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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Food and sand






The view through the window of the restaurant on the beach was light sepia tinted as the wind had whipped up enough sand to make watching the view better than actually being in it.  And when you have a meal as delightful as the one that I consumed to distract your attention from the lack of sun, one can be philosophical about the little lacks in life!
            To be fair, I think that I was still feeling some of the after effects of the liquid evening in the poetry group: I was stationed far to near the table with all the bottles on it and pushed a little outside the immediate circle into a little area of self indulgence all of my own.  Still, I did manage to make it back to the hotel and in far less time that I usually take.
            The last journey I made after the poetry was positively epic in the manner of one lost in some Surrealistic labyrinth.  I put it down to all those little cramped streets which lead away from the Cathedral in Barcelona.  At the back of my mind is the panic which almost took me away in Mykonos when, having secured a room, I scurried away to explore my surroundings and then couldn’t find the ‘hotel’ among all the other white blocks that Mykonos old town comprises.  I had to keep making my way back to the sea and then going into the exit which I remembered to be the right one and hoping against hope that I would simply come across the place and all would be well.  It took quite a few attempts but, as is the way with me, it worked out exactly as I expected it to and I was reunited with my passport, money, clothes, camera and everything.
            Well, old Barcelona is the same for me.  But this time when I hit the sea, as I have done on more than one occasion, I know that I have really and truly gone out of my way.
            And I hate wearing shoes.  Even if they are sports shoes.  Today after bowing to city prejudice I am suffering the consequences of not wearing my accustomed sandals.  I have to admit that the wearing of sandals in January is regarded as the most flamboyant form of eccentricity in a country that believes the month rather than the temperature and consequently expects everyone to be dressed for winter, even if, as I constantly maintain, the temperature is positively balmy for one of my country’s sons!
            Never mind, my feet are starting to recover and my late morning swim was more than usually welcome and refreshing.
            And I have finished a finalish draft of the poem that I started last night.  All my new poems, well, some of them, can be found at:

            The Open University continues to take pride of place in my academic concerns especially as I have decided to use a Chilean painter Alvaro Guevara (1894-1951) as part of my research.  Although from Chile, he was sent to England to study the cloth trade in Bradford where his artistic ability was fostered, he won a scholarship to study in London and eventually became associate with the Bloomsbury Group and produced paintings around 1916/17 of swimmers and swimming.  I am trying (and failing) to find the present whereabouts of a painting called ‘Little Splash’ which I was hoping to compare with David Hockney’s larger and more famous version of the idea.
            As part of my research I have managed to get in contact with a great grand nephew of Guevara (now a candidate for a PhD in Leeds) and various other people and institutions in an attempt to get to know more about him.  At the moment I am stuck in one of those in-between times when things have been set in motion and could reveal excellent results, except they aren’t.  I live, however, in hope and, anyway I am enjoying myself trying to piece together enough information to make my research project work.  I have Plan B and indeed Plan C, should nothing more make it to this part of Spain, but I do hope that I can do something which will genuinely add to knowledge about someone who is perhaps unjustly neglected today.
           

            Meanwhile the wind continues to blow, but I confidently expect sun tomorrow.
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