Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sitting and walking

I half remember an early city walk that I did. It was around Oxford and the chap introduced himself as the obsequious Turnbull. He was about twelve years old, or so it seemed to me at the time, and he wore a threadbare suit complete with bow tie. He did a good tour though. I like walking tours around towns and cities. Trees and geology in Leeds, Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel, writers in Dublin or 1726 in Petrer - they're all worth a go. I don't even mind those leaflet based walks that do the drainage system in the Fens, Bomber Command in 1942 or Carmen Conde in Cartagena.

We've always tried to throw a few cultural things in amongst the alcohol and wild excesses of our lives (well that and the nightly cocoa) and even having to do it it in Spanish hasn't quite vanquished us. I've taken, purportedly, willing house guests to the theatre or to a film. We've done lots of music - festivals, flamenco, ballet, zaerzuela, contemporary, jazz, latin and opera. Folky and amateur stuff comes out of our ears and even word based activities, like poetry and comedy, haven't been out of bounds.

We've been a bit culturally bereft for the past few months though. Mediaeval and craft fairs, drinking and eating too much with pals and blessing donkeys, for all their fine attributes, don't really count as culture. So I was interested to see a bit of theatre advertised in nearby Novelda. The venue was the Casa Modernista, the Modernist House - a house we think of as being Art Nouveau - all intricate woodwork and stained glass. A theatre company is doing some sort of historical recreation there.

Almost at the same time Yecla advertised guided walks based on the books and life of the writer Azorín. They are commemorating the fifty years since his death. Azorín is getting a fair bit of attention locally because he was born in Monóvar and went to school in Yecla. Both places get mention in his books and so both have organised events. I didn't really see the Azorín link but we got to see a Billy Wilder film a little while ago as a result.

So I set about booking the Azorín tour around Yecla and the theatre in Novelda. A splendidly simple process for both. Google forms from Facebook in Novelda and a simple, reassuringly old fashioned email to Yecla.

Yecla came back quickly with an amusingly intricate form, so precise that it accepted my reservation at 8.03 Central European Time. The Google form didn't work so well. It took a couple of old technology emails to sort it out. The venue people emailed me in Spanish and later, for good measure, in perfectly acceptable English to say that there had been a bit of a blip but they had it in hand.

I was looking for a quote about Spring and the changes it rings to round off this post. Tolstoy's "Spring is a time of plans and projects" would have done nicely but Margaret Atwood made me laugh more "In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."

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