Diary… Sunday, Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Today’s newspapers in the hotel lobby.

The word market has been given a bad name in recent years by cowboy capitalists, rogue bankers and cunning currency speculators.

But the street market is fabulous feature of cities past and present and a reassuringly global tradition.

This Sunday-morning variant in Santa Cruz carries all the hallmarks of the type, which my wife Jane and I agreed to categorise as Junk + Flea. The junk is more or less universal; the flea varies from country to country, but similarities do exist. 

In Catholic countries, the flea always has a stock of religious iconographic tat, and among the universal junk is often a healthy spread of old mobile phones, which I always thought would make a fascinating art installation. There are also lots of cut-price bras, knickers and cheap rolls of gaffa tape.

The junk also suggests a museum waiting to happen: The Museum of Shite, in which the junk from street markets worldwide is collected, displayed and renewed over the years, with detailed descriptions and explanations, nation by nation, of the stuff world populations have elected to throw away.

I sneakily bought this ‘ecclectic’ Christmas present for Jane, in the honest belief that it could be the start of a collection of artefacts depicting women performing domestic duties with animals. I’m not sure she’ll see the funny side.

And other pictures from today:

Then a return to the “Mother Ship”, El Corte Inglés, at the bus station for the inevitable reminder of what shopping involves.

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