Out into a chilly wind today I noticed the Galerias Atlantis (The Atlantis Galleries) opposite the entrance to our flat. It sounds so sci-fi and yet it’s a quite nondescript mini shopping centre that I haven’t been inspired to enter yet. But as soon as I realised it’s called The Atlantis Galleries I imagined that inside were ancient photographs taken thousands of years before the camera as we know it was invented, showing swirling architectural towers with bejewelled facades, perfect mirrored futuristic citadels, and hovering jade green machines descending on purple amethyst landing pads – or do I watch too much sci-fi?
We descended on the shops after the Christmas silence and stocked up on essentials and missing links. There were quite a few people out, probably trying out the sales but by the time we made it out of the house and got into the city, it was already past 5 PM and getting dark. We managed to catch some photos in the fading light as we grow accustomed to our neighbourhood, the little park at the end of the street, perfect for summer reading on a bench, the French looking Cafe Pereira (Pear Tree), and the odd little vegetable store on the corner run by an old lady who seems to have been there for her whole life.
In the city, we perused the electronics store but only left with an extension plugboard. We saw a Christmas family – parents, son or daughter with a young child and grandparents. The young parents looked slick, dad handsome with brushed back black hair and stylish coat, mum pretty, stockings, high heels, thick blonde hair, their parents looked like parents transformed into grandparents. Olivia and I were commenting on the era when women would draw a line on the back of their legs due to the unavailability of stockings due to restrictions on silk and nylon. If you ever wondered how they got that line so straight up the back of their legs, try a bicycle clip, a screwdriver handle, and an eyebrow pencil, resourceful. “Cover your legs with a layer of nude-coloured makeup and line the back of each leg with a trompe l’oeil seam” (FYI trompe l’oeil = optical illusion which also translates to illusion d’optique but literally, trompe l’oeil means trick of the eye).
At one point there was a man walking slowly in front of us, as I tried to get past him I realised he was blind. A minute later we were standing together at a red pedestrian light and when it turned to green he didn’t cross because there was no blind audio signal on the light to tell him it was ok, I told him it was fine to cross (in Spanish) and he was grateful. He had dark glasses, a long white stick and was walking down a busy narrow pavement alone at 5.30 PM on a busy wet night. We are so lucky, he seemed so brave. It reminds me of the time in Truro in Cornwall when I mistakenly walked into a fellow in his twenties, “Oh sorry”, I said, “I didn’t see you there”. “Me neither”, he said, a humorous tone in his voice – he was blind.
Today we discovered something rather interesting – my own Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia page! There’s a German one and an English one, but an Arabic one? Wow, it looks so cool! Of course, I have no idea what it says but if you speak Arabic and want to check it out, please do, fix the facts, I do not own an oud – yet.
Music today has been three albums by Joni Mitchell (website) starting with Blue (1971), Ladies Of The Canyon (1970), and Clouds (1969). What a talent, the songs, the voice, the playing, the tunings, the lyrics. Wow – How’s that for a review.