So I went to Spain this weekend, for a bit of an R&R sojourn to recover from the Festivalis. And it worked. I was very chilled out, and it wasn't just the Cava, or the sun, or getting 12 consecutive hours of sleep, the lovely Gaudí architecture, or even being surrounded bu Iberian demi-gods. When it gets hot in Spain, Spanish people (mostly women, I'll admit) use these abanícos - folding fans. They are both practical, and can be stylish - I did have some original 1950s ones that made it into a fashion column, but one was tragically lost in a cesspit, and the other was claimed by my Mum. However, my favourites were these uber-tacky souvenir ones, with a gilded brown plastic exoskeleton, cliched 'España' imagery and black lace. What's not to like? They are the best thing if you're hot, anywhere, they double as an eyeshade and what's more, they double as communications devices. In the court of Marie Antoinette, fans like this were used to signal desire, disgust and despair, with but a flick of the wrist; something that I reckon should be brought back - not a look, but a coded movement. What versatile objects. Clearly multitasking, but without the macho overtones of a penknife - get your fans out on the Tube or wherever and get them used; you can only win...Anyway, this week's Staples are mostly of a holiday theme; more practicalities later...
A Spanish-style fan
English breakfast muffins slathered in butter
Hot Spanish men