Daily life in Madrid

Templo de Debod

The first photo is of a temple from the Egyptian archaeological site now covered by the Aswan dam, the Templo de Debod.This was given to Spain in recognition of the work it did in helping save what was to be covered by dam water. Imagine if the original designers of the temple could see their work now, transposed to another continent and in the middle of this very modern city. Imagine. 

    And this very moving sculpture was near the temple. No signage but to me it has to represent the suffering of Spain during the civil war and Franco’s dictatorship. Maybe not but the damage to the body is certainly reminiscent of the consequences of a civil war followed by a dictatorship and hence the damage to a civil state. 

    New teacher today

First day with the new teacher who takes us for session 2 each day. Madre de dio!  She SHOUTS. Not just when she is displeased but most of the time. Loudly. The 3 of us who are new were warned by those in the class who’d had already had her that she is different. Hmmm, ‘different’ does not cover it. She appears to dislike life, being a Spanish language teacher student and, her class. That plus her apparent belief that being louder will facilitate our understanding makes the class a big challenge for me. A big one. 

I hate being shouted at. Too much experience of that as a child – sorry mum, just as well you can no longer hear this but it’s as true as any long held memory ever is! 😏

The new teacher speaks quickly but the words she uses are generally fine for me and both teachers are, wittingly or not, helping extend my vocabulary. And the focus for this week, the new tense, well….  We got a larger list of conditions today under which it is used. Like a truth tree: if p then q, if not p then c and if c then either x or y under certain conditions in which case s becomes q or z…… Understand? Complex? Yes. 

 And, every verb tense so far has irregularities. One tense had only 3 irregular verbs but others have very many. Almost all are irregular in fact. You then have to learn the principles of the conjugations as well as many apparently very dissimilar words. No wonder I’ve found reading newspapers hard. Would you guess the first person conjugations of the same verb includes: voy, he sido, iba, vaya, fui, iré… and there are more for this one part of the one verb! These are all for the verb ‘ir’, or, ”to go’ in english.

So, tonight I have to try and work out how to reliably differentiate the verbs and the conditions under which you use each. ☺️

Funny, every time we have a new teacher a standard question is ‘why are you learning Spanish’? After teacher #2 today I wondered! Not seriously but I have to try a technique tomorrow to have her quiet an down: speak very softly. Not natural for me but I’ll try 😎.

Front doors

Front doors to most apartment blocks are very unassuming. This is my current front door, five floors down:  


Which, you ask? The one in the middle. My last one, in Granada, is the one below. The light in the hall behind it would have stayed on for another minute or so. After that you see little more than the black metal grill. All passage lights have a timer and are manuel or movement initiated.


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