In Practice, Presentation on March 22, 2011 at 11:06 am
Regular readers will be aware of the tendency that Tarifeños have to string a celebration out – to squeeze every last possible drop of moisture out of any opportunity that blows in on the Levante to throw a bit of a party, to flog the living shit out of a dead horse named Celebration.
After a seemingly endless Feria in September followed by very respectable turn outs for Halloween and a couple of churchified thingamibobs I didn’t understand through November and December, a determined effort to mark each of the twelve days of Christmas and the Andalucia bank holiday in February half the town, it would seem, disappears up the road to Cadiz for Carnaval in the spring when that city goes ape shit for three weekends (and the two intervening weeks).
When do these people get any work done?
When do they sleep?
Do they sleep? More
In Presentation, Production on March 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm
It’s all about the mask.
We spend an afternoon in Cadiz, bickering. This one is my fault; I buy a cheap and simple mask for the night ahead in preference to the rather ornate and dandyish one that K had bought for me. Big mistake. Never mind that at Carnaval one is supposed to be ornate, dandyish – I have to feel my usual self-consciousness and hurt her feelings.
Or it isn’t about the mask at all (I end up wearing neither). We’re like cranky children – having been looking forward to this for so long but tired – over-tired – and both feeling the pressure: It’s Carnaval! Have a good time! Now!!
So we don’t.
Until we implement that most Spanish of solutions; the siesta – and as the sleep haze lifts a couple of hours later so do our moods. We put on some smarts and go out. More
In Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 at 11:52 am
When we wake our small window is an uninformative opaque screen of condensation. It gradually clarifies to reveal the very narrow lane where we live and the one shaft of sunlight that reaches in at that hour of the morning. The misted glass clears at the same rate as my morning head and without the aid of a coffee.
On mornings when the sunlight is there and when a craned neck reveals blue sky it seems a shame to be headed to Algeciras for work. Sad to be leaving all the prettiness behind for a day in the industrial sprawl.
I’ve heard Algeciras described as a scruffy port town, a nothing, a bore and in one instance – in a national British broadsheet no less – as a dreadful place. It is a salty port city that is pretty much as far down as you can get in Europe without leaving. Only the villages of Pelayo, El Cuartõn and the town of Tarifa are further south and then only by a few kilometres. It’s also pretty much as far down the scale as you can get in terms of attractions and, some would say, attractiveness. More
In Plenary, Production on February 21, 2011 at 10:45 am
We’ve seen a lot since we got here. Our use of weekend time has been ambitious and efficient in our rush to realise the wish-list we had compiled in Ireland – in our imaginations – as we strained and waited and held our breath, hoping that it all might happen.
It’s happening – we have walked beneath the striped arcades of the Mezquita in Cordoba’s Juderia, shielded our eyes from the sun to make out snow on the Sierra Nevada as they rose over the red walls of the Alhambra, evaded peddlars in the network of arteries that is the medina of Tangier, ducked from dark shadow to the white, white light of Malaga‘s streets, ambled the boulevards of Cadiz.
In Sevilla the blue green tile work of the Alcazar has burned its detail into us along with the gridded plan of its gardens; another Alcazar in Jerez, with its patina of shabby elegance and its teeming sunday market. More
In Practice, Production on January 31, 2011 at 10:45 am
A dark, wet turn in the weather and then it brightens up again and wild spring flowers – which in fact have been emerging gradually for weeks – seem sudden in the sunlight. The colours of early spring here; green, bright yellow, dusty blue, purple.
Mostly yellow though. Yellow primrose type blossoms everywhere. They might be primroses. The truth is I wouldn´t know a primrose if I saw one, but I´m pretty sure these are primrose-like.
Spring blossoms by mid January. This sure as shit is not Ireland.
And once again it’s dark and wet and winter. This part of the year – in this part of the world – has been characterised mainly by confusion, as if Andalusia only does winter reluctantly and as a result of its reluctance f**ks the whole thing up. It’s just one big wet disorientating mess. More
In Practice, Production on November 19, 2010 at 10:38 am
“I think we’re cool”, says K.
We’re on the way back to Tarifa, having spent a few days in our favourite; Granada. We have been winding our way through the mountainous Malaga hinterland for nearly an hour and now we are nearing the city itself, crossing the snake-like Guadalmedina numerous times as we navigate its sheer, precipitous valley. A few spots of rain hit the windscreen now and then but the weather is mostly blue sky.
We’re always sad to leave Granada. Always. There are few things, I have learnt, on which K and I agree absolutely and unequivocally (most of our decisions are reached through complex negotiation or protracted periods of mind game and emotional manipulation). This epic city is one of them. More