Well, I'm sorry to say that for weeks and weeks, I've been suffering from a torn hamstring. It has been taking ages to get better, and, on top of that, T. has managed to put his back out. So things haven't been easy, though we've kept going, more or less. Like, we went to Spain, and it was very good. We spent several days in the lovely old city of Malaga, where we have stayed several times before, and which always has something to see....
...like this huge glass box full of potato chips, large enough to hide a man in...
...which seems to me like something fitting a crime novel. I could imagine a villain hiding inside it waiting for the chance to burst out in a shower of fried potatoes to commit his terrible crime. Could you hide a body amidst those thousands of cheese 'n' onion fragments? ( the idea of that didn't tempt me inside to buy a paper cone of the things... )
Malaga is apparently one of the cultural cities of Spain, and it does have some great museums. It is also happens to be where Picasso was born. But during this visit we didn't do very much. We just ambled about and went to only one museum, the Museum of Glass and Crystal.
Its doors had remained firmly shut last time we were in Malaga but this time it was open, and we found it a complete thrill. It is a fairly new museum in an old palacio, restored by its benevolent-sounding owner, Gonzalo Fernandez-Prieto, who actually lives in an apartment on the top floor. He has arranged his own large, imaginative and varied private collection of glass, crystal and antiques to feel as if you're taking a tour through a private house. So, no barriers, few labels, and glimpses of a beautiful garden outside. You also get a guide who speaks your own language, and the overall cost is very reasonable. This Tripadvisor link gives a very good idea of what it is like, and if you are interested, I suggest you take a look at the pictures on the link. I liked far too much of what I saw to show it all here. But my picture of an 18th century goblet shows how the guide was free to handle it - he held it up just where I asked to photograph it. Not been made to be locked forever in a glass cabinet, but to be handled and held, I like to think Mr Fernandez-Prieto might have had his friends over sometimes to eat and drink off his glass treasures.
One of the nice things about it being a personal private museum is that he was able to label the restrooms with incredibly rare Andy Warhol glass to show which door was which. (That's Andy on the right).
During the day we liked to stop by the cathedral to watch pigeons skimming up and down by the fountains nearby to drink or wash. I like how this one sticks out its head and tucks its little pink claws in as it lands.
The jacaranda trees in Plaza Merced were in full glory - they only bloom a few weeks of the year but it's magic to see them against a blue sky.
So Malaga rocks, and we had a day longer than we bargained for when our flight home with Wizz Air was cancelled a few hours before takeoff. It cost us £800 to buy tickets back to the UK next day. We're still trying to get the statutory compensation for late flight cancellation (400 euros each) out of Wizzair for a nightmare fllight experience. But being in Spain was a tonic.
Next, a return to Herefordshire, which I mentioned in my last post. Below is a photo of the excellent lady guide to the Painted Room in the charming town of Ledbury. The room shown is a local government office, rather surprisingly. Until the 1980s, everyone had forgotten it ever had been hand painted, but some sharp eyed workmen spotted the designs as they removed old wallpaper during some renovations. So the conservators were called in and the room was revealed.
So now Wymondham parish church is a slice of monastic cathedral: immensely tall, with gigantic Norman arches, a clerestory, a dazzling altar, old stained glass, splendid roof, and so on. But there's not much of it, so it doesn't have the paid staff, the offices, the shop, the side chapels or all the other things a cathedral has. It is left to a handful of local people and their vicar to keep it open and running.