Madrid in poems

A month ago I travelled to Spain for a few days to visit family. I often feel the need to travel during winter and Madrid is beautiful in the winter. I wrote some poems while I was there.


It is like stepping into a different world ūüĆé
where people say it’s cold when it’s 16¬įC
and shops are open at 21:30
Teenagers are out and about
loud and happy and young
very late into the evening
There are mariachi in the square
And small shops
around the corner from
my mum’s house
where people still know me
Being here is at once
an escape
and a homecoming
I belong in the warmth
of the February sun
but I also belong


El concierto

A red-haired woman and
a bearded man kiss passionately
Among strangers
*Probando sonido*
I sip my gin and tonic
whilst some tall people pose for selfies
with a giant glass of beer
There will be music in a minute
and I will dance with my latin hips
like nobody is watching
but like everyone is watching
at the same time
Because that is how I dance anyway



A road trip in pictures

Last September I went on a trip around some countries in Europe with my family. It’s been a while but I wanted to share some of the photos I took.

“Peace” — Zaanse Schans, NL
Zaanse Schans, Netherlands
Friendship — Zaanse Schans, NL
Reflections — Zaanse Schans, NL
Reflections pt II — Zaanse Schans, NL
Mystery — Giethoorn, NL
Green — Giethoorn, NL
Giethoorn, NL
Volendam, NL
Volendam, NL
Red — Volendam, NL
Brugge, Belgium
Brugge, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium
Books — Brussels, Belgium
Chambord, France
Rooftops — Amboise, France
River Loire, France
Blois, France
French cool — Blois, France
Love ornate doors —¬†Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Soft —¬†Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Caryatids —¬†Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Rush —¬†Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau, France
Chilling in the shade —¬†San Sebasti√°n,¬†Spain
I’d love to live here —¬†San Sebasti√°n, Spain
Early morning light —¬†Dombellas, Spain
Warmth —¬†Dombellas, Spain
Dombellas, Spain
Cosy —¬†Dombellas, Spain
Los Sestiles, Dombellas, Spain
Celtas —¬†Ruinas de Numancia, Spain
The road home —¬†Dombellas, Spain
Madrid, Spain
Always miss these colourful walls —¬†Madrid, Spain
Callejeando —¬†Madrid, Spain


Skies. A collection of photos.

There were many skies. The sky was invaded by great white clouds, flat on the bottom but round and billowy on top. The sky was completely cloudless, of a blue quite shattering to the senses. The sky was a heavy, suffocating blanket of grey cloud, but without promise of rain. The sky was thinly overcast. The sky was dappled with small, white, fleecy clouds…

Chapter 78, Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

Waiting. Madrid, Spain.
Waiting. Madrid, Spain.
“Something blue-lined, teary, mingled…” Jacaranda Tree by Josh Garrels. Madrid.
Closure. Whitstable, England.
Despertar. Quito, Ecuador.
Amsterdam, NL.
Amsterdam, NL.
Amsterdam, NL.
Amsterdam, NL.
Canterbury, England.
Madrid, Spain.
Walking home.
Walking home. Quito, Ecuador.
Upward stroke. Somewhere in Spain.
A letter
A letter. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
Family walk. Barcelona, Spain.
Rodeos. Madrid, Spain.
C√°diz, Spain.
C√°diz, Spain.
Up. Bath, England.
After the storm.
After the storm. Bristol, England.
Anticipation. London, England.
London, England.
Herne Bay, England.
Sol. Madrid, Spain.
Fleeting beauty.
Fleeting beauty. Madrid, Spain.
Moncloa. Madrid, Spain.
On the hill. Canterbury, England.
Early morning seminars. Canterbury, England.
London, England.
Quito, Ecuador.
December. Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Ever-changing purple.
Ever-changing purple. Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Majestic. Madrid, Spain.
Un respiro. Canterbury, England.
Lovely shades of blue. Canterbury, England.
Frightening. Dover, England.
Liminoid. Whitstable, England.
Whitstable. England.
He walks all over Vienna at night.
He walks all over Vienna at night. Vienna, Austria.
Train journeys.
Train journeys. Somewhere in Kent.
Beautiful clouds. Bath, England
Park wood. Canterbury, England.
Margate, England.
On the road in Spain.
Brugge, Belgium.
From Bcn to Madrid.
Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Prestatyn, Wales.
Amsterdam Centraal. Netherlands.
Toledo, Spain.
Salinas, Ecuador.
Somewhere in Cantabria, Spain.

April in pictures.

Here are some of the photos I’ve taken this month. Most of this month was seen through my sunglasses, which change the colour of things — I’ve tried to add some of that colour through editing the images. Enjoy!


Visiting the newlyweds in Bournemouth. Good times! ^^
Visiting friends in Bournemouth. Good times! ^^
Bournemouth sunset.
Bournemouth sunset.
Canterbury High Street at 7pm.
Canterbury High Street at 7pm.
Magnolia tree on Cherry Garden Road.
Magnolia tree on Cherry Garden Road.
The office.
The office.
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
New leaves in the sun.
New leaves in the sun.
My favourite gate.
My favourite gate.
Dane John Gardens.
Dane John Gardens.
Somewhere in Oxford.
Somewhere in Oxford.
Pretty pattern on the stairs.
Pretty pattern on the stairs.
Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Scenes of Parisian Life by Constantin Guys.
Scenes of Parisian Life by Constantin Guys.
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Westgate Gardens. Walking back home after a long day.
Westgate Gardens. Walking back home after a long day.
Stuck in London traffic.
Stuck in London traffic.
Probably somewhere along Whitehall.
Probably somewhere along Whitehall.
Portrait/selfie. Trying on a headwrap.
Self portrait/selfie: trying on a headwrap.

I spill colours.

I am large
with expectation.
My belly is round,
hips full
swaying from side to side
caught in the rhythm
of the Pacific Ocean.

I spill colours on the pavement
I forget smiles on the metro
I’ve shed memories on the train
worn trainers to work
unfriended people on Facebook.

I am loud
with laughter
and sarcasm

I dissolve, sometimes
I shrink
so others can bloom
be heard, be happy…

There is fire in my eyes
Spanish sunshine on my skin
A mélange of colours in my hair
ComPassion in my veins¬†‚Äď
Relentless strength.

February 16th in pictures.

I walk into town with the intention of going to church. I make it to the bus stop and then decide that I’ll go to Dane John Gardens instead. My hair feels light and it dances about my head in the soft breeze. I go up to the Dane John Mound, I am surprised by how beautiful Canterbury is. I send this photo to a friend and remain on the mound for a while.

DSC_0164Soon I am surrounded by tourists and as it’s getting chilly I decide to leave. I walk along the wall and stop to look back at Dane John Gardens.DSC_0165I cross the bridge, walk past the bus station and head towards Burgate – it’s one of my favourite streets. I really like walking down that street, especially after it rains. I walk towards the Cathedral and stop to admire a window, just because. Two children are racing each other beneath it so I wait to take my photo, I don’t want to ruin their game.

DSC_0166The way the sunlight falls on the window and the little balcony is lovely. I continue down Burgate towards the Buttermarket where I find out that the Cathedral Café is opening on February 18th! I have high expectations of that café, it used to be a Starbucks but they closed. The rooms are beautiful. I go into the Cathedral and find that there is a service going on. There are no chairs in the nave, just how I like it.

DSC_0168There are a couple of chairs near the choir, I sit down to listen to the sermon. I find it somewhat discouraging; the priest talks a lot about “holy living”, about how we must show good outward behaviour and inner integrity. But he talks as if it all depends on us. I argue with him in my head, what if you feel you can’t control your emotions? What happens when you’re depressed, suicidal, angry? I wait until the end of the sermon but sadly he doesn’t say that there’s room for messiness. I think about Jesus and how his love for me doesn’t change, even when I’m not well-behaved and when I’m angry, cynical and an emotional mess. Down in the crypt I write a prayer on one of those post-its they have and leave through the side door. I walk out through the back to admire the Roman ruins for a while…

DSC_0173I’m beginning to get hungry so I eat a banana while balancing the camera to take photos of the houses in the precincts.
DSC_0175They are so beautiful! I go out of the main gate and turn right. I walk down Sun street and left behind Debenhams. The Salvation Army is playing hymns outside Costa, whose terrace is very busy. I decide to go into the Beaney, a library and museum. I go upstairs to my favourite room…
DSC_0178where I take photos of frames…

DSC_0180DSC_0192¬† Because I like frames…DSC_0185

I really, really like frames.DSC_0183DSC_0179

I also think the arrangement of the paintings is nice…it must be the blue wall, I have a soft spot for blue.

DSC_0190 There is a pretty little sculpture on display.

DSC_0191After that I visit some of the other rooms and make sure I rush by the one with all the stuffed animals and dessicated butterflies – they’re torture for me!¬† Downstairs I stop by the room where they do itinerant exhibitions and take a peek at the sunlight coming through the window behind the white panel…

DSC_0193…only to realise that there are drawings and writing all over the panel and the window!

DSC_0194It’s hilarious. But once I’m outside I realise that one of the employees is cleaning all the writing off the windows, she must not be very amused. The Beaney from outside:
DSC_0197The sky is so beautifully blue! I continue my way towards Westgate and decide to make a detour down Stour street. But first I photograph the facade of Boho – a place that many people have recommended and I have refused to try, that’s how stubborn I am.

DSC_0201Boho is next to one of my favourite buildings in Canterbury but I keep trying to get a good photo and none of them do it justice. I think the fascinating thing about the building is letting it surprise you when you walk on Best Lane towards the High Street. There is a moment between the Olive Grove and the Oxfam shop where the building just jumps at me and I realise how beautiful it is and wish that it wasn’t home to Prezzo and Chimichanga…they just kill the mood. In Stour Street I am ambushed by a crowd of teenagers who speak German and have decided to take photos of the dirty phone booths, it makes me chuckle. I decide that it’s time to take a few last pictures and walk home. DSC_0202-cropI have loved this street lamp since the first time I saw it. It looks gorgeous against the purple sky at twilight. I stop at the bridge to look at the river.

DSC_0205I wish Greyfriars Gardens were open. I walk across the bridge and decide it’s time to go home.