Friday, August 10, 2007


Fiesta Time!

I finally got hold of the Spanish version of my Infamy book. It looks great! The strange cover featuring lots and lots of gnomes marching out of a house has grown on me... and it seems the translator has done an excellent job, remaining undaunted by my word games, even using endnotes to explain the Wenglish phrases in my 'Ratón de la Esquina Rosada' story. I'm pleased, of course. Walking into FNAC in the heart of town just to look at copies of my book on the shelves was a self-indulgent pleasure I don't feel too guilty about, but when I returned the following day all the copies were gone. Either the book is selling well or they have already been withdrawn and pulped! I'll assume the former, as I'm always an optimist!

Three years ago, the first time I came to Madrid, I was told by my madrileña friend Nuria that certain things were compulsory before I left:
(1) Tying a white ribbon on one of the trees in the Parque del Retiro in order to be granted a wish,
(2) trying a pack of pipas or quicos from one of the chiringitos,
(3) Tossing a coin to La Cibeles,
(4) Finding a GANGA in el Rastro,
(5) Admiring some live performance en La Plaza Mayor,
(6) Visiting Goya or Velazques in the Prado, and Picasso and Miro in the Reina Sofía.

This is my third visit to Madrid and number 6 on that list is the only one I've ticked off so far. There's a slight possibility my friend Hannah might be coming to visit me later this month, in which case I'll make sure we do the other 5 things. In the meantime I'll be enjoying the street parties, as it is almost fiesta time! There has been some dispute about the actual location of these fiestas, but I'm pretty sure the first set are in Lavapies and the second set in La Paloma. With luck there will be traditional gatos there, not real cats but men and women dressed in old fashioned costumes, with guitars...

We had thunderstorms a few nights ago -- with hot rain!

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