Prospero Año Nuevo! Oh yes, I have gone all continental since coming back from a week spent in Spain, and for those of you not fluent in the lingo, I am wishing you a prosperous new year. It is about the only thing I do know how to say apart from "two beers please" and "where are the toilets?" so I say it loudly and with pride.
Apart from a firm grasp of Spanish, I have returned from our holiday with a profound love of the Spanish. More specifically, I have a profound love for their love of children.
Yes, they don't have fresh milk but the little man happily guzzled back the UHT (brave chap), and all their playgrounds seem to cater for three years plus and ignore anyone with short legs and boundless energy so we did spend a good deal of time running after him around their beautiful plazas. Mind you, witnessing one Spanish mother supervising her daughter as she pulled down her pants and widdled within splashing distance of the older kids' climbing frame did make me think we were best to keep our distance anyway. Could you see that happening in the UK?
But they really do love kiddies. We were continuously watched by cooing elderly Spanish men who broke off from their slow shuffle round the square to chuckle at the little man as he raced past. When our group headed out for an evening meal, something we haven't dared try over here, we were welcomed with open arms. Tapas was ordered for the adults and a Spanish omlette for the toddler. Without asking, his eggy offering arrived first, meaning we were able to feed him and were then free to eat ours in peace while he played with his books, happy and fed. Genius. Now, could you see that happening in the UK?