“'The Madrid of the Future'” is a subject which I prefer not to contemplate until I have lowered several stiff slugs of coñac. As the oldest surviving foreign resident in the Spanish capital, I´ve seen some horrific changes here, man, boy and fossil. When I first arrived, the wheel hasn't been invented yet but come 2001 and the whole peninsula will be undermined by 100 layers of underground car parks. The Moorish tourists demanded hot and cold running fountains, and the good old Las Ventas Plaza de Toros is slated to become the Monumental Platillo Volante de Toros. . . "
On 9 November the Madrileños celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of the Almudena, their patron saint. It was a lovely day, cool, crisp, and sunny. Typical of Madrid in the early Fall. The air was fittingly festive. The weather couldn’t be better; you’d think the Mother of Jesus Christ had asked it of her Son. There were the traditional procession, the High Mass, people joining in the festivities. They feasted on the "Crown of Almudena".
(1) ARROZ CON LECHE, THE MOOR THE MERRIER. Ask your friends to come join you and while you’re feasting you might want to ponder how two clashing cultures could have produced such a simple comfort dish! There's still hope for this old battle-scarred world!
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