I lived in Spain for a year in the 1970’s. I knew when I left Madrid that it was unlikely that I would ever return. I type ‘The Music of my Madrid’ into the website search bar, locating a story written for ATGB many years ago which continues to bring me joy, punctuated as it is by video segments relating to my time in Spain.
Later, browsing bookmarks in Youtube, I walk virtually around my old haunts in Madrid, past La Casa Inglesa in Plaza de Salamanca, which I sadly notice 45 years later is now boarded up; along Calle de Padilla, where I shared an apartment; into streets and lanes with bars frequented during ‘chateos’, late afternoon walks in which I often met up with expat friends over Spanish wines and tapas – whether garlic mushrooms, calamari in its ink, tortilla, olives.
I visit the Facebook page of ‘Coral de Moraria’, the flamenco bar I frequented often with friends, over four decades later almost deluged with video clips of the flamenco dancers and singers of today performing on the stage I came to know so well all those years ago.
Still unwinding to music of the 70’s in the background, I continue editing the website, subconsciously practicing Spanish via an ‘app’ which changes selected words to Spanish
“En octobre we are looking forward to celebrating Get Online Week, with a free almuerzo for U3A members and members of the older Benalla comunidad on miércoles 19 October at 11.45am. This lunch is being provided by a grant from the Fundación Cosas Buenas… . The theme of el almuerzo is ‘Prueba una cosa’…”
Later, I search SBS On Demand for Spanish films, then seek out Rick Stein’s culinary adventures in Spain. I watch with joy as he visits the places and food of ‘my’ Spain. I’m soon searching for the little diary containing the recipes for paella and tortilla I learnt from our cherished cleaner, Carmen, in Madrid – I have lots of olive oil, potatoes, onions and eggs in the pantry, so tortilla it will be!
Later I lie in bed, unable to sleep, and sleepily say to the open air… “Okay, Google, play Spanish classical guitar music,” then sometime later… “Okay Google, Goodnight”…