Friday, 24 August 2007

Soy madrileña (I´m from Madrid)

Well, I have now had half my lessons and the time has gone by really quickly. I feel that I am getting to grips with Madrid. It´s a strange place. As it´s the month of August lots of shops, cafés and other such places close for the holidays. People up and leave the city and go to the beach for an extended period. I just cannot imagine that happening in a city, let alone the capital, in the UK. There´s a very relaxed attitude to everything and the siesta is still very much alive. The afternoons can be quite sedate, it´s the night when everything comes to life.

Mari Paz is as formidable as ever, but she´s actually a laugh and she is keen to talk to me. It´s a good opportunity to practise my Spanish. I´ve been to two art galleries this week. I went to El Museo de Prado where they have Las Meninas by Valazquez amongst many other famous pictures, and the Thyssen-Bornemizsza where I saw some Picassos and lots of Impressionist paintings. I have a ticket for the third significant museum, La Reina Sofia, where the jewel in the crown is Picasso´s Guernica. I think I need a breather from galleries for a few days. I felt overwhelmed in the other two because there are just so many pictures to see. I spent four hours in each gallery and only scratched the surface. The picture I liked most is by Gino Severini and has some ridiculously long title. I think it would be possible to do a copy in pastels. I like the idea of doing that. Obviously it will be in no way the original but i think it would be a fun thing to do.

Yesterday I visited the Botanical gardens and their fine collection of cacti. They put mine to shame and had fantastic Agaves Americanas, but that´s hardly surprising considering the climate here. Tomorrow I´m off to Toledo and on Sunday I´m going to the monastery El Escorial. I´m busy but still managing to find time to knit socks and a number of Spaniards have asked me about them. A lady saw me knitting in the queue for the train tickets and came over to ask if I was knitting socks. She said she´s not seen knitted socks for years, but I assured her that knitted socks are big in the UK (I exaggerated a little) and that delighted her. Who knows, she may call in at her local Wool Baa to get her needles and yarn. The revolution has started...

3 comments:

Caroline M said...

No hablo espagnol.

I lie, I used to but my O level is far behind me.

jillm said...

Hablo Espanol pero solamente un poco. Me gusta Madrid. Quiero ir alli algun dia otra vez. Como esta el tiempo? Esta lindo en Sheffield! Hasta Luego!

maramcp said...

I love the Prado! My brother-in-law and his family live in Madrid (but are moving to Brussells soon. Disappointing on bothe the museum and shoe shopping fronts.