London Town

My parents had always instilled in me the values around which they had built their devout Christian lives. But the teachings of acceptance and forgiveness were quickly forgotten when I showed an inkling of difference. As a confused adolescent, it had been hard enough admitting to myself that I wasn’t comfortable in my body but…

The Librarian

I used to love books until the school librarian put me off them. I know, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds. He used to come immaculately dressed in the same grey jumper-shirt combination, caressing the returned titles lovingly into their special place on the shelves before school like the sort of possessive maniac who talks…

Offshore Drift

Most mornings he watches a couple, a fair bit older than he, descend hand in hand the stone steps cut into the cliffside to swim lengths in the clear seawater of the natural swimming pool built into the rocks below. They rarely utter a word to each other, comfortable after years of companionship and at…

Auf Weidersehen, Kurt.

I was in the bath when they came to take Kurt away. It was just before Christmas. A night that will never be forgotten. I’d known they were there all evening, sitting out in the black Trabant like four shadows waiting to kidnap a soul. Guardians of dark secrets. Reapers of fear. After what I…

FINAL REFLECTIONS

It no longer feels right to be writing a blog titled Life Under Lockdown as the period of strict confinement in Madrid is already beginning to feel like a distant memory. After documenting my life for over 100 days, it is time to tie the knot on this project in pursuit of new ones. As…

DAY 97

Saturday 20/06/2020 Apart from the sea of surgical masks everywhere you look, life is seemingly back to normal here. It is remarkable how the widespread fear about a second wave seems to have subsided as more and more freedoms have been granted to us in Madrid. The ebb and flow of normal life has once…

DAY 85

Monday 8/06/2020 Last week saw a big change of scene. After more than two months living with my best mate Flo I moved to another flat in the south of the city where I will ride out the heat of the summer. Leaving her after such a long time in each other’s company felt very…

Day 76

Friday 29/05/2020 This week has seen us enjoying the glories of phase one and life couldn’t feel any more normal on the streets of Madrid. Bars and restaurants have dusted off their tables and chairs, laying them out in the plazas for thirsty Madrileños to sit at and have a drink. Naturally most people have…

DAY 66

Monday 18/05/2020 I spoke to a student today who has spent the quarantine back at her parent’s house in the beautiful province of Galicia in north-west Spain. Like almost everywhere in the country apart from here, this region has already been in phase 1 for a week and so she gloated about the luxuries of…

DAY 63

Friday 15/05/2020 A week of drizzle in Madrid has meant that despite our freedom to roam, venturing out from the cosiness of the flat hasn’t been an attractive option. I’ve always been one for getting the right clobber on and getting out of the house regardless of the conditions, but I haven’t been tempted in…