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Things I miss most from the UK

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 2th Dec 2011

After living here in Spain for as long as I have, the things that I miss about living in the UK get fewer and fewer. Infact, there are no material possessions or consumables that I can think of that I simply can't live without ( but if anyone is coming over to visit from the UK a bottle of HP sauce and a Bag of Tetley tea bags are always appreciated.)

That's not to say that this sort of thing are difficult to find over here - especially in the coastal areas - it's just that in some cases it can be difficult to justify buying a product that you took for granted in the UK and have to pay more than double for here in Spain. Especially when in many cases a native Spanish brand with do the job almost as well.

Instead, the things I miss are seemingly more random :

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Fish & Chips : And I mean Proper Fish & Chips - not the sad excuse that a lot of wannabee English bars on the Costas trot out, cooked from frozen and fried in olive oil. As a Northerner, the Chips have to be from floury King Edward Potatoes cut with an axe, the Fish has to be a whale of a Haddock, stripped of it's bones and skin, covered with beer batter and fried in beef-dripping until golden and served with a luminous green man-sized splat of mushy peas. And if the southerners can't even get this right, then what chance have the Spaniards ?

Parking : I yearn for the day when other drivers deem me to be the reasonable one for complaining when another driver shunts my car whilst trying to park, or whacks their door into mine whilst getting in and out.

Shops & Supermarkets : - Not so much the products that they sell, but the hours that they open. It seems an aeon since 24 Hour shopping was introduced at Supermarkets in the UK, let alone Sunday shopping. Here there is a Bar in my local town that closes for Lunch - I kid you not.

Decent Telecomms : I know people in the UK who enjoy 50 meg of Broadband ADSL, a Landline, 30 odd Channels of Cable TV delivered by Fibre Optic, together with a competitive mobile phone package for around 35 quid per months, plus calls. Here in Spain I struggle to get 1 Meg (when the wind is blowing in the right direction) with Zero customer service and no add-on's for around double the standard fee in the UK. And anyone that drivels on about `Spanish Infrastructure´ should be reminded that Spain's Telefonica, actually own 02 in the UK and recorded a 10.17 Billion Euros Net profit for the Spanish market alone by the end of Q3 2011. Maybe a little investment on Infrastructure ...?

Utility Bills : Why are the utilities happy to take whatever money they like from my bank account, on whatever day they choose, without either advising me of this or without sending me a Factura.

Customer Service : Do I really need to go into more detail here ?

English Pubs : On a summer's evening there are fewer places that I would rather be than sat in the Plaza outside my local bar, drinking a few Cervezas, watching the kids play in the park and taking in the hustle and bustle of a Spanish town going about it's business.

But, it is a totally different scenario when the weather turns for the winter season and it's cold and miserable. I yearn for an a Olde English Pub (and yes, the spelling of `Olde´ is essential) a crackling log fire with an aging sheepdog hogging the most of the benefit, a decent real ale (Timothy Taylor's Landlord if possible), a bag of Pork Scratchings or other pig based snacks and a pool table.

That said, I will be making my yearly pilgrimage back to the UK over the Christmas period, during which time I will doubtlessly bore my friends and family silly by moaning on about all the Spanish things that I miss from back `home´.

Comment on this Blog

I think this is the best description of fish and chips I´ve ever read! As for 24 hour shopping, it seem the Aguirre one is bringing it in next May. I´ll welcome it since I´m not a small shopkeeper (small shop, not shopkeeper) as it´ll take away that desperate depressing feeling I get on Sundays when I can only go to Mass, the archaeological museum or the same pubs I went to the day before.
Mo - Sat, 17th Dec 2011

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