Friday, November 09, 2007


The Blabber of Seville

"Seville is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women."
-- Lord Byron

"I ain't so well known."
-- A typical orange from Seville

The first time I went to Seville was two years ago, on my way back from Morocco. It's a very beautiful city, almost dreamily 'Spanish', and I was pleased to go again for Hispacon this year because I realised there was much I hadn't yet seen. As it turns out there is still much I haven't seen, partly because Seville is a tangle of narrow alleys and one might live there for years without exploring every fascinating nook and curious cranny.

My publisher, Luís Prado, paid for my journey, and thanks to the Hispacon organisers I stayed for free in a very comfortable 4 star hotel in the Barrio Macarena, near the old city walls. On my first night I went for a walk and encountered a religious procession somewhere near the church of San Marcos, with lots of incense, drumming and a huge image of the Virgin carried by sweating costaleros dressed in archaic garb. The atmosphere was very special.

Hispacon itself was held on the south side of the river, in the former pavilion erected by the Moroccan government during Expo 92. Now renamed the Fundación Tres Culturas, it's an incredible venue for a conference. Sadly, many of the presentations and talks I couldn't understand because they were in Spanish. My own presentation was conducted with the aid of translators and headphones, a system that worked surprisingly smoothly. I had worried that I might blabber instead of speak coherently, but everything went extremely well.

Some photos of the event can be viewed here. Because my own flickr account has filled up more rapidly than expected, I've started a new one. When I returned to Madrid, I had to make a decision about when to return to Wales. Originally I was going to fly back today (November 10) but now I prefer to postpone my return for a month or two. I am currently looking for more farm work: and I think I might have found some.

Finally, here's a quick plug for a person by the name of Zoe Chandler...

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