Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oil wars; Spanish family life; Beggars?; Busty barmaids; & Wine matters.

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.

Here's how to do something that will occasionally frustrate you - opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

Finally . . . Talking of wine -Here, here and here are the sites of my friend the Hoylake wine merchant, who ploughs an entirely different furrough/furrow at night.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

You MUST be kidding!!!! Imagine doing this to an innocent 60 quid bottle of Grand Cru, which you are not even supposed to shake in trembling hands!!!!

Oenologist Al

Perry said...

P'shaw Al,

Take the top off with an 'ungarian sabre slash. Any owner of a premier cru bottle o' grog should never be without his butler's friend.


Rumanian car cleaning crew on Merseyside not on Internet. Why am i not surprised?