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The long and the short and the tall

I'm not exactly tall. About 1.80 in my stockinged feet. It's tall enough to be an advantage here though. Spaniards, at least older Spaniards, tend to be on the short side. In a crowd, to watch a parade, I'm lofty enough to have the advantage. Young Spaniards are taller but, fortunately, they have more interesting things to do than to go to parades. My theory is that Francoist policies were so successful that older Spaniards went hungry in their youth.

Last year, or maybe the year before - time passes in a blur nowadays - we went to IKEA and bought a new duvet cover and pillow cases. The pillow cases were too small for our English pillows and the cover too roomy for our English duvet. Money well spent.

I've been researching an article for the TIM magazine on Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara and Inditex. The third richest man in the world. Zara was in my mind. Equally it's been colder recently - maybe 13ºC overnight. Maggie is a bit fidgety in bed, she hogs the duvet. It's a thin goose down affair and it's easy for her to drag it over to her side. So, chilly nights and Inditex coalesced as we passed the Zara Home store and I popped in to get a new duvet. After sorting through lots of identical looking bags stuffed full of quilts I relented and asked an assistant for help. "I'm looking for a 180x180" I said. "The smallest double we've got is 220x180" she said, "180x180 isn't a standard size, at least in Spain." Her tone was almost gleeful.

OK, so I'm happy enough with the idea that those tall Swedish types need a bigger duvet both to stop their feet sticking out of the bottom and to keep the arctic draughts at bay. What I don't understand is how longitudinally challenged Spaniards get roomier duvets?

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