I TOOK a trip back to the UK last month, my first for a couple of years.


Not having flown for two years I was a bit like an excited puppy on the plane going over, and even more when I discovered that the flight had free Wifi.

Unfortunately all the fun went out of that when I turned on social media to discover that David Bowie had died, and I glanced out of the plane’s window to see if I could spot the Starman ascending past 33,000ft.

On this trip I was helping a friend move house – she was the brains and the beauty, so I was obviously the brawn. My friend moved to Marlborough, situated in an exceptionally beautiful part of the UK. (Since returning I have had to explain to Spanish friends that it is not spelled Malboro, and it’s not where the cigarettes come from).

It didn’t rain while I was over there (news reports gave the impression that certain parts of England were sinking) and, being the middle of Wiltshire, I didn’t spot hordes of migrants (as again, news reports gave the impression that the sheer weight of migrant numbers were causing the aforementioned areas to sink).

The town was looking particularly beautiful on the Saturday morning when I popped into the shops. Everyone seemed to be driving a Land Rover Defender, wore Barbour jackets and Wellington boots and had at least one chocolate Labrador in tow.

I found myself musing that if I did ever decide to move back to the UK, then this was the kind of town that I could see myself settling down in.

And then I went shopping.

At the local upmarket supermarket, I picked up four items and strode up to the queue. There was an elderly gentleman, resplendent in Barbour jacket (probably with a Land Rover Defender complete with chocolate Lab in the car park) in front of me. As he was loading up his weekly shopping at the till, I did what I always do in Spain and asked (very politely) if I could hop in front of him as I only had four items.

I was unprepared for his reaction.

“What! WHAT!” he bellowed, “The shopping basket till is over there you fool!”

I was so stunned by his reply that I meekly said ‘Thank you’ and shuffled off.

But as I stood in the shopping basket queue, my anger began to rise. It was, perhaps, a minor miracle that he drove off before me, or Marlborough might have been treated to some of my choicest Andaluz swear words!


  1. He visited a part of England that is reserved for those cream off the top but why was he surprised by the reaction of one of these parasites, this is their normal reaction. They would’nt give the time of day away let alone adopt a friendly attitude to another human being.

    Imagine having to live amongst scum like that, no thank you, happy to live with the French or Spanish who look you in the eye and always greet another human being passing by.

  2. Been back in the uk 5 years and cant stand it much longer, was in spain 12 years and while we were away most of the brits were brainwashed or something similar to the stepford wives happened, they are mostly horrible, shops dont hold much stock, greed and ignorance rule the day. we let someone into the queue in front of us and the person couldnt believe it and thanked us like mad. also can anyone tell me why when you say something to people in the uk they have to say “oh bless” it is driving me nuts.
    the local hospital almost killed me after a very small hernia op, so its great fun being back in the uk!!!!hopefully coming back to spain ASAP

  3. I don´t see why barbour jackets and Land Rovers etc were so appealing? Never been there, but I´m sure it has many virtues besides outward symbols of prosperity. I´m leaving out the labradors, they´re lovely and can´t be blamed for their association with the rural upper classes. The town is Marlborough, and the cigs Marlboro, by the way.

  4. Stephonethehill thank you for pointing out that the town is Marlborough etc, I’ve already posted to that effect twice and O.P. don’t seem to like the criticism (for accuracy) especially since the village of Malborough is in South Devon. I doubt they will post this either! Most unlike them to be so coy.

  5. We haven’t even got a date for the EU referendum yet and the IN campaign has already started. I was waiting for the bit at the end that said “see, if you vote leave, you will have to go back to the nasty old UK and live amongst all these horrid people”.

  6. Ladymuck,
    rent your home in the UK and rent, DON’T BUY in Spain – sorted. BTW the rot began even before Thatcher. Genesis – Selling England by the Pound -mid 70s’.
    Mike, yes, could’nt understand how that got missed by the editor.

  7. Stefanjo,
    Apologies about my clerical error.I am expecting to have time to nip over to Spain and buy a house with a pool around May, once done i shall keep it till i need it later in life,i shall when i decide to use the place invite you to join us for lunch.

  8. Mr Gee,
    how will you know if it’s legal, will you ask a lawyer, LOL. If you buy from a bank, they won’t tell you if it’s legal. How will you know if it meets modern basic building standards and won’t develop structural problems both house and pool, hard that if you are not an experienced builder.

    Then if the locals know it’s a holiday home, it might get squatted – it can take years to get them out and lawyers never work for nothing. Or they might just plunder it – good luck. You will let us all know if it becomes another ‘Spanish experience’ won’t you?

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