Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2012

Hide and seek

This is a picture of a banner in the street. I thought I'd like to go and see the exhibition about the Spanish Navy but I couldn't see anything on the poster to say where it was. I asked in the tourist office. The woman wasn't sure. I showed her the photo on the camera viewscreen. "Ah, yes, Naval Museum," she said. She was wrong.

Actually the Navy Exhibition is in the Underwater Archaeology Museum. I learned that from magnifying the photo on the computer screen.

So I can't really complain, as I often do, that Spanish poster designers need to consider whether their posters carry the necessary basic information like where and when, but that hasn't stopped me.


It's Carnival time in Cartagena. Think Rio; think semi naked women with lots of feathers. But that's tomorrow. Today it's chirigotas. Scurrilous songs sung by ad hoc choirs about people, places and things in the news. You know the sort of thing - brave captains who refuse to leave their sinking ships or down on their luck bankers.

Chirigotas are typical of Cadiz but we have them here in Cartagena too

Now imagine us amongst the audience in the local theatre. A performance that depends on recognisable songs, double entendres, a grasp of slang. We are soon lost. Wallowing. At least we find the inability of the audience to behave properly amusing. Charming maybe. After an hour I haven't recognised anything longer than two short sentences. We sidle away as the scenery is changed.
One more cultural experience.

How much?

There's something wrong with our sofa. If I sit on it I nod off. I don't think it's anything to do with the whisky - definitely a sofa problem. So the best place to read anything is in a bar. If I fall asleep on a bar stool it hurts as gravity does its thing.
I have little routines about which bars I use to get a coffee and so where to read. On Wednesday and Friday morning en route to my classes in Escombreras I stop off at a nice little spot just beside a petrol station. My two cups are served by a very pleasant woman and habitually set me back the princely sum of 2€. But not today, today with a new younger woman behind the bar I paid 2.20€. Odd I thought but, being British, I said nothing.
As I drove away though it rankled a bit. The it struck me that it happens quite a lot. In the place I use on Ramon y Cajal for my intercambios the four drinks for the two of us usually come out at 4.40€ but a couple of weeks ago they were 4.80€ and in Santa Florentina it was 20c cheape…

Just passing the hours

I finish early on Wednesday evenings. We went for a drink. On the way to the bar Quevedo we passed a cake shop. Maggie mentioned that she'd been intending to buy something there for a while.

Cartagena is neither Gotham City nor Metropolis but, just like The Man of Steel and Batman, I'm a man of action. I strode, manfully, purposefully, into the shop. I spotted a notice on the door "We specialise in Hinds and Explorers" it said, well it didn't actually, it read "Ciervas y Exploradores," but being almost bilingual nowadays I hardly noticed the difference. Inside the cake shop there was a little coffee bar. I ordered up a cuppa mud (Tom Waits, Phantom 309 composed by Red Sovine) and a nice little pastry to go with it. Maggie's memory was jogged. "Ahh, they're sweet pastry with meat fillings," she said. Indeed they were. The ciervas are the bigger tartlet ones and the exploradores are the ones dusted with sugar. Typical of Cartagena said t…