A couple of very smartly turned out "older" ladies chatted quietly, ladies of a certain age, perfectly made up and not a hair out of place, almost a caricature of the smart older lady. Not yet old enough to be really old but beyond youth, one of them seemed to be going for a restrained Bette Middler look.
On another table, three not very much younger but nowhere near so smart ladies were also talking. Or rather, one of them was talking and the other two were nodding and murmuring agreement from time to time. There's a special tone of voice that some women here have: slightly shrill, very rapid and loud enough to dominate a whole cafe, even drowning out the television game show host. It's rather like a pneumatic drill or a machine gun going off in short, and sometimes less short, bursts. It was a relief when they got up and left.
Earlier in the day I had been catching up on "la prensa rosa" at the hairdressers. They call the scandal magazines "the pink press" but sometimes it's a little red in tooth and claw as they set about criticising the (lack of) dress-sense, excessive weight loss or gain and general looks and behaviour of the rich and famous.
Incidentally, I am currently reading Clive James' autobiography (in several volumes). At one point he comments that no-one becomes famous for doing nothing. I wonder if he still says that now in this age of the "personality". It is now possible to state your ambition in life as "I want to be famous" without any need to say what you plan to be famous for. It's a funny old world.
Anyway, back to the scandal mags. There was a lovely picture of a member of the public picking her chin up off the floor as she almost bumped into the king and queen of Spain, hand in hand, on their way to the theatre or a party or some such event, just like your normal, average rich couple. The press is at pains to point out the hand-in-hand thing and any other public show of affection, explaining that rumours of a possible divorce that were around only months ago were clearly nonsense. (Another "royal" couple doing the same things are the Beckhams, with Victoria making public statements about her adoration of the much tattooed David when she picked up her fashion award recently. Being rich doesn't guarantee happiness but it probably helps!)
It seems, however, that the royal family can divorce its members in a way. It is now official, apparently, that the Infanta Cristina, having been involved in all kinds of financial shenanigans, is no longer a member of the royal family. They can't stop her being the sister of the king but she has no royal duties and receives no royal salary. And to think that when she married Iñaki they were quite the golden couple, the bright hope of Spanish royalty. What a come-down! The modern world will no longer put up with that kind of messing around. So it goes!
Anyway, here are the pictures I failed to post yesterday.
Celta de Vigo football colours on the street:
The Gran Via fishermen and their Christmas catch:
Success at last!