Friday 1 January 2010

New Year resolutions

By Richard Morley.

Dear Señor Gallardon and Señora Aguirre,

Madrid is a wonderful town that I have chosen to call home. Considering I could have chosen just about anywhere in the world to live, you can feel proud that that out of all the cities in all the world I happened to choose this one.

2009 was a difficult year and let us hope that 2010 will be better. But do you know what you have to do? We must all have a plan. And as a start of a new year is a good time to make plans I thought I would lend a hand.

And so, here are, what I believe, should be your New Year resolutions for the city.

1.Please stop the arguments between the City and the Comunidad. Out of the two of you, Esperanza is the best manager so let her get on with it.

2. Stop moving the street furniture. Moving the bear in Sol, Colon’s Column in the Plaza de Colon etc is just busy work. Spend the money on something more important.


3. An efficient rainwater drainage system in the centre of the city. I know it doesn’t rain much, but when it does the streets get quickly flooded.

4. Speed up the building of a direct rail link between the Airport and the centre. Tourists' number one complaint is the line changes they have to make from Barajas to Sol.

5. Copy Barcelona and have the metro run through the night on Fridays and Saturdays and special events like New Year and La Noche en Blanco. To attract a couple of million people into the city and then to give them a few overcrowded buses on which to get home shows a lack of foresight.

6. Get tough with the graffiti artists. A very few of them show talent, but the rest create a terrible eyesore in a beautiful city.

7. Pass laws prohibiting the blowing of car horns at 3am outside my bedroom window – and anyone else’s bedroom window.

8. Have the tourist office promote something other than the Three Ps of the Prado, the Palacio Real and the Plaza mayor. Madrid has some wonderful parks and some hidden treasures of museums.

9. Make a licensing difference between Bars and Discothèques. If I want music so loud I can’t hear myself think I know I could go to a disco. (Perish the thought!) If I want to have an easy conversation with friends then I could go to a bar. Televisions and one armed bandits should also only be allowed in newly designated “Sports Bars”.

But the main resolution should be to maintain our wonderful city as the joyous place it is. I swear the people of Madrid are the friendliest I have met anywhere. The waiters could teach their counterparts in Paris a thing or two about customer relations. The public transport system could teach almost every other city in the world a few lessons.

I don’t know why Europe chooses a new city of culture every year. Madrid should be the permanent city of culture. And so much of it is free!

But now, please do something about the weather. I am fed up with the rain.

Happy New Year to all.

If you have any resolution we could pass on to the people who run our city, then don’t hesitate to comment below. Oh, and do try not to be anonymous. I like to know who you are.


  1. Richard,

    Why the hell do you write so astonishingly nice with such colourful descriptions? Your articles make me laugh, think and move.

    In the other hand, these ideas on the new year must go to the top level. They are as basic as essential to make Madrid a better place to live and a fancier city to visit.

    Keep the good work up.

  2. Ok, I've just read your last line. The previous comment was mine. :-P

  3. My resolution is to visit Madrid more often for longer periods of time. As you say, it is a wonderful city with fantastic people.

  4. I agree with all of your petitions, specially with the even numbers...
    happy new year Richard!!!

  5. some food for thought there Richard - lets see what this year brings :)