Friday, 24 March 2017

The Golden Age of Once Before.

Madrid/Since 1923

How old is this theatre?

It was built in the twenties.

That’s a little vague.

Only a little - 1923. Or thereabouts.


I wasn’t there at the time; I was there a couple of weeks ago. But the Wikipedia book says 1923 with an inauguration in 1912.

It’s old.

It is, shall we go in and watch a film, apparently the ceiling is beautiful and covered in little stars that shine as the lights go down.

What’s on?

Hmm, hang on… An Almodo(with an accent)var Retrospective, The Incredible Shrinking man and Sunrise – A Song of two Humans.

I’d like to see that!

Ok, dos billettes por favour.

No hay.


What’s up?

It’s sold out.

Sold out?! It’s a fairly obscure film.

It’s an obscure classic film in a classic obscure cinema, and the tickets are only 2 euro 50.

Let’s go to the roof bar instead.

The one we already spoke about, with the really young waiter.

Yes, I need a drink.

I’m hungry.

We’ll go to the tapas bar again after.

The one built in the twenties?

Golden age.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Unassailable Certainty?

Madrid/Week and a half ago

Did you notice how the people coming DOWN in the lift were noisier than those going UP?

A LOT noisier! Did you notice the way the metal walls of the lift started resonating with their gabble.

I thought it was going to explode.

I’m glad the ride wasn’t even longer.

Did you also notice that we were the oldest people up on the roof?

I tried not to; but the waiter was younger than my son.

It was only the Japanese that were prepared to sit next to us.

Where are all the slightly older Spaniards?


Can’t be, it’s not even midnight.

There were some in the exhibition at the Fundación Telefónica.

That’s true, and possibly illuminating.

In what way?

Well, only folk of a certain age would get that much fun out of looking at old telephones.

They were beautiful.

Only useful for calling people though, apparently people don’t do that very often these days.

I liked the Dolly Exchange.

The stairs were nice too.

Houdini was up the top.

And in the middle that guy who did the cloud things. What was his name?

Leandro Erlich. I liked his Changing Rooms.

They were cool! I think a lot of people didn’t realise that you could go inside.

And get lost! How did he describe it?

Reconsidering assumed unassailable certainties.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Totally Transcendental Turtles.


Why is this guy walking round with his finger on his lips?

He wants us to be quiet.

We are!

Yes, but most of the other people are making a lot of noise.

They’re Spanish; they have to.

He’s Spanish too, but this is an art installation.

I thought it was an old conservatory.

It’s that as well, but today it’s hosting a sound art installation, listen.
(undefined crackles and clicks)

Hmm, could be good if no one was here and it was just you/me.

The holy duality?

The terrible twins?

Did you know that this park has peacocks?

And turtles.

And cats.

And a woman who comes every day and feeds them.

She wasn’t very talkative.

She prefers cats to people.

She may have reason.

There are turtles in the train station too.

That’s true.

Turtles transform tensions.


Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Lesser the People, the Greater the Opportunity.

Madrid/over a week ago

You’ve been in this park before.

It was different.


I was different. And there were less people. None of these cafés either.


Black and white – look I have a picture.

That’s you?

A former version.

Mark one?

Mark three or four.

You look happy.

I was. I was free. And freewheeling.

And now.

Free in a different way.

Not freewheeling?

I guess not.

Do you miss it?

Who wouldn’t?

Any regrets?

No, but there have to be a lot of wonderings.

What are they?

What ifs.


I could have stayed here, what if I had?

Your Spanish would be better.

Claro, que si!

You missed out an exclamation mark, and upside down one.

I don’t know how to do it on this keyboard.

Would you like to have stayed?

Funny, I only thought about that now. Then, it didn’t occur to me even to question the next step, which was in a different direction. Now I look around and see the opportunities.

They are still there.

Not as many as there were then.    

Less people, more opportunity.

Friday, 17 March 2017

No Way Back.

Madrid/last Thursday

Is this The Prado?

No, this is the queue to get into the queue to get tickets to get into the queue to get into The Prado.

It’s a big queue. Was it like this back in the day?

Ah, back in the day! We just strolled in.

You were young.

I was single!


Only worrying about cucumbers. The shops were empty of them.

It was March.

Like now.

There was a girl.

The puppet lady.

You have a good memory.

Is that why we’re here?

Let’s go to the park.

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