Monday, 24 October 2016

Recent past

Antiquities market near the river on Sundays - I held porcelain cups from 1560 in my hands! Friend found the best gift to parent from 1883, I think it was. Possibly 1837.
Perfectly located near an ancient wall of Murcia from 12th century, which survived because it was inside a monastery that was then torn down. Murcia is even older than that, it was founded in 825, guide said. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Group pressure on a small scale: Spanish traffic

The attitude is this: any speed limit is a mere recommendation (who made these rules anyway???) and should be interpreted as 20 km above the stated number. Go even faster at night, it is customary. Use your GPS to detect radars on time and express your discontent about their existence to yourself and your passengers and recreate themail memory of when you gother the fone in your mailbox last time. Treat read lights rather liberally, "it was about to change to green soon anyway", or "it just was green, it is smoother to just continue."

Daytime, region of Andalusia, Spain.
Speed limit is 60 km/h. I follow that. Behind me emerges a queue of cars. This means they went fast all the way, much faster than 60, and wait for the road to strech out long enough to drive past me. And when they do, they signal their impatience.

Night, countryside, region of Murcia, Spain.
Speed limit is 60 km/h. I go 70 km/h. Cars go 90 km/h and signal as if something is wrong with my car. No, fella, I am just reading the signs and don't have an as liberal traffic attitude as you. Nor do I want to kill the wild animals that cross the road now and then. Didn't you see the bloody corpse to the right?

Evening, close to Murcia city, Spain.
A traffic accident slows all cars down on the highway. We pass a Golf with indoor light on, both airbags out. They are white and flattened as tired balloons. Glass around it on the ground as a broken gloria, ambulances. At least five other cars aside that also got involved in the crash. Yet people speed up completely untouched by this when the road is clear again, far beyond the limit of 120 km/h. Then comes a funny sign: 100 km/h recommended. Everybody ignores.

Evening, Murcia city, Spain.
Tunnel, 40 km/h is asked even with blinking signs. I go first 60 km/h, then calm down to 50 km/h. People go at 80 km/h. A huge white shiny bus is just behind, getting closer and closer. His lights swear at me with the Morse alphabet badly spelled.

Saturday, plain day on an empty parking, just about to drive in Communidad Valenciana. Spain.
I look back at the passenger who comfortably lies down sitting.
"Where is your seat belt?"
"You drive so well that I don't need one."
Please, be safe on the roads, folks.

Friday, 21 October 2016

An outfit.

 This is in Sweden! Louise and I tried her camera and then started an eternal discussion (in a good way) about what is sexy and not and what is a good photo and not.
 It was actually getting a bit chilly this August day. Quite amusing to compare it to Spain in the end of October. 
 Backdrop is a mill at Waldemarsudde, Stockholm. 
This top is great. Classic, for meetings as well as the opera. 
 Same for the skirt.
 Surprisingly, not everybody knows what "pleated" means.
 The tree with the black aperture is super duper old, bottom part is even fake, of concrete, and an iron grid keeps it together. Prince Eugen liked coming here and I have been here reading an entire afternoon, it is nice with the nature and the water and the museum seconds away.
 Balance in life is important. 
 Wishing well, pun intended. 
All photos by Louise. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Sent and received

For the curious: it takes a letter 3 days to reach Sweden from Spain, and vice versa (better than Germany, which takes 6-7 days). Within Spain itself it can take longer time, because each city has its own holiday and they are quite a few.
 I brought a part of my letter paper collection with me, and rightly so: decorated letterpaper and envelopes are hard to find in Spain. Each day I try to write a few lines, so friends will have a dense report of events, which should make a good read.
From that point of view, postcards are a challenge (try summarize all you want on that tiny space!) I remember an exhibition of postcards from Israel at the art hall Marabouparken: even when visiting a country at war, senders only mention the nice weather and that everything is fine. Well, I mentioned bureaucracy and history and work, and, then, unavoidably, the hot temperature.
I like unusual cards. These are quite typical here, though.
I strive for graphical diversity, but I also do not think doublets from time to time do any harm. I mean, you have told the same story more than once to different friends, right?
The first letter from abroad to land in my mailbox had small red hearts instead of all the dots over the i's on the front and made me miss winter and its beauty for a moment.
This parrot was one of the last postcards to reach me in Stockholm before I left.
And last week: very good news from Germany. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Films I would like to see some time soon

Mr. Gaga. 
It is top notch according to a Swedish reviewer, but I fear it could sometimes be hard to watch like the film that meant to cherish Piña was.
The Lobster. 
The synopsis does not sound appealing, more scary, but friends who have seen it are lyric.
What we do in the shadows. 
A mockumentary from New Zealand about cohabiting vampires who have to pay rent.
A Monster calls. 
It reminds of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in the sense that it is from a child's perspective. Beautiful photo.
Another beautiful film, about an Italian island where refugees go. Fishermen are forbidden to offer lift, but being human comes before bureaucracy. 
Image source: 
Anna Odell made herself a name when faking a suicide trying to jump off a bridge, continued to fake it even when the police came and it all turned out to be performance art that was part of the examination for her school of arts. This is her debute as director based on true events, except that in reality she was not even invited to her class' reunion. The shootage has been highly acclaimed, but as you might know, it is not an easy film to watch. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Let's go by car home.

 Beautiful, no? This word cannot be overused. 
 Going to the mountains but among mountains already. 
When my friend sees this view, she knows she is close to our village; a private landmark.
This is a very calm road, few cars, people and animals are here.
There are almond trees, orange trees, olive trees, pine trees and some grapevines.
 Could be a military thing. We passed by an old military base which is just one house minutes ago, the white abandoned one, so there could be a connection. 
  Herding goats! There are foxes (I have seen one at night!) and enormous boars here too. If you crash with one with your car, you will have to buy a new car.
And at last: home.

Monday, 17 October 2016

A really nice Saturday.

Kicking off with a Medieval market where the streets are covered with hay, boxes and bowls are made of hay and anacondas are exhibited. 
Then - taking the car for lunch in Cartagena. The main reason for going to Cartagena was seeing chefs compete and eat their competition foods. Except it was cancelled today, so we enjoyed the view of that building's cafeteria instead.
 I found a candidate for my garden collection, an Australian visitor.
 Imagine a portrait of me hanging above my entrance like this! 
F. had booked a table at what must be the tastiest vegetarian restaurant in the region: La Sella.
It looks like any other house on the street. 
CD's in the ceiling give rainbowy light.
A pizza looked like a rose, another looked like a cake. The crêpes were delicious, the moussaka very tasty. I am almost drooling recalling the memory. 
 This café had not a single chair alike and even had sawn out a part of a bath tube and used it as a sofa.
Just on the edge to not fall off the balcony: brave fluffy courageous pets.
 One of the most important things I learned today was that it is a Spanish tradition from far back that is more important than celebrating birthdays: celebrating namedays. 
 And it was T's namesday! While she had a coffee with M., we ran around this market and bought her gifts which we put in this bag that we also bought. 
And all of a sudden, I got invited to a Spanish wedding! Now I have to find myself a dress, what an annoying pleasure.