In three corners of my life this month a blank canvas turned to life, colour and a floor covered with rice.
“La Noche en Blanco” turns Málaga city into that blank canvas. A night of culture, music, free entry to the museums, concerts in the streets, hundreds of events to choose from between 8pm and 2am and still later into the small hours. Continue reading
This massive great cruise ship was in Málaga port last week. It is either beautiful or ugly, I’m not sure which. But it is big. Umpteen floors, 6,500 passengers, 2,500 crew. It’s the sister ship of the one that came in a couple of weeks ago, the one that people live on all year round. Both times, people flocked to the port to gaze at the ship, marvelling at its sheer size, and marvelling at the idea of living full-time on a ship. Gazing with mixed emotions, of which envy was certainly one. “How the other half lives” was a comment that was scattered across the English-language press here, and on internet forums. Not only the extranjeros of course – I listened in on the comments and joined in some of the conversations of the Spanish people lining the port. “¡Mira!” “¡Imagínate!” Continue reading
The course I’m on at Málaga’s Escuela Oficial de Idiomas is heavily subsidised by the Spanish government (thanks guys!). So when the head of Spanish said we were going on a “school trip” we didn’t expect a great deal, to be honest. Imagine our delight, then, when it turned out to involve free beer and bocadillos! Continue reading
The pointy-hats have long ceased to shock me. Once you realise that the Ku Klux Klan have NOT taken over Spain, the traditional costumes of the Nazarenos who lead and follow each cofradía (brotherhood) in the Semana Santa processions no longer provoke that inevitable first shocked reaction, and you can relax and enjoy the madness that takes over every city, town and village in Spain during Easter. Continue reading
At the top of the stairs Marcelo took my arm solicitously. “Should you take the lift instead?” he asked. “We don’t want you to have an accident on the stairs, what with you having no health cover ….”. I shot a glance in his direction and he failed to hide his mischievous grin. But despite the joke, there was a worrying grain of truth in what he said. Continue reading
“I must to be informing you that due to unfavourable conditions we are to be cancelling your Northern Lights Tour this evening” said the Icelandic hotel receptionist. It was the best news we could have hoped for. Continue reading
Got into the wrong side of the car once last week. Too used to getting into the left seat now.
Said “hola” to a stranger I passed on Shaftesbury’s narrow pavements. Fortunately it was misheard, and fortunately too, greeting strangers is still socially acceptable in Dorset villages. Continue reading
I’ve never been one for the nine-to-five. And fortunately, I guess I’ve never really had to do it. Journalism involved some quite strange hours, as did provincial and touring theatre. Campaigning for the rights of community care service-users and attending late-night Council meetings continued the irregularity, as did freelance training. But retirement? That should be a whole lot more straightforward. You’d think. Continue reading
Yup, it’s official. I’m officially a student at the slightly officiously-named Escuela Oficial de Idiomas (the Official School of Languages) in Málaga. And I think the teacher just might be officially a maverick. He certainly has the most <ahem> unique teaching style I have ever come across. It’s going to be great! Continue reading
I hadn’t counted on Almería being quite so different. It has some lovely parts, but ¡joder! it’s bleak! In every direction, the sun glistened on nothing but seas of white. White plastic poly-tunnels, stretching further than could be imagined. A hundred miles, just poly-tunnels. Continue reading