Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Just another day.

Less than a year ago I would have been writing about the way the crazy people here drink their cider. Now it just seems like yet another local custom. I'm sure the locals take it very seriously mind.

Think this blog is getting a bit boring. I'm getting a bit bored. A brief explanation of my day will probably best explain where I'm at. I have had to save a bit of cash for an excursion, so I've been putting in the hours even if I haven't been hard selling. I've been in Oviedo for Four days now. I have a pitch that is far from good, but police leave me alone. People now know where to find me.

9AM - 11AM complete a few A4 sketches of scenes around town. I'm now carrying a folder with a stock of sketches from various places I've visited.

11AM. Put big sketches on display with smaller sketches (and today another 360 degree umbrella panoramic). Usually, I would sketch another 3 Meter x 1 Meter to gain attention. Today, I had more than enough commissions to keep me busy.

And, there you stay all day until 8PM. Hassle to pack-up and come back, and you never know if you might miss someone looking for you.

With angle grinders from pavement slab cutters going in the left ear, pneumatic drills from a building site in the right ear, and lump hammers through the spine and into the center of your brain all day long you sketch, and sell, and try to communicate with people in Spanish and deal with the wind that blows sketches around whilst irritating everyone. A very long day.

Sold umbrella sketch plus one more ordered. €70
One small commissioned sketch of a chapel. €20
Set of 4 small sketches from photographs. €60
Two sketches sold from stock. €30

Total €180

Outgoings (materials, umbrellas, bed and meal) €46

Saved from the day €136

(Plus a generous donation of €5 and about €6 in dropped coins).

That represents an average day if you know what you're doing and put in some hours. It's work. It's not particularly nice work. The pay is OK.

A better pitch, another day, a bit of selling without the noise and the wind, takings might double. On the other hand, it may bloody well rain. Three wet days in a row will see €136 disappear very easily.

It's all work and no play at the moment. I'm not enjoying it. Could be worse I know, but it should be much better. I was having far more fun and a far better adventure when I was surviving on virtually nothing. Those days of pilgrimage are going to be far more memorable and a great deal more valuable.

Not sure where I go from here other than towards Santiago again. It will no doubt change completely once more again very soon and I'll have something new to moan about :)

Monday, 24 August 2009

Rains lots here :(

Hardly surprising. The countryside is lush as it gets. Dramatic mountains giving way to dense eucalyptus forests. Beautiful little bays, estuaries and beaches. It's like living in a 17th Century romantic landscape painting.

But, it's crap for street artists desperately trying to make money. To be honest, all this rain along the coast has taken me a little by surprise. Expected some, but not this much.

I'm off to shelter in a bar and watch Villa get demolished at Anfield. Has been a shit day, might as well end on a bum note!

Sunday, 23 August 2009


I'm supposed to be in Barcelona. I'll be there Tuesday.

I'm glad I came to Oviedo instead. Picos de Europa, the Asturias generally and a very nice little city. I plan to live here. No need to say more really. Fun place. A little expensive, but worth it.

I backtracked to Santander to get a night bus to Barcelona. I don't like Barcelona, so when the ticket office man told me the buses were fully booked I was quite relieved. Decided to spend night in bus station. Got bored. Got first available bus out. Happened to stop in Oviedo and I liked the look of the place, so here I am. I may stay here forever one day.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Santillana del Mar.

If you ignore the hundreds of tourists snapping away on their Nokias, it's like walking back in time. A World Heritage site - a perfectly preserved/restored little medieval town with prehistoric cave paintings just a short walk away. All of history is here.

Thanks to a friend in Santander I already had contacts here. Good contacts. Contacts like; here's your bed, here's your food, here's your drink, here's my number for any help you may need - now get to work :) My sort of people. Staying for 2, or 3 days.

Interesting trip to get here via the Atlantic on a yacht! (Sort of).

Saturday, 1 August 2009

It Rains Lots Here.


It's a problem. This was supposed to be the easy route. Far from it. Whilst I've been stranded in Santander (still can't walk) I've picked up good work, met good people and received lots of help. But, outgoings have been high and it rains lots and lots.

I'm back to square One cash wise. It's raining and my boots leak. Foot is still painful. I'm not happy.

Think I will just start walking again on Tuesday regardless. A few strong painkillers. I'm beginning to wonder if my foot will ever get better. I think it might be fucked for good :( Can't hang around in Santander stagnating much longer. Something has to change.