Archivo de la categoría: My English Stories

The Most Beautiful Fox / El Zorro Más Hermoso (en español abajo)

The most beautiful fox was in John’s garden. Photo by Marina Carresi

The Most Beautiful Fox  (en español abajo)

We were on holiday in Oxford at Nick’s family home. We decided as usual to visit our friends, John and Sian, in London. They have a nice house south of the river. We have a ritual when we go there, such as going to order oriental food from the best takeaway in the area. While we wait, we go to the pub with John to catch up. When we get home with the food, Sian, the children and the au pair are waiting expectantly. The meal starts with wonderful prawn toast – crispy and full of spongy fresh shrimps – and miso soup that warms your stomach (and your heart). To finish there is roast Peking duck with small pancakes that you have to prepare yourself. John and I love this dish. The exotic mixture of flavours and colours carries me off to springtime in China despite the dark London night outside. I feel a bit guilty about it but I only eat this duck twice a year at most. By contrast, Nick and Sian tuck into a vegetarian array eating spicy tofu and other exotic vegetable dishes. The table is covered in takeaway food containers and always there are leftovers for the next day. After a friendly chat and a lot of laughter everybody goes off to bed leaving me to go out into the still darkness of the garden to smoke my last cigarette before sleeping. Outside under the stars I fancifully have this warm feeling of being at home away from home and accompanied in the nocturnal solitude.

Next day we go to Deptford flea market, although not everything is second-hand and I’m left alone to take photographs and buy things. I can spend hours there. The market is full of life with people from all over the world, dressed in their ethnic styles. Once in a second-hand shop a jovial African man insisted I should take him back to Madrid with me.  When I told him I was married, he jokingly replied that he didn’t mind. Nick and John go to have a coffee and talk about art, literature, politics and life. They were schoolmates and as anecdote they were the only ones to choose history of art as A-level in their last two years at school, so they had three teachers for just the two of them. They seem to know more about art than most university art-history graduates.

One day after my shopping in the flea market I was upstairs on the second floor and Nick called me with an uncharacteristic stage whisper:

-Marina, come down – and bring your camera. Please don’t make any noise!

Intrigued I did what I was asked and suddenly I saw in the garden the most beautiful fox I had ever seen. I hadn’t seen a fox so close before so for me it was the most beautiful. Very slowly I edged into the garden. The fox decided I wasn’t a threat so he stared at me while I excitedly took almost fifteen photographs until the fox decided to leave. I could almost imagine him or her saying goodbye as gave one last backward glance at me. We used this photograph for an advert in the magazine (Think in English) we were doing at that time. The other day while cataloguing photographs I saw this one and I remember its story. I will never know why the fox didn’t run away or why it stared at me in that way. The mystery will remain in the photograph forever.

 

El Zorro Más Hermoso

Estábamos en Oxford pasando unas vacaciones en la casa de la familia de Nick. Como siempre, decidimos ir a Londres para ver a nuestros amigos John y Sian. Tienen una bonita casa al sur del Támesis. Siempre hacemos lo mismo, como si fuera un ritual, dejamos nuestras cosas y vamos con John al mejor take away oriental del barrio y después de encargar la comida vamos al pub para ponernos al día. De vuelta a casa con la comida Sian, sus hijos y la au pair nos esperan impacientes. Para empezar el fantástico pan tostado de gambas, crujiente y relleno de gambas frescas y esponjosas, luego la sopa de miso que calienta tu estómago (y tu corazón). Para terminar el pato Peking asado con pequeños pancakes que tienes que preparar tú mismo. A John y a mí nos encanta. La exótica mezcla de colores y sabores te transporta a una primavera china que despierta en la oscura noche londinense. Me siento un poco culpable por el pato, pero sólo lo como un par de veces al año. Por el contrario, Nick y Sian disfrutan de  una selección de platos vegetarianos incluido el tofu con especias y otras cosillas.  La mesa acaba cubierta por completo de envases de cartón grandes y pequeños cuya comida, que nunca conseguimos terminar, descansará en la nevera para el día siguiente. Después de una amistosa charla y muchas risas todo el mundo va a dormir mientras yo salgó al jardín en la oscura y silenciosa noche, para fumar el último cigarro antes de dormir. Y allí, mirando las estrellas como la ridícula romántica que soy, mi cuerpo se relaja y me siento como en casa, en la soledad de la noche.

Al día siguiente vamos al mercadillo de Deptford, una especie de rastro en el mismo barrio. Me dejan sola para comprar cosas y hacer fotos. Puedo pasar horas allí.  El mercado está lleno de vida con gente de todas partes del mundo con sus diferentes estilos de ropa. Una vez en una de las tiendas de segunda mano un simpático joven africano me pedía con insistencia que le llevara conmigo a Madrid, cuando le dije que estaba casada me contesto riendo: “Oh, no pasa nada. Para mí eso no es un problema”.

Nick y John van a tomar un café y charlar sobre arte, literatura, política y la vida. Eran compañeros de colegio y como anécdota diré que ellos eran los dos únicos estudiante que eligieron historia del arte en sus dos últimos años antes de la universidad.  Tenían tres profesores para ellos solos. A mi parecer Nick y John saben más sobre la historia del arte que la mayoría de los que han estudiado la carrera.

Un día, después de mis compras en el mercadillo estaba arriba, en el segundo piso y Nick me llamó con un susurro elevando el tono desde el piso de abajo:

-Marina, baja –y trae la cámara. !Por favor, no hagas ruido!

Intrigada, hice lo que me pedía y de pronto en el jardín vi el zorro más hermoso que jamás había visto. La verdad es que nunca había visto un zorro tan cerca jamás, así que para mí fue el más hermoso. Muy despacio salí al jardín. El zorro decidió que yo no era ninguna amenaza así que me miró fijamente mientras yo exultante le hice unas quince fotos hasta que se cansó y se fue. Casi pude imaginar que me decía adiós cuando se giró y me lanzó una última mirada. Usamos su foto para un anuncio de la revista (Think in English) que hacíamos por aquel entonces. El otro día organizando mis fotos la encontré y me acordé de su historia. Nunca sabré porque el zorro no salió corriendo ni por qué se quedó mirándome de esa manera. El misterio permanecerá en la foto para siempre.

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Diario de viaje. Mi Oxford particular en 26 imágenes. 5ª parte – part 5 Travelogue: Mi Own Private Oxford in 26 images.

Port Meadow – photo by Marina Carresi

23. Port Meadow es una enorme planicie al lado del rio Támesis. Ahí siempre me siento como si entrara en un espacio de agua fantasma, me explico. Hay una especie de bruma, especialmente al anochecer, que aun andando sobre tierra firme, aunque a veces te puedes hundir en el lodo, tienes la sensación de que el agua te rodea y te acaricia.

Port Meadow: a big flood plain next to the Thames on which I always feel as if I were underwater. There is a mist, especially at nightfall and although you are walking on dry land – despite the ever-present danger of sinking into the mud – you have the feeling that water surrounds and caresses you.

Farmer’s market & the owl in Oxford – photo by Marina Carresi

24. Mercado de productores en Summertown. Productos de todas partes, quesos, huevos, panes, sushi, empanadas … deliciosos, encuentro un español que ha preparado cuatro tipos de paella diferentes, incluida la preferida de los ingleses (aunque muchos españoles no lo entiendan) con chorizo. Al final del mercadillo un hombre recauda fondos para una asociación que ayuda a los buhos. Puedes acariciar a uno de ellos y hacerte fotos (pidiendo permiso). Fascinante!

The farmers’ market in Summertown. Products from every culture you can imagine: cheese, eggs, sushi, bread, empanadas … delicious. I come across a Spanish guy, who has made four different types of paella, including the British favourite: paella with chorizo – unimaginable for Spaniards! I try the seafood paella, it’s good. At the end of the farmers’ market, there is a man with owls. He is collecting money for an organization that protects them. With his permission, you can touch one of them and take photographs. Fascinating!

Headington, Oxford – photo by Marina Carresi

25. Me gusta ese tiburón. Esta foto es de Headington, un barrio acomodado de Oxford lleno de charity shops al que suelo ir. Headington también significa que estamos en el autobús de camino al aeropuerto y de vuelta a casa en Madrid. Como podéis ver en la siguiente foto.

I like this shark. This is Headington an affluent suburb of Oxford full of charity shops I usually visit. We also pass through Headington on our way back to the airport returning home to Madrid as you can see in the next photo.

Nick & I (Marina) in the plane – photo by Marina Carresi

26. Nick y yo en el avión. Adiós Oxford, hasta pronto!

Nick and I on the plane: Bye Oxford, see you soon!

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Diario de viaje. Mi Oxford particular en 26 imágenes. 4ª Parte – Part 4 Travelogue: Mi Own Private Oxford in 26 images.

In Oxford again – picture by Nicholas J Franklin – photo by Marina Carresi

19. Vuelta a Oxford. Otro cuadro de Nick que me encanta y que algún día rescataré del armario.

Back in Oxford. Another one of Nick’s paintings that I love. One day I’ll rescue it from the wardrobe it is in.

Canal walk – photo by Marina Carresi

20. El paseo por el canal es fantástico. Cogemos un autobús hasta nuestro punto de partida y volvemos andando a casa. 3,5km de casas cuyos jardines dan al canal, barcos en donde la gente vive, personas andando con sus perros, gente montando en bicicleta… todo el mundo te saluda.

The walk along the canal is wonderful. We take the bus to our starting point and walk home along the canal. A 3.5km tow-path lined by houses whose gardens look onto the Canal, houseboats, people walking their dogs, jogging, riding bikes… everybody says hello.

Beautiful light in the Canal – photo by Marina Carresi

21.Y a veces, nadie, sólo el silencio excepto el canto de los pájaros. Estás en el medio de la ciudad pero sientes como si estuvieras en pleno campo. Precioso!

And sometimes there’s nobody at all, everything is quiet except for the birds singing. You are in the centre of a city but it is as if you were in the countryside. Beautiful!

Towards Port Meadow – photo by Marina Carresi

22. Otra excursión: hacia Port Meadow. Un día especial de luz espectacular. Silencio, y la impresión de estar en otra época. Quizá la época que una se imagina, no la real. La época que vemos en las series de la BBC con obras de Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollop, Evelyn Waugh. Un estremecimiento te recorre el cuerpo pensando que ahí mismo, por donde estás andando han caminado Lewis Carroll, Tolkien, Iris Murdoch, Oscar Wilde y otros tantos fabulosos escritores.

Another excursion: towards Port Meadow – a special day with gorgeous light. Silence and the impression of being transported to another period in history, perhaps an imaginary one, as in the BBC dramatizations of the novels of Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Anthony Trollop, Evelyn Waugh. A chill runs down my spine when I realize that I’m walking in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Iris Murdoch and Oscar Wilde.

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Diario de viaje. Mi Oxford (y Londres) particular en 26 imágenes. 3ª Parte – Part 3 Travelogue: Mi Own Private Oxford (& London) in 26 images.

Sian – London photo by Marina Carresi

13. Nuestra amiga Sian, una mujer fuerte, inteligente y cariñosa. Cuando vamos a Londres siempre nos recibe en su casa con una sonrisa, a pesar de los inconvenientes que le causamos.

Our friend Sian: a strong, intelligent and loving woman. Despite the inconvenience we cause, she always greets us in her London home with a broad smile.

Heloise & Jacob London photo by Marina Carresi

14. Nuestra ahijada Heloise y su hermano Jacob. Hice esta fotografía en 2014. Les vemos cada vez que vamos a Londres desde que nacieron. A Jacob le encantan los deportes, especialmente el rugby y el baloncesto. Ahora es más alto que nosotros. A Heloise le encantan sus clases de teatro y ballet. Los dos son buenos estudiantes y los dos estudian español.

Our goddaughter Heloise and her brother Jacob: since they were born we’ve seen them whenever we’ve been to London. This photo is from 2014. Jacob loves sports, especially rugby and basketball. Now he is taller than both of us. Heloise loves her drama and ballet classes. Both of them are doing well at school and they are both learning Spanish.

Bizarre shop – London photo by Marina Carresi

15. Esta foto es de una curiosa tienda que asocio inmediatamente al barrio de John y Sian. Cuando llegamos a su casa en Londres siempre hacemos lo mismo: John, Nick y yo vamos a buscar comida a un sitio de comida china para llevar, que es excelente. Mientras esperamos vamos a tomar algo a un pub que hay cerca, nos sentamos en la terraza y charlamos de nuestras cosas con una pinta de cerveza, charlan especialmente ellos dos, a mi me cuesta un poco más hasta que me voy adaptando a su rápido inglés. Cuando volvemos a casa con la comida, siempre pasamos por esta extraña tienda y cuando veo esta foto siempre me acuerdo de nuestro ritual.

This photograph is of a bizarre shop in John and Sian’s neighbourhood. When we get to their home in London we always do the same thing: John, Nick and I go out to fetch everybody’s supper from an excellent and very authentic Chinese takeaway. After ordering, while waiting for the meal, we go to a nearby pub and chat about life over a pint. To be more precise they chat, because I’m still getting used to their full-speed English. On our way back home we always pass in front of this curious shop, so when I see this photo I’m always reminded of our ritual.

The Mural – London photo by Marina Carresi

16. Este mural está cerca del mercadillo al que también suelo ir a la mañana siguiente de llegar a casa de John y Sian. Me parece creativo y muy original.

This mural is on the way to the market I usually go to the morning after we arrive at John and Sian’s house. I think it is very creative and original.

The street market – London photo by Marina Carresi

17.Me encantan los mercadillos de los barrios ingleses, me recuerdan a cuando mi tia Vile (hermana de mi abuela) me llevaba al mercadillo cuando pasaba las vacaciones en su casa en Mollerusa (Catalunya). Todo lleno de color y vida. Nick y John me dejan a mi aire y se van a tomar un café.

I love English street-markets, they remind me of when I spent holidays in Mollerusa (Catalonia) with my aunt Vile (“Vil-le”); she took me to this type of market. Everything is colourful and alive. Nick and John leave me to do my thing and go to have a coffee.

A life long friendship – London photo by Marina Carresi

18. Una amistad de toda la vida. Tres amigos desde el colegio. John, el tio más cool que puedes encontrar. Pete lleno de vida y humor. Nick, el ocurrente, siempre jugando con las palabras. Aquí hubo suerte y pudimos quedar con los dos. Nos reímos, es lo que suele ocurrir cuando estos tres Mosqueteros se juntan.

A lifelong friendship: the three of them have been friends since school. John, the coolest guy ever; Pete full of life and humour; Nick, the punster, always playing with words. On this occasion we are lucky to meet up with both of them at the same time. We are laughing so much we upset the people around us; this usually happens when these three musketeers get together!

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Diario de viaje. Mi Oxford particular en 26 imágenes. Travelogue: Mi Own Private Oxford in 26 images. 2ª Parte – Part 2

We are off – photo by Marina Carresi

7. Nos vamos a buscar cositas interesantes. Nick siempre va delante y nunca oigo lo que me dice.

We go to look for interesting things. I can’t hear anything Nick says because he is always three paces ahead of me!

Summertown charity shop photo by Marina Carresi

8. Me encantan las tiendas de ONGs en Inglaterra (Oxfam, Save the Children, Blue Cross, etc.). Puedes encontrar cosas increíbles y a la vez tu dinero sirve para una buena causa.

I love English charity shops (Oxfam, Save the Children, Blue Cross, etc); you can find incredible things there and at the same time your money is put to good use.

Books & tea photo by Marina Carresi

9. Un descubrimiento. Una librería de segunda mano llena de sorpresas. Nick prepara una taza de té mientras yo me asombro recorriendo sus mágicos rincones.

A second-hand bookshop full of surprises. Nick is making a cup of tea while I discover its secret nooks and crannies.

Home again photo by Marina Carresi

1o. Otra vez en el jardín descansando después de andar por todas partes durante horas y esperando con ganas la deliciosa comida que nos prepara Christine.

Back in the garden – having a rest after walking around for hours and looking forward to another delicious meal cooked by Christine.

Sculpted stone – piedra esculpida photo by Marina Carresi

11. Esta piedra esculpida tiene historia. Nick y su hermano lo encontraron cavando en el fondo del jardín cuando eran niños. Esta piedra para mi simboliza Oxford, una ciudad atemporal.

Nick and his brother dug up this sculpted stone at the bottom of the garden when they were kids. This stone is symbolic of timeless Oxford for me.

Picture by Nicholas Franklin – photo by Marina Carresi

12. – Por favor, déjame llevar este cuadro a Madrid!

– No hay espacio en el equipaje.

Cada vez que abro el armario del dormitorio y veo este impresionante cuadro que Nick hizo hace años, pasa esto. Creo que es una obra de arte y que merecería estar en un museo.

M: Please let me take this picture back to Madrid!

N: There is not enough room in our luggage.

This conversation takes place every time I open the wardrobe in the bedroom and see this astonishing picture Nick painted many years ago. I think it’s a work of art and it should be in a gallery.

 

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Diario de viaje. Mi Oxford particular en 26 imágenes. Travelogue: Mi Own Private Oxford in 26 images. 1ª Parte – Part 1

Esta es la historia de un viaje. A muchos españoles cuando les preguntas ¿dónde vas de vacaciones? te contestan: a mi pueblo. Pues bien, el pueblo de mi marido está en Inglaterra.  Cuando vamos allí hay muchas cosas que se repiten y otras no, pero esto intenta ser un resumen de varios viajes al “pueblo” de Nick.

This is the story of a trip. When you ask most Spaniards where they are going on holiday they reply “to my village”. Well, my husband’s “village” is Oxford. When we go there we have a number of rituals, though of course each trip is different. This is an attempt to sum up several trips to Nick’s “village”.

Part 1

 

Gatwick airport – photo by Marina Carresi

1 .Una de las primeras cosas que me llama la atención en el aeropuerto de Gatwick son estos collages. Están hechos con miles de fotos de pasaporte. En mi foto no se puede apreciar, pero si te acercas puedes verlas. Es impresionante.

These collages are among the first things that draw my attention in Gatwick airport. They are made up of thousands of passport photos. In my photo you can’t see them but if you go up close to the actual collages you can. They’re impressive.

 

Oxford bus – photo by Marina Carresi

2 .Hay que coger el autobús a Oxford. Mejor tomarlo con humor ya que aumenta el tiempo del cada vez que suena un tono estándar de llamada de wassap alguno de los pasajeros (lo que sucede viaje en dos horas. Charlamos, dormimos y comemos un sandwich mientras Nick maldice en voz baja aproximadamente cada 30 segundos).

We have to take the bus to Oxford. Better to accept it philosophically because it adds two hours to the trip. We chat, sleep and eat a sandwich while Nick curses under his breath each time we hear a default Whatsapp ringtone (which is approximately every 30 seconds).

The Garden – photo by Marina Carresi

  1. Agotados pero por fin en casa. El esplendido jardín nos recibe con su frescor.

Exhausted but home at last; the wonderful garden welcomes us with its freshness.

In the bedroom – photo by Marina Carresi – sculpture by Nicholas Franklin

  1. La ventana en nuestra habitación y la escultura de Nick de la cabeza de colores y su misterio.

Our bedroom window, with Nick’s sculpture of a mysterious multicoloured head.

Good morning – photo by Marina Carresi

  1. Los pájaros vienen a comer y nos dejan observarles mientras desayunamos.

Birds come and feed while we watch them over breakfast.

Dewy grass – Hierba cubuerta de rocío – photo by Marina Carresi

  1. Un cigarrito en el jardín después de desayunar. Siento la hierba fresca bajo mis pies desnudos.

After breakfast a cigarette in the garden. I feel the fresh grass under my bare feet.

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Turner: the Illuminator

Slave-ship Museum of Fine Arts Boston painted by J. M. W. Turner

Slave-ship Museum of Fine Arts Boston painted by J. M. W. Turner

A sweet tormented soul

in a grumpy unrefined body,

looking through the light

with the sight of an angel,

with the hands of a king

in a rainbow kingdom.

He left us the future

in his colored wisdom,

he left us nature

in the art of his vision.

Marina Carresi 2016

When I see what is happening with the refugees I can’t help thinking that if J. M. W. Turner had been alive he would have painted a similar picture.

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My Own Brideshead Revisited

by Nick Franklin

Me in Oxford by Nick Franklin

When I was seventeen a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to babysit a friend’s son over the weekend in a village in the mountains near Madrid. Her friend was a divorced father and his son was five or six years old. I said yes and prepared my suitcase for the trip. In the suitcase I put my Pink-Panther leggings – very fashionable in the Eighties – and the book I was reading, Brideshead Revisited. I loved that book; it was a Spanish translation but I think it was a very good one. I was completely in love with the British setting and the educated and funny characters that appeared in the book. In short, I dreamed about that world of humour, culture and history.
The weekend was fine, the boy behaved well and I was happy because I had some time to read my wonderful book. The man – I can’t remember his name – told me he was going to take me home but first he had to pick something up from his flat in Madrid. So we stopped in his street and I had an intuition that I shouldn’t leave my bag in the boot. I told the man this but he said, “Don’t worry, it’s safe.” I didn’t want to insist and I supposed he knew best. We went to his flat and when we came back to the car he saw something he didn’t like. We approached the car and my heart started beating hard. The boot was slightly opened and inside there was nothing. My suitcase had gone. I was very upset because I knew it hadn’t been a good idea to leave it there. My beautiful Pink-Panther leggings and my Brideshead Revisited were lost forever! I was young and couldn’t at that time buy the book again and I think I had just four chapters left to finish it. I was very sad. He was very sorry but couldn’t do anything for me to recover my stuff. Years later the BBC made the TV series of Brideshead Revisited with Jeremy Irons as the main character and I enjoyed it a lot.
I met my husband Nick in Madrid. When we were living together we watched and recorded the repeats of the series dubbed into Spanish. Nick was born in Oxford but when I met him his parents were living in London. I can’t remember if it was one day during the weekend in Oxford or later when his parents left London to go back to their house in Oxford that we were visiting the town and suddenly I remembered Brideshead Revisited and I realized I was fulfilling a dream. I was surrounded by these beautiful houses and green lawns, these educated witty people and I was the main character of this romance written in my mind when I was seventeen.

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Temerity, Tim Booth and the Tiny Camera

by Marina Carresi

by Marina Carresi

My husband’s favorite group are James and they finally came back to Madrid in 2007 after several years absence. I like the band very much but my English isn’t good enough to understand the nuance of their poetic lyrics. They were going to play in a big festival with other groups in a town near Madrid. It was summer. As you can no doubt imagine summer in Madrid is extremely hot but it didn’t matter to us;  James were finally going to be in Madrid again! So we took a free bus put on by the festival organizers to get to the place. We were working in the magazine Think in English at the time and I wanted to take my professional camera with me but in the end Nick convinced me that it would be a problem getting it past security, so I took a very small camera I had back then. We arrived at the venue and after the usual queue and bag searching, we got in. Just as we were looking at the stage and thinking about how we were going to get a place in the front row, we heard, “Hi, thought we might meet you here!” It was Jose and Lola, friends of ours back then. We were catching up with them when I told Jose, “It’s a pity I don’t have my camera (at that time my camera was almost an extension of myself), I only have this tiny little one but anyway I’m going to try to take some photographs.” I can’t remember how I mentioned that Nick and I had press ID cards. Jose got excited, “You should get into the press area.” He knew about these things because he had worked in  radio, and music is his passion. So we got into the press tent and had a drink. It was much cooler than outside under the sun. We were excited and nervous, we didn’t have any press passes but the worse that could happen was we might be ejected, so we stayed there acting as if we had been doing these things all our lives. Then the concert was going to start and we all left the press tent. The photographers began to take up position in front of the stage in the pit. Suddenly, Jose pushed me and I found myself surrounded by the biggest cameras I had ever seen and then with my minuscule camera I decided ignore my fears of been expelled and take as many photographs as I could. The concert began and ‘we’, the photographers, were only allowed to take photographs during the first two songs. The cameras started to flash and suddenly I think out of amazement at seeing this red-haired woman with the smallest camera you could imagine in the press pit, Tim Booth – the singer of James – stared at me quizzically. This is the photograph of this moment and I love it. A few moments later, a security man ordered me out of the photographers’ pit but I didn’t care because I had my photos.

This is one of my favorite photographs because I had the courage to take it, I had found the confidence to take a risk and it was great fun.

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septiembre 3, 2014 · 20:06

Feathers in the Woods

I love feathers. They are colourful, they seem fragile but are strong, they’re elegant and each Feathers 018 bone is unique. I found these feathers on the walks I went on with Nick and his father Raoul. They were among my favourite moments when we travelled to England. Nick’s mother Faith usually waited reading or resting in the car because of her problems with her back and we went to walk in the woods. The woods in England are wonderful, full of trees and, especially in Autumn, full of dry leaves that create a carpet on the ground that makes a very peculiar sound – like breadcrumbs or old pieces of paper when you step on them. This and the birds singing were the only sounds we heard while we walked in silence. Sometimes we talked and sometimes I saw Nick and Raoul miles ahead ’cos they walk faster than me. I was always taking photographs of phantasmagorical trees, and bright green plants and of course picking up beautiful feathers. Raoul is a walker, he has been walking all his life – serious walks – and he knows every sign you could find in the woods. Nick learned the signs from him. I can’t remember how many times Nick and I have been walking with him in England and in Spain but I always enjoyed it enormously. Once we even saw a snake while walking in a place near Oxford. It was like a vision, I had never seen a wild snake before, it was slithering diagonally and it was so graceful that I stood there completely mesmerized by its beauty, no fear at all. It went on its way, and we carried on walking. As you could see in the photograph, the feathers show you the variety of birds there were and the beauty of their plumage. I miss those walks. Faith passed away, Raoul is a bit tired now and we have very little time. Maybe one day Nick and I will have more time. Time, time, time….  maybe one day.

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