Thursday, 15 December 2011

Missing Madrid - by Theo

For the first time since we moved back from Madrid at the very end of June I find myself missing the city itself. Our friends there and the free-time we had have long been missed, but as Christmas nears I'm missing some of the great things about winter in Spain's capital.

Some things I miss are quite boringly mundane - like the cheap, regular and heated buses that I used to take to work. There's nothing like getting caught in a storm of hail while cycling to make you yearn for the days when we had a decent and affordable public transport system on our doorstep. I also miss living in a flat and benefiting from the heating of the surrounding flats, especially now we're in an end of terrace house and seem to be fighting an endless battle against mould. Other things are more romantic.

I miss the mornings. Crisp and cold, with temperatures often well below freezing, but usually dry and sunny, they were times to enjoy a frosty stroll through the park with Rosie wrapped up in her pram. It did snow mind you the three winters we were there, but the city was kitted out for it - it functioned, rather than ground to a halt.

I miss the street-corner kiosks selling roasted chestnuts. I never bought any, but they smelt good and I liked the fact they were there!

I miss the Christmas lights, both the big bold ones along Gran Via and Calle Alcala, and the more parochial efforts on Jose del Hierro in our barrio. Oh sure, there's Christmas lights in the UK, but none near us it seems.

I miss the little markets that would spring up in random squares, selling tacky Christmas decorations, beautiful wooden toys and warm woolies.

I miss the Christmas sweets. Spaniards as a rule have a special pastry for every conceivable occasion and Navidad was no exception - roscon, polverones - with fabulous traditions surrounding their consummation.

Mostly though, I miss the fact that all though it was usually very cold in Madrid during winter, at least it was dry. Unlike this windy, soggy city we're in now. When I got to lectures on Tuesday I had to change my clothes completely and hang them up at the back of the lecture hall to dry.

1 comment:

  1. It is so nice to read this post... Thanks for missing my city and for having such a huge list of pros!!
    I follow your blog, so I read how are you in Bristol.
    It is soon but... Merry Christmas!
    Irene Gijón