running late

It’s been a beautiful day and, for once, I’ve spent very little time at my computer.

It’s the local folk festival this weekend and there has been music and a general festive air throughout the town. At the end of the road, groups played Led Zeppelin and David Bowie covers, neither of which count as folk to me, though I admit I enjoyed them rather more than I did the Morris dancing.
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I came across some old photos yesterday, which is just as well, as my mind is a blank and at least they give me something to post.

rubbish strewn street.
I have been meaning to write this post since yesterday morning and the few thoughts I’ve had are rubbish.
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la Inmaculada

Tiepolo: inmaculada concepción
Although I now spend most of my time in the UK, I still work with people in Spain and – due mostly to the lack of response to my phone calls – I am very conscious of the fact that today is a fiesta.

In fact it’s the fiesta de la inmaculada concepción – celebrating the immaculate conception of Mary, mother of Jesus.
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July noon

parked cars in bright mid-day sunshine

Cars crouch low, jealous
of their shadows

A swallowtail dallies
among flower-bright trash

Wasps crawl terraza tables
where frosted glasses stood

Stray dogs sprawl
laughing in the heat

The city trembles


The lady in the photo is, of course, Europa. She’s sitting outside Madrid’s main airport, clearly enjoying the sunshine.

Botero's Rapto de Europa statue; Madrid Airport
She gives me an excuse to revisit a poem-in-progress – The three body problem – from which this phrase is taken:

[…] You’ll find persuasion – just

a little gentle bull – can found a continent

of opportunity. […]

It probably helps if the gentle bull is ruler of the gods on Mount Olympus.

I could care less

Paseo del Prado, Madrid
This week I had to fill in a form to register for a new doctor. Last time I registered was when I returned to the UK after 25 years living abroad; that was a fairly painless process, the only confusion being when they asked for my National Health number and I gave one in a format that they stopped using last century.

This time, although I had the right format number, I had to fill in a ten page questionnaire with all sorts of slightly bizarre questions. The one that caught my attention most was:

If someone cares for you, what is their name and telephone number?

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going home

Madrid from the Casa de Campo
Many years ago I used to regularly read the Peanuts cartoon in the Sunday colour supplement; occasionally, I would cut one out and put it with other bits and pieces in a scrapbook. I remember the last panel of one of these cartoons showing a fairly despondent Snoopy saying, “Thomas Wolfe was right: you can’t go home again.”
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