10:10am Wednesday 15th August 2012
By Katherine MacAlister
I had forgotten about my long-planned girlie weekend away but you know me, wherever I lay my handbag is home, and I found myself wandering the baked streets of Barcelona marvelling at yet another different breed – the Spaniards. Spanish women are a whole different ballgame. Having pontificated about the French at large, the Spanish were long overdue a good rummage, and my weekend away was a masterclass in how to do it without looking as if you make any effort at all. But then, with a lifestyle like that, why would they? They live in a beautiful city with a beach, where the sun shines most of the time and when it gets too hot they all go home for a kip after lunch, enabling them to stay up late without flagging, and stay looking glamorous all night. Us Brits, on the other hand, blundered in and conducted ourselves in the usual fashion they have come to expect.
Clubbing, dancing far too energetically, drinking too much, peaking too early and lurching home in a most undignified manner, only to re-emerge the next day sunburnt and hungover to do the whole thing all over again. Put it this way, it took us a few days to acclimatise but we were quick learners. And here’s what we surmised.
Dress: us English girls like our accessories, make-up, hair styles and the highest heels we can get our hands on, but the Spanish just wear a fabulous summer dress, flats, a bit of lip gloss and look a million dollars.
They don’t have a spare ounce of flesh on them either, (spit spit) and while the French are controlled, the Spanish just eat little and often, something we took to like ducks to water. So here’s my advice: get up, wander around, do a bit of shopping, stop for a quick drink and maybe a dish of tapas, go to a museum or something, stop again, have another drink and more tapas and wile the day away eating and gossiping and making merry in the sunshine, without ever getting full, or overeating. Genius. Getting back on the plane with our hand luggage was much more tricky. It seemed like a good idea at the time to pack light.
But of course we forgot to take the shopping into account. It was like trying to get an elephant into my suitcase as I huffed and puffed in a most unladylike manner. And as I strained away I realised you can take the Brits out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the Brits. Back to the drawing board then. And one more thing – best not to mention the shopping to Mr Greedy. He doesn’t need to look in the cupboard under the stairs just yet.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group