Showing posts from December, 2010

Xmas in Gdynia

I have just come back from Gdynia, where I have spent Christmas. As usual, I have visited part of my family and some of my friends. I have been lucky enough to have a coffee with a Venezuelan friend who I had not seen for more than ten years. It is amazing how time flies! Quite a few things have changed in his personal life, but he looks the same. I am very glad he is happy now!
Like most years, there were plenty of presents waiting for me by the Christmas tree. I was happy to unwrap them hurriedly and see that there were quite a few bottles of Spanish wine, plenty of chocolate, and a shaving machine. Unfortunately, there was nothing to read. So, I will have to wait until the 6th of January to see if the Three Wise Men bring me a nice book for winter. 
Since I arrived in Gdynia until I went back to Warsaw, it has been snowing all the time. So much snow has made my trip to the capital of Poland a little bit of a nightmare. The roads have not improved much  for the past  five years in thi…

Night shifts

A few days ago, I was reading Paradise Lost book IV and something caught my attention. Book IV is full of beautiful references to the Moon, to the skies and to the day and night ( I mentioned some of those references in my previous posts). Milton uses those descriptive references as an introduction to the logic of sleeping at night and working during the day. This concept, which may look very simple and logical at a first sight, made me think of my previous job. For more than five years I worked in shifts, which meant that sometimes I had to work in the morning, some other times in the afternoon and even some other times I had to work from 22:00 to 06:00. That was really bad ! I remember that before coming to work at night, I had to try and sleep during the day in order not to feel tired during my shift. No matter how much I tried, I never got used to working at night because I felt like sleeping when I had to do my duties and my body suffered all those changes.
Nowadays, night shifts…

Literature and bullfighting

Not long time ago, I read an article published by the Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Mario Vargas Llosa entitled La Última Corrida, in English The Last Bullfight. In it, he made clear that whether one loves bullfights or not, “no one can deny that bullfights are full of violence and cruelty” (I have translated  into English his words and all that appear in Spanish in this post). I agree with Vargas Llosa.
Many other Spanish and South American writers had their say in this respect. For example, the Spanish writer Pérez de Ayala once said that “bullfights are an art and a drama”, and added that it was impossible to understand what goes on in the political and religious Spanish arena without attending bullfights. Also, the great Salvador de Madariaga said that bulls and bullfighters “participate of all arts”.
I do not know exactly what Madariaga meant, but what I know for sure is that Spanish artists throughout the centuries have demonstrated their love and respect for the art of bullfigh…