This week I been on a quick work related trip to Madrid.
Possibly more successful, though only just, and just as theatrical as
Tony Hancock's Spanish interlude after which this post is named.
I flew out on Wednesday evening, arriving just in time for a late dinner and a few ice cold beers with some work friends.
Got up on Thursday morning and made our way to the theatre only to find ALL my fittings had been cancelled for the day.
As I was flying home that night this was a slight problem.
How ever after a lot of grubbing around in the dustier reaches of Madrid's theatrical underworld we unearthed three of my performers.
So this meant I had quite a lot of time on my hands.
Boy it was hot out there!
I did a lot of walking on the shady side of the street.
A few blocks away was the most wonderful place.
I was only vaguely aware of Sorolla and his reputation for the capture of light in his paintings.
But not anymore!
The museum is in his home a cool and welcoming oasis in the dusty mid day city heat.

The gardens were beautiful, lots of water, children running around and office workers eating lunch.
The house was beautiful but the paintings were breath taking.
They reminded me of the Glasgow boys style of painting.
It took me a while to realise that this was his private collection of paintings, so most of them were of his young family.
The photos just cannot do any justice to what I saw.
What I found most refreshing was seeing so many painting of his children running naked and free on the beach.

Its a sad but understandable thing that we don't like our children to run around naked in public any more.
This was a glimpse back in to a less knowing more innocent time.
My boys, even the Ginger Ninja who is 8 now and a little more aware of himself, love running about with nothing on.
There is nothing like that feeling of unencumbered freedom.

My absolute favourite was not one of the most acclaimed paintings in the museum. In fact it was tucked away in the stair well.

I found this little snapshot of family life so moving.
The scene was set, the cushions plumped, the flowers arranged and the children in their best clothes.
The eldest girl and boy and all settled, ready and waiting,
but where is the cheeky little darling?
And then in she runs full of mischief in only her vest and a pair of boots.
Every one laughs and the picture is painted anyway.
We all have some one like that in our families.
There is always a child that cannot keep their clothes on.
There is always someone who is everyone's darling.
There is always someone who steals every scene.
It actually seemed a little like being an interloper viewing such an
intimate family moment.
But what amazing talent to be able to draw me in the best part of 100 years into the future and have me so captivated that I am making up stories about it.
Needless to say I will one day be going back.
The only shame is that I did end up with work to do and so couldn't go to the other side of town and see Picasso's Guernica.
Ho Humm can't win them all.
Love Nora xx


  1. How very lovely. Thanks for sharing. Sandy

  2. Poor you at loose end in Madrid and child free, glad you found a pleasant way to pass the time!

    I love the last picture too, it just captures real life, despite the best efforts to create a perfect scene.

  3. that must be a terrible job you have...Madrid. How dare they send you there!! I do hope you are in a union.

  4. Great stuff. Sorry you couldn't fit Guernica in. It merits that cliched word 'awesome'. Exceeded all my expectations. A hushed crowd stood in front of it, gazing and gazing.


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