Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Manifestation of Sardines!

Never seen anything quite like what I watched this evening.

Sitting on the prom, finishing a portrait when about 10 trawlers moored up and started blowing their horns.

News quickly spread. Free sardines were up for grabs. Millions of them. No exageration. People teamed in with empty carrier bags and left with as much as they could carry. Why?

Initially, I thought it was some sort of annual fiesta thing. But, no - it's not normal - I was told. Apparently, they caught far more than they could sell. Some freak sardine university caught in the drag nets? Who knows.

A very strange thing to watch. Millions of free fish. Millons.

On a different note...

My own kitchen, my own shower, my own bed and my own bog. Want, want, want, want. Want now. Getting very tired of travellers life. Very tired.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Fisherman's Blues?

I wish I was a fisherman
tumblin' on the seas
far away from dry land
and it's bitter memories...

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

I Won't Stop Walking Until I Know Where I'm Going. Part 2

I've bought a diary. A diary for planning rather than recording. Work is getting busy.

I won't stop walking until I know where I'm going...

I was always going to Santiago de Compostela. This time I'm going to stay there. Or, at least sort a place to move all my crap out of storage and into a flat, or house, or summat.

Staying in Santander for a while longer. My foot still needs time. Then walking to Santiago from here. Organising an abode. Then back to Granada to repeat route 1. Then staying in Santiago for a year at least. Opportunity knocks. Somewhere in between I have to fit in trips to Barcelona, Berlin and London to arrange future projects.

Busy. Long days. With a diary. It has almost become a proper job.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Radio Radio!

Nobody told me it was going to be LIVE!!!

Panico! Spanish and confidence deserted me some what. Less said the better. Moving swiftly on...

Main fiesta week has arrived in Santander. The city is teaming already. I have a free fab studio plus a huge supply of free MDF. I'm firing out 30 minute small, psychedelic panoramics and selling at €30 a time. All other jobs currently on hold (I have some very interesting work lined up) whilst I concentrate on making some decent cash.

Why didn't anyone tell me it was going to be LIVE! Oh well, live and learn. Better prepared and (hopefully) better Spanish next time. Thanks for the opportunity anyway :)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Staying Put for a While.

Nice fresh sea breaze. Tourists. Studio space. I plan to stay for while and make the most of it. I need new boots and clothes. Hoping to save enough plus more to get me to my next destination.

This is almost like a real job. Work place, daily routine, regular clients.

I might be on the radio. We'll see how my Spanish goes!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

How the F*** Did I Get Here?

10 years ago, almost to the day, I found myself on the rooftop garden of a penthouse appartment in downtown Manhattan. 3am, beautiful company, bottle of champagne, views up both sides of the Hudson and just the WTC towering above us. "How the fuck did I get here?" I wondered. "How the fuck did this happen to me?". It wasn't what my life was supposed to be. Just a couple of months earlier I was sleeping on sofas of friends and family in the Black Country. Nothing wrong with the Black Country, it's just that it's about as different as life can get to NY as far as city living goes.

And, today, I find myself working in a dream studio - a funky modernist building. A huge space losely reflecting the bridge of a ship with 280 degree windows centered on a NE aspect. Views across the bay of Santander. A 7 Meter x 3 Meter canvass streched out before me. Quality free meals (fresh off the boat haddock in a rich cream sauce with peas - food doesn't get any more perfect in my book). Free drinks. Materials and paints all supplied. A dream job in a dream studio. I suspect this is actually as good as an artist's life can get. "How the fuck did I get here?". It's not what my life was supposed to be!

It's fucking good mind, and you won't catch me complaining. Hoping I can make it last through the summer. It won't last forever. I know that. Make hay whilst the sun shines. My life is lacking very little at the moment, but sometimes the little things are the biggest and most important. Not that I'm complaining. Yet.

Friday, 3 July 2009

How Quickly Things Change!

You have to remember this. Everything can change without notice in a moment. From good to bad, or from bad to good.

I can't really say that Santander has been particularly bad. It is very good in many ways ;)

And, it just got really good. My BIGGEST commission to date. 7 Meter x 3 Meter paintings to adorne the ferry terminal. Very nice work.

They could get me hooked on €30/day doing this - it's all I need. But, I'm hungry for more, so the business head in me is saying 3 days and get the fuck out unless they're happy to pay for another 3 days at the rate I'm getting used to.

My client list is beginning to look very, very impressive already.

A HUGE 'thank you' to the guys and girls at the Brittany Ferries terminal. Far from a finished job, but hope you like it when it is finished. Support is greatly valued. Good bunch of folk. My next visit to the UK will avoid the airports for sure.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Vagabonds, Vagrants & Immigrants.

Possibly, no - undoubtedly a bit of all Three in me.

I wasn't born in Spain - I migrated.

Vagrant, to a certain extent. I have an official address and all that, but I haven't actually slept there for a long time.

Vagabond? Not to sure what a vagabond is!

When people percieve you as being poor you see the World in a completely different way. You see the worst and best of people. Experience higher highs and lower lows. Above all, you feel suspicious. You are the guy the supermarket security watches. You are the man on the street that is obviously a thief. Truth is, that as a poor person you are actually the most vulnerable to theft, manipulation, crap and other stuff. A soft target to all those that most perceive as being rich, trustworthy and acceptable.

The camino, as far as I can tell, existed originally to enable itinerants to travel cheaply. To allow people to move and follow work. A migration route for those with little money. See, this is what really fucks me off today - credit card toting 'pilgrims' who moan about poor people abusing their network of cosy, safe cheap hostals for the middle classes. Bigoted fuckwits who think anyone with an Eastern European accent is obviously a thief, or a beggar. I could rant forever here. It is the reason I'm giving up on chosen routes. I'll be spitting at people if I hear much more of it.

One exception; I will repeat my original route (Mozarabe/Via de la Plata) on September 22nd, but with new knowledge, a new image and photographing what I actually want to photograph for my own pleasure. Money won't be an issue this time around.

In the meantime, I'm going to meander my own gentle route along the coast for Summer.

Foot is still borked. I've well and truly fucked it. But, I'll manage and enjoy with the aid of pain killers and stuff.

I have a nice commission to complete tomorrow. Looks like I'll be leaving Santander unpaid for a couple of jobs - fuckwits. That could have been a few hundred Euros to charity. Instead some supposedly rich, respectable type is pissing it away and snorting it up his nose. Cunt, quite frankly.

May stay for the weekend. Someone very lovely here who I would like to spend more time with. Tell me more about Marine Biology