Blogs & Archives
Responsible bloggers who have something well-thought-out and interesting to say are welcome to share their thoughts.
One of my unfailing delights of living in Spain, undiminished after 17 years, is the spectacular and varied range of its landscapes and natural beauty. Crammed into the roughly five hundred thousand square kilometres of its bull-hide shaped geography, one goes from the dazzling white villages of the south with immense vistas of olive plantations, red earth under a diamond-hard blue sky, to the vast wheat plains of Castile
There are actually only 195 countries in the world today. If we can’t handle these 195 or so Nations, how are we going to deal with extra-terrestrial colonies and the continued exploration of the waiting Universe? Maybe New Age Spaniards would like to try and answer that question!
Ten a.m. at Madrid’s Estación de las Delicias: a goods train, the Strawberry Train, is about to set off. In the 1850’s the train was the subject of much talk and excitement, described and romanticised by chronicles, poets and journalists. It carried the Royalty and their guests on hunting trips from Atocha station right up to the portals of the Royal Palace in Aranjuez. On their return to Madrid the local borough would present them with asparagus and strawberries and in commemoration of this tradition the hostesses today pass around baskets of strawberries to the tourists on the Tren de la Fresa
Why not let's just all try to be friends? For a change?
I am anything but Spanish and perhaps that's why I can be somewhat objective about the way Spaniards tend to be depicted, saddled as they are with "topicos tipicos" that tend to arise in a discussion about Spain: flamenco, bullfight, tapas, paradores nacionales. . .
I for one hope that conservationists the world over will speak up like Jeff Corwin, putting the trophy-hunting industry in ecological perspective, and turn hunters into the world's most sensitive and skilled photographers of dwindling species
When we arrived in Spain. . ., I had the basics. I was able to say Tengo sed [I'm thirsty] and Tengo hambre [I'm hungry], thereby ensuring that we would neither starve nor die of thirst.
In spring, the almond blossom competes in brilliance against the snow-crested peaks beyond. Suddenly, like a pencil line sharply delimiting the green lushness of this veritable oasis, the earth turns ochre-arid, supporting only the hardy olive. This is the presence and imagery that permeates the verse of its best-loved son and barb, Federico García Lorca: the viento verde of the undulating corn, long solitary walks through melancholy rain-filled afternoons, y el fondo un campo de nieve…home of the poet.
The silence is heavy with the presence of so much life in this household, by all accounts filled with voices, laughter and music. What conversations did Federico enjoy here with his sisters and his musical and literary friends? The poet himself was an accomplished pianist and Manuel de Falla was certainly among the most assiduous visitors here. There is the unavoidable feeling that everyone has stepped out, and will be back in a few minutes.