We are in Spain again. Its obvious BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOUTS AND GESTICULATES LOADS MORE! Its all done very good naturedly , but it seems that Spaniards live their life publicly and NOISILY.

Cadiz is nice. I think that Seville, which is just around the corner ,draws off the tourist hordes leaving the locals to come out at night and enjoy the lovely old architecture. We are now in Moorish country – lots of ceramics – and courtyards and the older buildings at least are on a collossal scale . Doorways are high enough to ride through on a horse and the windows and ceilings are correspondingly high.

Talking of loud ,after an evening of wandering through the old town we returned to the boat which is about a km walk though a  dockland area. Late at night ( and if you want to eat in Spain you are by definition going to be late) it was a little bit spooky – completely deserted except by regiments of scrawny cats. As we turned a corner we began to hear snatches of wild brass music accompanied by base and kettle drums. It was fast and accompanied by manic fanfares in a very high register – some of it off key – giving it all a louche and somehow psychotic atmosphere. As we got nearer we made out various figures lurking in dark corners playing riffs over and over again ( usually wrong) and “suddenly” ( there you are Ben – thats where you got it from) we turned a corner to see a large circle of a hundred or so men  and women playing and banging their hearts out. The outliers had obviously been sent away to practice until they got the notes right , but there were still plenty of discordant notes in the pack. The high fanfares came from a mixture of bugles and trumpets , with base accompaniment from trombones and the odd tuba , all the while accompanied by staccato kettle drums with a deep undertone of the bass.

The whole experience had changed from the deeply sinister to a delightful joyful expression of simply wanting to make music ( or in some cases just noise!) and we felt a bit foolish about our earlier misgivings.

The marina itself is deserted. There was one French couple who were just leaving for the Canaries ( I could feel my pectoral muscles itching to flap as I talked to them!) -but now we are the only migrants left. Interestingly the French spoke no English but I enjoyed chattering  away to them in my slightly bizarre French , and it brought home just how difficult it is being in a country  of whose language you understand practically nothing . Its back to the Spanish language course this siesta!

One Comments

  1. Hi, I sailed to Cadiz in 1985 when I was working in Gibraltar. I thought it was a lovely town with very narrow streets. We also motor sailed up to Seville, which was very hot (40 deg C) and dry. The yacht club had a wonderful swimming pool.

    Had Polly for weekend 2 weeks ago. Managed to do a little sailing but the wind were very light. Girls and my father enjoyed it.

    I am also very proud of my (not so) little girl. She came 19th at the Topper SW zone championships, including counting a 13th. She was also 3rd girl. So far not a bad first year of racing.

    Look forward to more postings


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