In Practice, Production on May 1, 2013 at 10:15 am
The cobbles glisten along the Carrera del Darro and little rivulets of rainwater rush downhill as we walk up, our feet sodden in their inadequate shoes. The weather gives K an excuse to duck into one or two craft shops on our way but she isn’t buying today. She’s in good spirits though; I’m making her laugh – something I regularly try and fail to do.
We’re sharing a tiny umbrella so the view is downward, at the pavement and the street; the rain has managed to take us by surprise and we will be wet through by the time we’ve hiked up to our little cave in Sacromonte, the old gitano quarter that these days is a warren of tablaos that truck tourists in for a bite to eat, some flamenco, and out again.
Wet, cold and happy; we’ve spent the morning and afternoon wandering through our favourite place. Like a lion’s paw resting on mown grass, a few outcrops of the Sierra Nevada come to a stop here on the flat of the vega, the vast flood plain on which sprawls the modern city. Above it, on one of the lion’s claws, the old red fortifications of the Alhambra. On the next claw, the rambling, crumbling, tumbling network of streets and patios, palaces and carmens that makes up the Albayzin. Bougainvilleas and cypress trees pop up amongst the stone-walled gardens and dusty red roofs of old, white-washed town houses, churches and former minarets.
We passed the caracole bar on Plaza Aliatar and walked down Calle Agua del Albayzin to Plaza Larga and through the old Puerta de las Pesas. More
In Presentation on May 18, 2011 at 9:23 am
The sultan sits.
Around him the royal party recline; the tinted light from the cumarias stains their skin and bounces brightly from the polychromed walls – every inch of them covered in script and elaborate tile work; geometries in blue, green, yellow and black. Shells, flowers, stars…
The floor is glazed in blue and white and the high hall is a perfect cube; its immaculate symmetries offset today by shadow, the scent of fruit-flavoured shisha, heady perfumes, cushions, throws and music.
Bleary-eyed blinking ambassadors adjust as they come in from the courtyard and its water-refracted glare.
Nervous functionaries nestle in the nine alcoves.
The boy’s voice joins the shisha smoke and rises quietly, curling through koranic quotes and climbing towards the seven concentric crowns of the cupola. More
In Plenary, Presentation on April 21, 2011 at 9:13 am
We’re standing in the tiny kitchen. We want to leave but will wait a few moments for the proprietor to finish his prayers. His daughter doesn’t want to take our money and besides, his prayer mat blocks the only exit.
We found this place by accident. Our blood sugars low, we needed something to eat and we spotted this hole in the wall, this hatch. The sign overhead informed us of tea on the terrace with panoramic views. Peering in through the sunken opening and past its solitary hotplate we saw nothing and assumed that the salon de the was to be found next door as part of the adjacent palace.
I beckoned to the bearded cook that we would like to go through but he indicated that we should descend the few steps into the sunken opening. Like the gentleman I am I asked K to preceed me. More