Saturday, 14 November 2015

Evil, wicked, criminal, merciless deeds. Let us remember the innocent who were slaughtered. Surely not in the name of God?

Evil flourishes. Killings abound. The wicked persist in shedding innocent blood. How can we bear such evil?

The innocent suffer,  freedom is imperilled, and our hearts break, for the suffering of so many, who were going about their everyday lives, and have been slaughtered by the wicked.

How can they justify this slaughter?

My day has been spent watching SBS TV, which has been broadcasting the dreadful crimes committed in Paris. Not that much is known, as yet, or if it will be known at all.

Today in the newsagent's I talked to two other customers, strangers, to each other. All of us had been in Paris in the last month. We are sore and sick at heart. How is such evil overcome? How can people think such slaughter of innocent strangers can be justified? I do not know. I have no answers, only a reaction of appalled sorrow and anger, and a wish that this frightful willingness to kill others could somehow be overcome.

Let us remember this latest atrocity, in the long history of wars, slaughter and oppression.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Point of departure

Here I sit in the lounge at Madrid airport, waiting for my flight. The morning was spent walking around Madrid. Being Monday, galleries were closed, so I retraced my steps hither and thither. The loud amd prolonged sexual actity in the room adjoining mine kept me awake, as did the subsequent garbage collection. Etcetera. I feel weary. It will be a long slog before I arrive home on Wednesday.

The hotel proprietor unbent slightly this morning, going so far as to urge me not to leave early for the airport, and even going so far as to walk to the end of the street to find a taxi. If ever I travel again, I will splurge a bit more on hotels. Lesson: read the fine print! However I did leave, even though it has meant a lot of sitting around. I pulled out my crochet and worked away at that. At a sleeve. I have in fact made two sleeves, but the tension is different, so I am trying a third time, with a smaller hook size. I think that in Australia there would be conniptions at the very idea of a crochet hook being wielded on board, but in Spain they seemed relaxed about it. I did check with security before checking in!

The airport here is huge and you have to take a train to get to the appropriate departure gate. It was a very threatening day, with wild and dark storm clouds all around, and a perfect rainbow. The Spanish seem to me to be a kind and positive people, ready to help, and to enjoy life. I hope to learn more more about their politics. The issue of Catalan independence is looming high and I wonder what will happen. My Spanish is not good enough to give me more than a glimmer. When I try to speak, it is at a very basic level, and I cannot remember many verbs or tenses. I have managed some basic exchanges, and it seems people appreciate efforts to use their language. We English speakers tend to be lazy linguistically, and mostly we get away with it.

However for my last two evening meals, I had sushi. And enjoyed it thoroughly. I can be multicultural with the best of them"

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Last days in Spain

This post is from the cafeteria of the MuseoThyssen-Bornemisza, where I am spending much of the day. And having something to eat and drink. The hotel which I foolishly chose for reasons of economy does not serve breakfast, nor permit any food or drink in the rooms What a poor choice that was. If ever I travel again, I will not try so hard to economise! Apparently Madrid hotels are totally booked out. I must post a review of the hotel on Rooms must be vacated by midday, and bags may be left until 3 pm. My flight does not leave until after 9pm, so there will be quite some time to kill.

Yesterday was Halloween. I had gone past a sushi restaurant and decided to eat there. One of the waitresses had her face painted accordingly, with stitches and wicked witch like grin. The sushi was lovely, so  I had two serves and two glasses of wine.  Around 3 am I was woken by screams, shouting,  sounds of violence, things smashing, and it was quite scary. I asked the concierge, who seems to me to be suitably witch-like, what was the violence, and she shrugged and said it was Halloween! When I left the hotel at 9.39 am,  all was calm, all was quiet, hardly anyone about, except the melancholy looking guard outside the Camera de los Diputados.

All the companions from the trip have gone their separate ways hither and thither , and I feel as though I am filling in the time. Having used the tourist bus I now have a better sense if where things are in relation to each other, although come darkness I can stll get lost all too easily. Yesterday evening I joined the throng to visit the Prado, which is free from 6 to 8 pm. The queue was really long when I joined it at 5.30, but it all worked well, eventually. But I had only just found the Goya paintings at 10 to 8, when we were all shooed and hustled out, so I will go again this afternoon. Perhaps I will visit the gardens of the Retiro. So far I have not managed to find a church to get into,
the only promising one being occupied with a wedding.