veranos de la villa

Madrid steps back in time
Madrid steps back in time
Reading the list of concerts planned for Madrid’s Veranos de la Villa (Summer in the City) celebrations this year is like stepping back in time.

I’m not that surprised by names like Burt Bacharach and Jerry Lee Lewis: I sort of expect those guys to go on for ever. But George Benson, Kool and the Gang, Jeff Beck, James Taylor…

In August, I’ll be attending the Writers’ Summer School in Swanwick. There’s a ‘Retro Revival’ disco planned for the Tuesday night, and I’m pretty sure the music will overlap with what’s on in Madrid this summer.

Incidentally, for the Spanish readers among you, this ‘noticia’ about the Veranos logo might be amusing. (If your Spanish isn’t quite up to scratch, remember: don’t believe everything you read on the web.)

three men went to mow

...went to mow a river
...went to mow a river

Some years ago, it was decided to ‘bury’ the M30 Madrid motorway-ringroad. The stretch just south of Puerta de Toledo coincides with the River Manzanares, and the works involved bull-dozing huge stretches of urban park and felling hundreds of trees. An awful lot of rubble was just dumped into the already sluggish river.
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weighty matters

not the softest seat
not the softest seat

I saw this sign in a designer shop escaparate in Madrid and wonder whether it sounds as odd in Spanish as it does to an English speaker. I guess ‘puff’ is an imported word and they just think it means some kind of small stool.

For me ‘puff’ should be associated with something as delicate and formless as smoke or clouds.

Definitely not with a solid lump of marble.

a purple cow

The Madrid Cow Parade cows were auctioned last night.

"Mi sueño". Artist - C A Gonzalez
...I'd rather see than be one!

I have many pictures of the stampede as they were lined up in the street outside the Westin Palace Hotel, but no time to pick, choose and process, so will settle for this one for the moment:

Mi Sueño (“my dream”) by Carlos A González, sponsored by

And a few brief words from Gelett Burgess (1866–1951):

I never saw a purple cow;
I never hope to see one;
but I can tell you anyhow;
I’d rather see than be one!

what is this life…?

Late. Running with the grey herd
across the Manzanares bridge, I pause,
look down from the parapet, attention hooked
on the ess of a cormorant’s neck.
The race resumes; then, on the city side
the first green parakeet of spring
squawks my gaze skywards.

Cormorants on the Manzanares river, Feb. '09
Cormorants on the Manzanares river, Feb. '09

Continue reading “what is this life…?”