Saturday 9 January 2010

Choice Pics

This blog is a year old. I did wonder when I began if I could maintain regular postings, but Madrid is such a wonderful, diverse and interesting city that many of the things I have written almost presented themselves. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about them as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing them.
I am never hardly without my camera and it has been gratifying that on more than one occasion I have received a comment saying they like the photographs that accompany the posts. But I use the photographs only as illustration. I have no delusions about my artistry or skill when I take a picture. The camera is a cheap 6 Mega Pixel Casio and basically just point and shoot.

However, sometimes the picture is better than I could ever hope for, and occasionaly, I am quite proud how pure serrendipity has produced such a good shot. Out of the hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures I have taken, the laws of chance have produced some that have become favourites - for one reason or another. Below I present a few that I quite like. Some for their drama, some for their humour, and some just for the sake of interest. I hope you enjoy then too.

The first I like because of the sheer weirdness of seeing a date palm covered with snow. The tree stands outside the apartment where I live.

The flower pots below looked sad and desperately waiting for someone to plant bulbs in them. It was a sunny day in early spring.

Spring had arrived when I first visited the holocaust memorial in the Parque Juan Carlos. This simple monument, made from railways sleepers, bringing to mind the route taken by those who met their deaths in the concentrations camps, still has the power to move me each time I see it.

I have no real love of football, but the next picture of the Real Madrid Stadium reveals its TARDIS like qualities. From outside it is difficult to believe that the ground is as large as it actually is.

Up in the northern Madrid suburb of La Moraleja, where the streets are named after flowers, I found this small flower bed beside the road. It looked colourful enough to be snapped.

I love puns, but my Spanish is not yet good enough to actually construct my own. So I was quite proud of myself to understand the witty slogan on the side of this paper recycling skip. "Papel" means both paper and a role that someone would play in a theatrical production - or in life. So it could read either, "Your paper is important", or "Your role (in recycling) is important. Well, I think it's clever.

Just in case you don't realise, the shop below sells sweets!

I have shown examples of talented grafitti before. This isn't one of them, but something in the humour just took my fancy.  Mind you, the artist's spelling could improve a little.

Where virgins are sacrified. The great red doughnut at the Parque Juan Carlos.

Sometimes I forget to look up and see how blue the sky is.

One of four stained glass windows in the Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha.

In the Parque de Berlin. Just having a rest.

The KIO towers at the Plaza Castilla. I took this across a modernesque park built above a water treatment plant. There's something sort of science fiction about it.

The Cuatro Torres on a grey day.

The business area from Nuevos Ministerios. I like the contrast of the flowers with the stark architecture beyond.

One of the first pictures I ever took in Madrid. In the corner of the Plaza Mayor. A newbie at the time it seemed an iconic picture of Spain.

The Atocha Memorial. People just stand and read the messages - and mourn.

Revealing my "freaki" side. A sliced through diesel engine ar the Railway museum in Delicias.

A couple of Saturdays before Christmas I witnessed children gazing in wonder at this shop window - and cursed as, for once, I didn't have my camera. A week later, this time photographically armed for something else entirely, the same scene presented itself. This time I got the pic. Sometimes, Christmas truly is magic.

I hope you have liked the pictures. Feel free to comment, but not anonymously please, in the space provided below.


  1. Hey, good pics. Great to see the huge variety of views you can get here. Not your average capital city, I reckon!

  2. I just love reading your blogs, Richard. It's great to see the photos too... simple and understated they speak many words.


  3. Nice eye - you will be competing for my job next.

    A picture is worth a thousand words - 0ver 1900 word essay there Richard, now go lie down you must be tired.

  4. Two favorites: the flower pots and the children looking into the window....all are great to see. Not only do you write but you 'photo'...a Renaissance man :>)

  5. The first is truly unique and fits your quirky personality. Actually, the entire idiosyncratic collections befits you. You keep all us readers and viewers wanting more.

  6. Barbara said...

    Thanks for providing those of us who are unable to live in Madrid the virtual experience in reading your wonderful writing style and viewing your photos which so aptly capture the everyday lives within this amazing city. Please keep up the blog Richard,it has become a weekly ritual to catch up on Spanish life through your personlaized venue.

  7. Hi there! I really enjoyed your pictures. I think they show everyday normal scenes and not the stereotypical tourist-brochure kind.
    I'll be visiting Madrid for the first time next May, so I think I'll visit your blog to get inspiration as to what to see.
    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  8. The sweets shop is one of my favourites in Madrid ever! If I was a child, I'd love to keep trapped into that shop, hahaha!

  9. I love the second one: green, red, blue, yellow, green, red, blue, yellow … “it’s a rainbooooooooooow, it’s a rainbow to youuuuuu” jajaja. Do you know this song? :-P

    I like The KIO towers at the Plaza Castilla too (very interesting perspective) and of course, the last one, so sweet...

  10. I read this blog every 2 or 3 weeks and always find it entertaining and enriching. I doubt if there is a better source of information about Madrid and its culture anywhere on the Web.
    Jules (forero sonriente)