My Blog List

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Graffiti Lover's Corner, I

Graffiti Lover's Corner

Madrid turns out to be a hot spot for graffiti artists. My plan is to post some images of their work each week.

Here we have a series of security doors. The Spaniards are big on fences, gates and such things, and the security doors offer many canvases to the graffiti artists. My apologies to anyone who really knows how to read Spanish. I don't know if there are obscenities on this or not.

The one above I am reasonably sure was not an authorized piece. But what about this one. It is not always easy to tell:

The one below, I am pretty sure was commissioned for a night club.

And this one is definately a bit of advertising:

That is all for now. Hasta Luego!

Hello, Again, Madrid

Well, it all started Saturday morning at 11:00 in the Avis parking lot where we took our 4 cartloads of suitcases. While we were loading the car a couple of men walked by and gave us a yell, telling us to be more careful as our doors were scraping the car next to us. What they should have yelled was '"Hey, be more carful, cuz we are stealing the lady's handbag!" But I guess that would not have worked so well in their favor.

We did not notice the loss till we were almost ready to go. Too late to do more than file a police report. The police that I have seen here seem surprisingly informal and sociable. Like a friendly group of high school kids  monitoring the playground. I rather enjoy them, but Adele, who is more safety conscious than me, does not find them reassuring. Matt points out, in their defense, that over here the police are not in such danger of being shot at as they are in the States, so, perhaps they can afford to be relaxed. Here is my rendition, as fish, of the three we dealt with at the airport. Those are tooth picks in their mouths. I guess they were feeling the effects of Spain's new antismoking laws.

If you are surprised to see me rendering them as fish (hmmm... kinda hard to tell in this drawing that they are fish and not just green people without noses or necks) you might want to take a look at my last post - Margot B. Fish's autobiography.

After filling out a police report for the lost passports (three in my bag), and putting freezes on our bank accounts, we packed up the car. With all the bags there was barely room for both girls, and having lost my purse with its contents of books and art supplies, I was feeling a little poorer and opted to go home by the metro rather than a cab. Actually, I was very happy to get back to the Madrid metro.

Spring comes very early in Spain. When we left in November it was much colder. People were not even passing the time at the tables outside of cafes - a rare state of affairs here. But here was the scene outside our apartment when I arrived:

I really had been enjoying that New England winter with tons of snow and the beautiful icicles.  

The house we rented in Concord

But, I cannot lie. This is nice. Here is my alter ego, Margot B. Fish, admiring the view from our apartment:

However, my object is not to evoke envy in my family and friends left in the cold. So, lest you cast the evil eye on me, consider that I am still unpacking. Now for the 6th time since August.

This drawing is from my "Life Drawings" collection (see last post) and was for our packing of our house in August, but it works just as well for the other many packs and unpacks.

Comments? Questions? Elaborations? Write to me at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

See you later, Concord!

Finally! Last Friday we had all our documents assembled and took them to the Spanish Consulate. Yesterday they called to say that they have approved our work and residency permits. We have booked a flight back to Madrid for Friday. The amount of red tape and the number of hoops to be jumped through has been incredible. Matched only, I am told, by the bureaucratic nightmare that those trying to move to the States must go through.

I did not think to take a photo of all the documents that we (Matt really) had to procure and submit, but here is a rendering of the four folders with contents of one:

Each of the four folders (one for each member of the family going to Spain) contained the following:

FBI clearances
Marriage Certificate
Application forms, double sided
Supplementary application forms
Medical Certificates
All of the above had to be officially translated and apostilled  by at approved notary public

A money order
extra passport photos
Aproval of work and residency permits
 Printouts of the email confirming the appointment at the Consulate
Photocopies of Drivers' liscense, if applicable

Each one of these documents in each file had to have a photocopy accompanying it.

SO, how do I FEEL about this next move?

Excited to be returning to Spain. To the apartment with the wonderful view, to exploring the still new city, to my new friends, to learning a new language.

Sad, to be leaving family and old friends, and a house that has become quite comfortable and a country where I speak and comprehend just fine.

The above two states superimposed look like this. Hmmm. Don't really know what I feel. Do I feel anything?

However, my feelings about needing to PACK and get out of this house by Friday afternoon are completely unequivocal.

                                                                       I am terrified.

But is does not seem right to leave without posting just one blog on what a delightful snowy New England winter this has been. As bothersome as all the moves are, I am very glad to have been able to be here.

We were not so sure about this house when we first got here. But we have become quite comfortable and have especially enjoyed the fireplace and the wood stove.

Here is Iris, helping to get firewood in.

We managed to visit my brother and family in Vermont over the holidays. They are staying in an apartment in this big old barn.

Here we all are inside:
It was too small for us all to sleep there, so we also stayed in the barn of this old farm house in the nearby town of Chelsea:
The apartment had a wonderful collection of old books and lovely, soft light in the morning. Here Iris is still sleeping:

I can't possibly include or acknowledge all the wonderful friends and family who have made our stay back here so delightful. My nieces Franny and Caroline here with Iris and Adele with gingerbread houses must represent them all.

But with 24 hours to go, I have got to stop procrastinating by working on this blog!

Back to the ever lurking army of roller bags:

Good by, Concord! Hola, Madrid!