05.09.19 — Journal

Summer Storms

Since returning from Valencia, I’ve been back to my usual routine of work, home, and terraceo (sitting around on terraces having a drink). Said routine has been broken a few times, however, both by myself and by the late-summer weather which has been wreaking havoc on some of my plans!

A couple of weeks back, me and Bogar headed off to the cinema, as we were intrigued to see what Disney had done when remaking one of their most beloved classics: The Lion King. I must say that I did enjoy the film, even if it really was nothing novel at all: it’s basically the same film but with “live action” (obvious spoiler: it’s all CGI). Most notable were the lines delivered by Billy Eichner as Timbon – this character single-handedly held up the whole film for me.

Interestingly, the little cinema in which we watched the film was one of the gorgeous buildings I had first spotted when I first visited Madrid. I remember thinking at the time that I’d love to see the interior, and now that I have, I have to say that it’s nothing like what I imagined! As well as being much bigger than expected, the interior is completely modern, which in hindsight is lucky for us – imagine watching a film without air conditioning!

The yellow facade of "Cine Ideal" in Madrid.

Another evening called for a catch up with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while, which involved a drink on a terrace to make the most of the pleasant evening temperatures. After this I headed off to Mercadona, my local supermarket, and was treated to a lovely sunset as I struggled back home with a full chicken in tow.

Glasses on an outdoor terrace table.
A low sun casts long shadows and illuminates the street in a warm glow.

Said chicken wasn’t mentioned for no reason, however, as it has been one of the defining dramas of my week! I’d seen that buying the whole chicken was cheaper than buying parts, and my friend Leo (a chef) had given me tips on how to make a good roast, and so I dragged one home and the showdown began.

I don’t know how I managed to get meat, bones, and juice all over the place, but my flat closely resembled a bomb site after just five minutes of trying to cut the thing up. The payoff came in how it tastes, however, as Leo’s tips worked wonders and I’ve a mountain of delicious chicken stored in my fridge. The problem now will be eating it all before Friday…

Friday is the day that everything has to be eaten by, as I am heading straight from work down to Murcia, where I’ll be meeting my parents for one of our increasingly frequent holidays! More on that to come later, however, as I’ve my first week back in the office with longer working hours to get through yet. At least the shock of the new schedule was been eased by a lovely sunrise as I awaited my train to work one morning…

A pink, purple, and orange sunrise over the train lines of a station.

Don’t be fooled, though, for the weather hasn’t been on its best behaviour as of recent. In the past week I’ve had to endure the sorrow of a Rodrigo Cuevas concert being cancelled due to rain, my hopes of going to IKEA to buy a rug being dashed because of a thunderstorm, and a trip to an exhibition being dampened when I left and walked straight into a downpour.

The rain left me alone during the working day but attacked every evening.

Droplets of rain on a window.

I still did manage to enjoy said exhibition, which was on a rather strange subject: it was a collection of bibles. Anyone who knows me will know that I have zero interest in religion, but the interesting aspect was that they were from a collection of a man who had tried to obtain a copy of the bible in every written language in the world.

Engraved text on the facade of a building in Madrid.
Pages of a bible in the Bhutanese Dzongkha script.

With my limitless appreciation for language, visual communication, and writing systems, seeing such a vast and varied array of languages and scripts in one place was absolutely fascinating. From the plain old Latin alphabet (the one we use) to the gorgeous and previously unbeknownst to me Dzongkha script from Bhutan, I spent a good while inspecting each script and exhibit.

There were even a few bibles which caught my attention for other reasons. The final exhibit box showed bibles illustrated with Japanese cartoons, bibles in Braille and sign language, and even a bible illustrated with Minecraft screenshots. Another bible was written in Korean but had nothing on the cover, which made it painfully obvious as to where it had come from: North Korea.

A bible with a blank cover and Korean text.

That pretty much sums up the past few weeks back here in Madrid, which will come to an end with an evening out with Bogar for tacos tonight and then my train bound south tomorrow. One I’m back in Madrid, I’ll be back with more updates, but until then I shall try to disconnect and relax for a good few days!