Famous models who scorned the wearing of fur 30 years ago are now said to be happy to sport the stuff. "Fur is back" said one headline. In Spain, of course, it never went away and the donning of a mink coat around February remains an annual ritual. I sometimes wonder if the Spanish have refrained from condemning the habit because it would mean taking on their fearsome grandmothers.
One regularly reads either that there's been a huge investment in solar power in Spain or that, by changing its fiscal policies, the Spanish government has just destroyed an industry in which it had a competitive edge. I really can't say I now what's happening, or what's become of all the panels one sees - or used to see - alongside the autovías. All I can say is I was reminded of the issue yesterday when I drove past what was the first building in the world - a school - to be heated by solar power. It's now called The Solar Campus and there's data on it at this site. Lowry fans please note the line about him near the bottom.
Apologies if I've said this before but another area where Spanish service is superior to that in Britain is in petrol stations. In Spain, it's nearly alway a smartly dressed young person (possibly relieved to have a job) who greets you with a big smile and a breezy Hello. In British service stations, it's not unusual to leave feeling you've been served by someone with a serious lack of social skills. Or who might be the village idiot. Though not at the place in Arclid yesterday, where the guy was more talkative than a Spaniard. And I'd only bought a bottle of water, as I wanted to use the toilet. Bit of a waste, really, as there wasn't one.
I cited my experience at the Apple shop in Liverpool the other day, which, by the way, arrogantly eschews a name on the shopfront. Prior to this, I'd searched for the outlets nearest to me. The first was Liverpool and the second was Belfast, across the Irish sea. Handy.
Finally . . . And just following up on yesterday's Liverpool special - If you're looking for a good pub there, then try the Liverpool Pigeon, which has just won the local Pub of the Year Award, for the second year running. Admittedly it's in Crosby and so not exactly in the Liverpool heartland. But it's still Merseyside. And the accent will be much the same, with a sprinkling of 'posh Scouse'.