Moments from the Costa del Sol - We all love a crumpet!

February 24, 2021 - 10:12 AM - 222 views
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Hola Funky Media listeners it´s Michelle/Essex here again from a bit of a cold and damp Costa del Sol. This week the weather has been sort of off and on, a bit like my moods I think. I do like a bit of blue skies and currant bun, if you know what I mean and if you don't know what I mean currant bun is slang for sun. The last couple of days and the forecast for the rest of the week looks a bit, well.....naff to be honest. On the good side, as of last Saturday we are no longer restricted to our own Municipalities here, which means we can travel a bit further afield but nothing else has changed. All the other restrictions remain in place. I think they're trying to get things under control here for Easter, Semana Santa, which is one of the most religious holidays in Spain. I'm cautious personally on this because, as much as I'd like to get away on holiday and our 20th Wedding Anniversary is looming and we were supposed to be on a Caribbean cruise because we wanted to do something special to mark the occasion but that ship has sailed so to speak. I think it's just still, a bit too soon here. Easter is early as well. It comes in early this year as well. It comes in at the beginning of April, and to be honest I don't see the tourists returning to the coast quite that soon. I mean we're only weeks away and the numbers, even though they're coming down, they're not coming down quickly enough, but thankfully they're dropping, hospitalizations are down, and so are the ICU´s, which is a godsend but baby steps, really small baby steps but welcome ones and I think, considering we came really really close two or three weeks ago to being either locked down or restricted even more. I think things are going in the right direction. In fact, I know they're going in the right direction.

Now last week I had to slope off into Marbella but I did have a good excuse to leave my town as I had an appointment at Marbella Police Station in order to pick up my new Permanent Residente Card. Thank you Brexit ! I gotta say they're quite impressive looking, probably the best thing that came out of Brexit. Excellent bit of ID which I believe we can now use to travel to any Schengen zone without a passport. Oddly enough, I only need my passport now to fly back home to visit my friends and family back in the UK or if any other continent I want to go visit so, it's not all bad. We only wish the vaccination programme they would get stepped up a bit. I've asked Doctors and Pharmacists here and they have no clue as to what is happening or when. Well, we know how it will happen, our Doctors, Clinics etcetera are going to message, text, phone us when it's our turn and we know to whom the vaccine is going first, obviously it's the older people, the care homes, the key workers and to be fair, they have already started vaccinating the over 80´s and they've got through quite a few of them. What we don't know yet, is the when ? However, they are now talking about opening up large venues in order to speed things up, which would be great. The only difficulty I think, is the number of doses that have been ordered and that's down to the EU so you can't really blame it all on the Spanish. I've got to say it looks like you guys in the UK are doing a stellar job with the vaccination process though. A lot of my family and friends, people I know have already had their first dose and have an appointment for their second dose. Personally, I don't see me getting the jab until about, August, September time of this year but we live in hope.

On the subject of um Brexit, or shall we say Transportation (whichever you want to call it) it seems to be causing a bit of a temporary disruption here to the English supermarkets who are struggling to get some of their supplies over and you know what us Brits are like, we can't live without a Custard Cream or a jar of Marmite. Do we need this aggravation ? No !! We just want our English tea bags, our Crumpets, Scones, Ginger Nuts, whatever. Funny enough, we have a loyalty card for a very well known supermarket here. I am not going to mention the name of it but you all know the one, it's the one "All Mums go to" and we've had that loyalty card, since we moved here nearly 13 years ago and every month some lucky winners and they can be from anywhere in Spain, not just and in Andalucia, win a 50 euro voucher. My husband lives in this particular store and I am always moaning because we're never on the list. Never ever on the list. Well he's only got a 50 euro voucher and on his birthday too and I have to say thank you to a friend because if she hadn't mentioned it to me, I would never have known because I've given up looking at the paper on the wall ages ago. I'm glad the vouchers valid until March so we can wait for them to restock their shelves and then we can have a Food Fest for our 50, euros. Yes, you´ll notice I said, "Our" because was his is mine, you know and all that. That's a whole lot of TV dinners though, I won't have to cook for at least a week or so. Nigella I'm not. Don't get me wrong I can cook, I am a good cook, I just hate doing it. I think I'm bored with my own cooking after all these years. Now, I know some of you absolutely love the whole kitchen and touchy, feely food thing but for me it's just another chore like ironing. I hate Dinner time unless we're going out or getting a delivery. Gosh, I'm starting to sound like a Princess !! I do think if I won the lottery, which after this week I'm sending my husband out for the ticket because he seems to be the lucky one in the family. The first thing I would do is hire a full time Chef. In the meantime, I'm just gonna hold off with the voucher until the Sausages and Scotch Eggs have all been replaced and replenished on the shelves of the store that "All Mums go to".

Now, my attention was brought to a story this week and you know how much I love to share a bit of odd news with you. This week we're looking at Japan, and Japan is a country known for its cleanliness. After all, they gave the world fancy Bidets and Hot Spring Bathing Spas. They now have a young budding entrepreneur who's cornered the smell of success and for just over 110 Pounds that's about 123, Euros. Shoto Ishida, he's 30 years old, is the founder of a company that offers clients a customised industrial grade analysis of the most uncomfortable of subjects. Body odour ! What a business to be in eh ? I bet you probably need a good nose for that huh ? He says as a grad student, he was often too busy to bathe or change his clothes (what a dirty git !) and he started to obsess. obsess excuse me over whether he was causing offence to anyone. Ummm, not sure I'd want to be sitting next to you in class dude, if I'm perfectly honest. He did want to ask friends or he didn't want to ask friends because he thought that most people were too diplomatic to put out the noxious truth. Did you see what I did there noxious truth ? Yeah, mate, you really hum !! So he joined forces with a chemist friend and they bought a secondhand (and this is not easy to say), Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer. I think we'll refer to it by its abridged version, it's a GC-MS, which cost him around 36 grand. In 2019, they began offering a discreet yet fulsome BO analysis. Customers create a smell sample by wearing a white t shirt, enhanced with an odour absorbing activated charcoal for 24 hours, which they then mail in for analysis. No comment at this point because I'm going to try and keep it relatively clean. Interestingly enough, the GC-MS technology, you are perhaps aware of because it is known from crime shows like CSI, where lab coated cops process the biological fragments from murder scenes and they turn it into airtight forensic evidence for the courts. Now, these machines are considered the gold standard for identifying any unknown chemical substance. It´s a tool that is widely used in everything from pesticide analysis to the food, beverage and perfume industries. Now he's using it to analyse people's personal body odour. Ishida´s clients get a readout in parts per million that explain how much of a smell they're emitting. He hones in on levels of 25 of the most pungent organic compounds that make up each individual's smell profile. Imagine having a smell profile certificate, It´s not something you'd frame or put on a wall or maybe someone off with your CV is it ? No doubt ! In addition to the clinical data indicating whether a client's odour falls within the normal range, whatever the normal range is, Ishida also carries out a more low tech sniff test for the Underarms, Collar area and Back and offers advice before rendering a final verdict on whether or not the client is in fact odiferous or like mate you hum ! It´s not entirely pleasant work he says, I'll put money on that ! but Ishida says he tries to stay focused by limiting himself to six shirts to sniff per day. I'm not even sure I could manage six, and I can't believe people actually do this stuff, let alone think that things are that bad that they have to submit their body odour to a complete stranger for analysis. Now, some clients, pay extra for a face to face consultation. You've got to be kidding me ? Hey Ishida, get a load of this. We can laugh but after a little more than a year in business Ishida has sold more than 1000 kits and he supplements his revenue by consulting for makers of odour treatment programmes, which sounds logical. He's about to launch a new armpit only analysis kit and is weighing up doing whether a Halitosis Rating Service is needed. I wonder if the Dragons Den would be interested in investing in this sort of thing. I mean, how would you present it. Hey, Peter Jones Get a load of this !! I have no words for once I am completely dumbstruck. Is this something you wake up in the night and think, right, that's it, tomorrow I'm going to start up a new business sniffing people's armpits ? Imagine taking your business proposal to your Bank Manager for a startup loan and what sort of Degree do you need from University or College to get into this line of work ? I keep thinking of those big sweaty Sumo Wrestlers, definitely it is a different kind of Pit worker to what was explained to me as a child. I wonder if deodorant companies use this technology. SURE..... they must do.

Well Amigos that's all I have for you in this week's edition of the crazy things that I do to amuse myself here during this stay at home period most days. I hope you have a wonderful week. Take care out there, look out for one another and until next week's moment of madness. Stay safe and as always, from me Michelle in the Costa del Smell, erm ooops Sol, Hasta Luego Amigos. 


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