I asked the ladies in the stationery shop when the nearby wine shop opened up as I had some information on Galician wines for the owner."Whenever he likes", was the answer. I felt I was back in Spain. Said owner, some readers may recall, was the one who last year selling a Galician wine under the label The Priest and the Altar Boy. Another time, perhaps.
Talking of wine . . . In the UK now, virtually all bottles come with a screw top. I met these first in Australia and New Zealand in the 70s (back in the day) and it was a while before they dominated the British market. My impression is that they're yet to make a real showing in Spain, where the fight is between real corks and a plastic variety. I put the resistance down to simple conservatism. Logically, Spanish wines are sold with screw tops here in the UK, even if they still have corks back in Spain.
When you first go to live in Spain, you notice little negative things such as the tendency of supermarket staff to compete with you for the door. After years there and when visiting the UK, you notice little positive things such as the people around you having antennae which tell them not to walk across or even into you. Small things in the overall context, of course. But noticeable.
Sometimes life really is stranger than fiction.
Famous Spanish Women 1: Miriam González Durántez. Or Mrs Clegg, to most Brits. She wears trousers, it seems. In the house. And out.
And now I'm driving to Sheffield to watch a football match between Os Porcos Bravos of Pontevedra and The Stags of, well . . . Sheffield. And then I'll go to Manchester to see if my daughter's completely mastered the answerphone yet.