1: Leaving it to someone else to book me into an apartment instead of a hotel for a weekend in Madrid, and getting there to find it an amazing, airy, light and art filled space with four sets of French doors in the living room, on a corner overlooking Plaza Lavapies; with the gorgeously faded fin de siecle Cafe Nuevo Barbieri downstairs.
2: The hundreds of little birds (swifts?) that flit and swoop in the sky above the streets of Madrid.
3: Seeing all the women with fans in Spain and deciding to introduce them to London I bought one for myself and two for friends. Just plain, no decoration, but gorgeous colours. They look so graceful, keep you cool and keep your hands busy if you don't smoke. We'll have to wait until the weather changes from gloomy to unbearably humid but three's a trend...(I love this from the website of Casa de Diego where I bought the fans: "Spanish fan is one of our most famous products. It is known all over the world ,it is made absolutely handicraft and it is not only a nice item to deal with the hot weather but also an art work. It can have normal size, bag size, woman or man, with or without engrave, open work, simple, wood, ebony, bone... the election depends on their uses.") Exactly.
4: A plate of fried green pimentos and a glass of rosado in those half height beaker glasses I must only drink wine out of from now on. (sorta like this)
5: Getting my car valet parked at the airport. No more little buses to the carpark 5 miles away from the terminal.
6: Going swimming at the roof gardens of the Emperador hotel on Gran Via. Sunbathing high above the city with a view of the mountains, then going for a dip, all with a chillout soundtrack and great Eurotrash people watching - think tiny speedo's, hairy chest and a captains hat, OR boob job, heavily pregnant and a gold thong bikini.
7: Being taken out by six boys on a Saturday night in Madrid, only going home when I looked at my watch and realised I'd been up for 25 hours.
8: The shower curtain with a b&w photo of a donkey on it in my Madrid apartment.
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