Where Am I?

Olive had a hard time weathering this last winter. Coming back from sunny South Africa and feeling the strains of a rather bleak life in Paris or in Brussels or even in Brittany I should add…

Cheerful memories were fading away so fast in addition to the fact that Olive’s life turned out to be hard, tough and quite mean from time to time.

There was not a day when poor Olive felt good enough to go on with telling stories.

Don’t ask me what was really going through her mind because even though I love Olive, I am not always in symbiosis with her. I’d even end up nagging her about writing one good old story that would cheer us all up. But she’d look at me, her huge blue eyes filled with tears.

“I can’t. I can’t any longer. I guess I am burnt out”, she’d whimper.

By the way, Olive does not have huge eyes and they are not blue either. But I thought it’d sound good for a first attempt at “Blogging world, here I come… back!”

Actually the impulse to start blogging again started plaguing me this morning while I was walking back to my hotel from Goya’s mausoleum. Besides the fact that it was an epiphany to see Goya’s frescoes on real walls where he had painted them quite a long time ago and not in a museum, I was feeling great.

And Olive was feeling even better until the moment her eyes wandered from the scenery to the (huge) bosom of an American girl who almost knocked her over going by.

In truth Olive would not have noticed the girl’s bosom if she had not also flaunted a pink T-shirt with a huge tag on it: “I am not a blogger”.

“So what?” Olive said to me. I looked back at her and kept mum.

Large crowds were swarming the city. Spring was in the air. Winds were turning…

And Olive shrugged with a big smile on her face: “As soon as we get back to the hotel, let’s start blogging again”.

So there we are and maybe I should quit using my split personality. Have no fear, my friends, I am the blogger even though Olive may not be aware of the fact that she is only my alias.

I mentioned that I was walking back from Goya’s mausoleum. So where am I?

Those of you who know, no whispering! 

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes is one of the greatest Spanish painters ever. He died in France in 1828 but he is buried in Madrid in a very small chapel (the Real Ermita of San Antonio de la Florida) he had decorated with frescoes in 1798.

In Madrid, they call the place where he rests: “El Panteón de Goya” which is the reason why I said that I was coming back from his mausoleum.

Now, people… Why am I in Madrid? Obviously on my own which is quite unusual since I travel a lot with Popeye and from time to time with Swee’Pea…

A while ago, Popeye came back home with great news. He was supposed to fly to India for business. I was overjoyed… And I started planning my trip too! So did Swee’Pea who would make the most of it and meet with astronomers and above all, meet his friend Niruj again for the first time in five years, I think. Remember our friend Niruj?

For a while, dark clouds quit looming above our heads. India, here we come… Until we realised that I would not make the trip. Not enough time to take all the medicals. Not enough time in India for me to rest. Too many dangers lurking behind the bushes… Indian bushes of course.

I was not very happy about it all. But I am getting better at rationalising. Time difference: four hours and a half. Heat: awful. Bugs all over the place. (Don’t laugh, Niruj! They said “bugs”. I did not.) And ten days all in all. My men busy all the time. I had no other option.

Brittany? Brussels? Paris?

Enough is enough, I said. I’ll be travelling too! And I started checking possibilities, lucky me. I went from cruises on the Rhine (don’t ask me why!) to a trip to Venice or to Vienna or to Morocco or to… to…

Well, I am not used to travelling around. I have watched Popeye and Swee’Pea so many times. A couple of hours and their suitcase is ready wherever they are flying to.

For so many years, my life has been going round from and back to three places and only three places…

I still remember how hard it had been to pack my suitcases to go spend one month in South Africa.

So I chose a safe course. I love Spain. I feel good there. I still had to choose between Barcelona and Madrid. Madrid won. Madrid is a little bit like home for me. We’ve been there so many times and I have even managed to spend a couple of days on my own there from time to time. While waiting for Popeye to come back from meetings elsewhere in Spain.

I flew to Madrid on Thursday morning. I’ll fly back to Paris on Monday night. And I love every minute of my stay. I thought I knew Madrid pretty well but I am still discovering places I have never been to.

I spend my days enjoying every minute of my stay. My men are complaining because I do not keep in touch very much. Well, guys, I am just too busy all day long and you are asleep when I collapse on my bed and finally have enough time to chat.

I love being outside all day long besides the fact it is outrageously sunny and warm. There are not many tourists around besides quite a few Americans who apparently stay away from Paris with its no-go zones (thank you, Fox News) and are boosting Spain’s failing economy.

It’s great to try to speak Spanish again… It’s coming back much faster than I expected. Otherwise there is still speaking with my hands which I use a lot shamelessly!

I’m even back to blogging! Imagine…

*Good Luck, and Good Night*

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I, for one, have missed you (and Olive). :)

I'm glad you're having a wonderful time in Spain—it's an enchanting place. I've been suffering from the winter blues quite a bit, myself, but it looks like warm weather is finally here to stay for a while and I've felt myself cheering up.

I hope to hear more from you!