2013, as families continue to fragment. With the population falling and the number of homes growing, the percentage of Spaniards living alone is definitely on the up. Except, of course, for those unemployed youngsters (more than 50% of them) who've stayed at or gone back home.
One feature of Pontevedra life that's missing from Hoylake is beggars. As I've said, my home city overflows with these and I've devised several categories for them. In Hoylake I've seen only one - the Rumanian woman outside the Aldi store in West Kirby. The only other Rumanian I've met was the charming waitress in the pub I had lunch in on Friday. However, I've heard there's an entrepreneurial group of them somewhere on Merseyside offering a car-cleaning service - inside and out - for only 10 quid. I wish I could track them down. Reader Perry surely can.
Only in Spain?: An ad agency in Barcelona posted an ad for a barmaid with a chest minimum of 95cm or 37 inches. The client is FICOMIC, the organisers of an international comic fair. And they are not well pleased at this solecism. Though they probably appreciate the publicity.