far too much writing, far too many photos

runswithscissors


Saturday, August 18, 2001

Notes from recent travels:

August 8: a summer morning in Madrid, early sunlight slowly beginning to find its way down city streets. The previous days had been warm and then some, temperatures coasting up past the 100F mark. And humid -- not a common feature of hot weather here. This morning promised more of the same.

Made it to the Metro by 7 a.m. for the ride to the airport. Lots of manual laborers on the train, August being a big month for street and construction work -- with half the city away on vacation, the caused disruptions are easier on everyone. An orange sun, bloated with early morning heat, slowly made its way free of the hills to the east of the runway as the plane lifted off and Madrid dropped away.

Arrived in Paris via train from Orly Airport just before midday. Temperatures in the upper 60s, partly-cloudy skies looking autumnal. Found my way to Gare du Nord to board the Eurostar for London.

If you can scrape together the gelt to ride first-class from Paris to London (or vice versa), consider it. It's a great way to go. Really -- don't make the mistake of thinking it a pathetic, bourgeoisie indulgence. It's a genuinely superior way to go, with sales or discounted fares often available. Comfortable, quiet, with beautiful views -- the land between Paris and Calais is a lovely, wide-skied expanse of rolling countryside, farms, small towns. Green, verdant, all that. And the train, one of the high-speed breed, moves rapidly enough through it all that the clouds glide by as if on fast-forward, providing a smooth, strangely amped-up counterpoint to the rustic serenity stretched out beneath.

And then London -- cool, cloudy, often wet. Summer essentially disappeared until my return to Madrid.

A snapshot:

Walking to the South Bank from Waterloo station. The route I'm taking includes a long pedestrian walkway which passes through two genuinely sizeable office buildings. After the second pass-through, there's a courtyard on one side of the walkway with tables, chairs, plants. Nice. On the walkway's other side sits an area of wasteland -- the kind of place usually found on the roofs of large buildings. Spare, industrial-looking, unattractive, featuring large ventilation/air conditioning ducts and not much else. Not on top of a building in this case, but tucked away to one side of this little courtyard area.

Perched atop some of the venting ducts are large wooden tubs. Originally intended, apparently, to contain flowers or plants, though fatally neglected. If flowers ever grew in these tubs they'd long disappeared, nothing remaining but dirt and spikey, tough-looking weeds.

On the side of the building which faces that area there are windows, blacked out from the inside with paint.

And that's all. Not a hugely attractive stretch.

At two points in that desolate little area, above blacked-out windows, signs had been posted that read "This area is alarmed."

If I looked like that, I'd be alarmed, too.

rws 8:34 AM [+]

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BLATHERINGS

August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009

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MORE FOCUSED BLATHERINGS


Travels:
London '01
Pamplona
Italy '03
U.K. '03
Sevilla
Casablanca
Stoke-on-Trent
Barcelona
Québec/Ottawa
Boston/Lisbon/Madrid
Italy '04
Montréal
La Sierra

Events:
Madrid -- arrival
9/11
Emergency Room I
Holidays 2001
Holidays 2002
Holidays 2003
Holidays 2004
Holidays 2005
A neighbor's passing
Madrid -- March 11 bombings
  and aftermath
Emergency Room II
Israeli friend/Madrid Marathon
Madrid -- Royal Wedding
The DELE exam

GONE, a novel:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

THE BASTARD CHILDREN OF
JOE ROCCO, a novella:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3

BURBANK SHRUGGED,
a screenplay:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3
-- Part 4

Short stories:
Murphy's Wife
Another Autumn
La Queja de Una
  Hermanastra Muy Conocida

Autobiography
-- Personal History
-- Hormones On Parade
-- Accidents, Random Mishaps,
    Personal Problems

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


OTHER SOURCES OF WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT

People/Weblogs:
dooce
foxvox
fudge it
fear not
rebekka
bookslut
802online
idle words
madhaiku
wockerjabby
grow-a-brain
rebel market
letting me be
out and about
kung fu grippe
fanatical apathy
baghdad burning
wfuv's music blog
kexp's music blog
mimi smartypants
between the miles
just a hippie gypsy
the impossible cool
tomato can brushes
vermont homestead
sugar mountain farm

Good Clean Fun:
gizmodo
futurismic
postsecret
dave barry
human clock
mcsweeney's
spaceweather
book-a-minute
internet archive
self-portrait day
my cat hates you
out of context quotes
surrealist compliment
  generator
strindberg and helium

Makin' Musical Whoopee:
last fm
stereo8
pandora
soma fm

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ABOUT RWS/CONTACT





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