Friday, 31 December 2010

New Years Eve

Like many, I've spent the day reviewing my year. For the first time in many years I'm reviewing my year with a clear, booze free mind! I brought my New Years resolution forwards to Boxing Day.

Reading back through my blog I barely remember the last Five months. Somewhere, in the cloud and the fog I lost an entire Five weeks. I can't even remember writing it never mind living it!

So, I'm cutting it all out and preparing my fitness levels for hikes in Africa and a full on tackle with new projects (Art in Hiding will hopefully fullfill much time), and finishing uncompleted projects now I have a new base.

Back in Spain, but a long way from Granada. 2011 promises much. Hope everyone reading here makes the most of what may be a finacially tight year. Money is by no means everything.

Yeah - it helps, I know :D

Thursday, 16 December 2010

An All New Blog...

Art in Hiding is a project I am involved with.

I will continue to blog here also. A new website will be viewable soon.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Sunday Evening Curry...

An open invitation...

Anyone reading here who happens to be in Granada is more than welcome to join me and some good people for an evening of spicieness to warm a cold, November night.

Meeting from 6PM in Plaza de Gracia. Restaurant Muglia from 7PM (very close by). This Sunday, 28th. Bring friends. Bring music. Bring smiles.

It's all on me!!!

I leave for Berlin on Monday. Finally moving again. Looking forward to it, but I am going to miss some people a great deal.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


New passport. New bank account. Cheques banked.

And, I know it works because I was controlled leaving the bank this morning. Just hours and I've already used it.

Just a few days of grim weather to get through somehow, then onwards and upwards again...

Short break. Berlin, Estinia, Slovakia. Quick return to Granada, then onto Senegal.

Monday, 8 November 2010


It's changed. Someone has flicked that big switch!

DHL. Let me talk about DHL for just a minute. Promise all - deliver fuck-all. Cunts. What the fuck am I paying for?

Not a good day. Tough few weeks TBH, but friends are fucking valuable at times like these. Shit weather. No cash. Can't work. Yet, Granada still delivers. Good friends. Thank you. And, if you ever read here...

One day I will explain to you what a very valuable thing female company and friendship is. Nice bread ;)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Fuck yeah!

It only took me 9 weeks. I have no idea why I am so shit at this stuff.

Very tempted to stay in Madrid. I like it here, and I will return with all my furniture soon. But, I'm getting out whilst the going is still good. One last hour on my best pitch to cover bus fare back to Granada.

Friday, 22 October 2010


Right. Remind myself.

I have all documents. I have the cash. I have paid for my bed for 3 nights (in an interesting part of town I haven't explored before).

Monday - get to the fucking embassy :)

To the Mum and Daughter I spoke to by the ticket office in front of the palaces today...;

You cheered me up loads. No need to do more! I could ask for more, but I'm rarely that cheeky! Nice chat :)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Some Policia Local Are Actually OK.

My erm... 'relationship' with police has proved to be only 2nd most influencial hazzard to the weather on this adventure (an adventure which may well end soon!).

On the whole, generally, blah, blah, blah... they've been OK. One horrible experience in Granada that shook me up big time. I've got used to the attitude of most - they're only really there to impress rich tourists. It's the truth. They're employed to protect business interests above all else and tourism is THE business in Spain.

However, occassionally you meet good guys in uniform. Today was one of those days. Good advice. Good information. Friendly approach. Extremely diplomatic.

I'm just €10 short of a new passport. IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN! Possibly.

We'll see. I've been this close before.

Friday, 15 October 2010


Policia Local - booooh!

Hopefully they will be off duty for the weekend.

At least I'm having fun. Meeting some loverlly people :) Nice to talk to you 'fantasy'! And, I hope to spend more time talking to the beautiful Industrial Engineer from Harrow before I leave. I have absolutely no idea what industrial engineers are supposed to look like, so no need to tell me you don't look like one ;)

These guys are fucking good entertainment...

Seems I am only allowed to work evenings ATM. Maybe, just maybe I will have cash for passport by Monday. Must stop spending/partying!!!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I like it here :)

I'm off to find out who's still about and spunk all me cash.

I may stay a few days!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Light is Appearing!

Despite the rain and wine spillage that was a good weekend. I am just €20 shy. I can see the goal! Work in Granada this evening. Get night bus to Madrid. Go cry in the embassy :)

I am actually getting there!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Hazzards of Being a Street Artist Nº 119


The weather has gone shit. Expected, so I stocked up on sketches to sell. Sketching on the street until the rains came, I ran to a bar to treat myself to a tapa I can't really afford. Found a quiet corner at the bar. After 2 minutes I was swamped by a bunch of ignorant cunts who pretended they couldn't see me - it is the Spanish way.

Clumsy fucking clot knocked not 1, not 2, but 3 glasses of wine all over me, my sketches, and my coat. Fucking bitch just smiled expecting an 'excuse me' to excuse her. 10 hours of work fucked. Nothing to sell this weekend. I'm stuffed again :(

Perhaps I should just get a bus to Madrid now and finally say 'fuck off' to Granada once and for all? Too many selfish cunts here.

Spent €20 on new materials. €18 for a bus to Madrid. Possibly the best option.

The Hazzards of Being a Street Artist Nº 106

In a pedestrianised plaza some twat ran over my sketches and bags before stopping to reverse over them. Sketch fucked. Paints in bags spurted all over the shop. I was a little bit angry. With hindsight, I'm glad Guardia Civil were around to step in.

Down to just 80 Cents and a single roll of paper. Thankfully yesterday evening was good. A recovery to €60. Today it looks like rain :( But, at least I have enough to get to Madrid on Monday.

Friday, 8 October 2010


Right. I have all the documents I need and I have signed photo. Mission for the weekend: make enough cash to get to Madrid and pay for a new passport.

This is going painfully slowly :(

I am still a minimum of 3 weeks away from releasing cash and moving forward. The rains will be arriving soon. Oh noes!

I actually saved €160 at one point. Then 5 very poor days and I'm back down to fuck all. Whatever I have in pocket on Monday I take to Madrid and try to make the difference there.

A guy here just applied for his Spanish passport. 48 Hours and €22 got him passport + digital ID card. Rip-off Britain? I could moan for days, no weeks about this privatised system. It is shit. And, my original passport is still floating around perfectly valid. Twats.

Erm... onwards and upwards.

Friday, 1 October 2010

New Boots!

Yay! Whoever you are; thank you very, very much.

An almighty confidence boost. Difficult to explain the psychological effect of new boots after wearing totally worn out shoes for weeks. From trying to hide my feet to kicking proudly in an instance. I'm already fighting back :)

I have all the forms, documents, papers etc. I have my passport photographs - I look like a criminal, but who doesn't? I think it's the norm. All I have to do now is get them signed by some professional type who's known me for Two years. Erm... not exactly the type of company I've been keeping for the past Two years!

Oh. I still need more cash than I can currently imagine to get get to Madrid and pay for new passport.

Edgeing closer. I can see the light now.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Quest for new passport. I am still no closer :D

Bit of a shit few days for many reasons. Two lumps on the head and a strained thumb for free from Policia Local also. Nice of them. Too much sadness around ATM.

New boots have become a priority. Then, Madrid to simply ask WTF I am supposed to do?

Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Too Many Dead Ends.

Fuck! I hate this shit. How many weeks later?

I am getting there very slowly. I've given up trying to use the seamlessly integrated digital payment system on the internet for ordering a new birth certificate, so I'm back to a search for my original. I think it might be under the utilities tray of the top drawer of my big, posh, curvey office desk which has been 'in storage' for the past 4 years. A trip into the hills to rediscover my furniture and just for the sake of taking a break. I am seriously losing the plot in frustration.

I need (just to remind myself what I have to do next)...

Birth certificate
Signed passport photo's
About another €300 to cover costs

Then get to Madrid.

Apply for new passport.
Wait about 2 weeks.
Apply for residencia thingy.
Open bank account.
Wait about 2 weeks.

Find appartment, or just a room for a year.
Move everything from current storage locations to new appartment/room.

Then, I can finally move forwards.

Lots of expense. Lots of time. It's fucking shit.

Deep sigh. If my birth certificate is where I think it is, I'm expecting to be on the move again in about 2 months. If it isn't??? Fuck knows where I go from there :(

I hate this shit. I am very close to superglueing every ATM and bank door lock in Spain. That'll fucking teach them!

I just want MY FUCKING MONEY BACK you cunts.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Less sighing :)

OK. Things are progressing much more quickly than I expected. All I have to do is get myself to Madrid with my police report, application forms, photos, €160 and my birth certificate.

Birth certificate!


I think I know where I left that...

This could all happen within 3 weeks.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Sigh. I am sinking.

I hate this stuff. It's just depressing.

I need a new passport. I need a new passport to travel and to open a bank account to reclaim MY FUCKING MONEY!

I am faced with a huge mountain of form filling, queueing, beuracratic shit, and the very thought is depressing me. I tried to start today. Go to the police station to report the stolen passport. I'm given an expensive telephone number to call. "But, can't I just make the report here now?". Here is an expensive telephone number to call.

I think I've given up already. Difficult to explain why I am so shit at all this stuff. It just depresses me. Seriously depresses me.

I am stuck. I don't know what to do next. Call the expensive telephone number to be told to go back to the police station and make a report?

Back to sketching on the street waiting for a miracle. Useless me - I know. I just don't know why I can't deal with this???

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Reasons to Love Granada, Reasons to Love Life...

Granada. I'm 'stuck' here again. According to the bits of paper that arrived in the post I am actually quite wealthy. In reality, I'm surviving day to day selling sketches in the street. That is both frustrating and liberating.

Why I love Granada...

Last night I couldn't find much going on and sat on a bench in a small plaza drinking, smoking, watching the World go by. Happy in my own company. Texting bad jokes to people who probably didn't appreciate it. Not bored, or lonely - just content. Then Two people who barely know me invited me back to their house. This happens in Granada, and Andalucia as a whole. Summer culture is all about living outdoors. People talk. People leave their front doors open. Always an open invitation to join any congregation, or anyone alone.

Talking with my hosts about universal stuff. Sharing the joy young parents get from watching their children learn. Eating, drinking, laughing a common laugh. All good. But, what is better is talking more deeply. Learning what essentially makes their own culture, their own life and way of thinking different to your own. Talking about what is actually happening on the streets as opposed to what is happening on the TV. Talking about the issues that are actually affecting Gitano culture.

It was a very nice evening. And, this morning I met someone who I first met in Sitges about 18 months ago. Apparently I inspired him to continue travelling around Spain and Europe. After talking today I think he got pretty much the same sort of value from this way of living as myself.

Despite being skint, and frustrated that I should actually have enough in my pocket to go and buy a menu del dia, I wonder if I wasn't so skint how much I would miss out on?

I will often tell people "it's all relative". Perhaps it is, perhaps money makes very little difference. On the other hand; I have to get to Seville, then back to Granada, then back into 'the system' to reclaim my cash. I am shit at this stuff. Totally shit. I need a manager. All applications here please. Now!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Catch 22

Before I start moaning about banks I have to admit this is actually my problem cuased by nobody else but me. I also have to say Legal & General have restored a bit of faith!


Aaaargh! I just want my fucking cash!

Complicated business getting your own fucking cash back. This is going to take weeks and has to start with a trip to Seville. Short, and boring story. So, Seville - here I come. I suspect I am on a hopeless mission :(

I did not enjoy Seville on my last visit.

Friday, 27 August 2010

My New Project...

A few things to sort out that may take a few weeks first, but then...

Whilst following camino routes to Santiago de Compostela it became pretty obvious that the trails are actually much older than the Christian calendar. I'm convinced they roughly follow very old human migration routes.

The earliest reference I can find about Santiago is that it was setteled by a tribe from the Rhine valley. Routes from all directions seem to converge towards the NW tip of Spain. No doubt from there some people managed to cross the Atlantic long before Columbus had his day.

I am going to explore theories about these routes. Walking only by night with nothing but the stars to guide me - following whatever instinct instructs me. Firstly from Eastern Europe and then the Rhine valley to see if any 'natural phenomenon' directs me to Santiago. Then from Africa. Initially from Senegal. If money allows, I will then try from Ethiopia.

Covering the costs myself and hoping to raise money for charity. I will be making videos to post on an all new, all singing, all dancing website at when I begin.

I'm hoping to raise more cash for more community art projects as I travel also.

I won't be walking all the way. I intend to walk as much as cash allows.

Looking at an October start. May take longer. May not.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fast Forward!

Back to Granada to wait for a big fat cheque to arrive :)

I've only just discovered I've had plenty of cash available since January. I am a bit useless at this sort of stuff. All those nights spent camping out and clocking up debt in cheapo pensions. Idiot!

Never mind. It means start of next project can happen very soon.

Granada. Then Sevilla, then a brief visit to Santiago, then.......

The World is my oyster. A huge adventure :)

New laptop. New digicam. New clothes.

If I return to Spain to settle, it will be in Leon. This city is always incredibly friendly and exceptionally good to me. Cold winters, but beautiful summers.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Next Project?

I've decided what it will be. But, it won't happen until January. No real idea what I'm going to do in the meantime other than survive! Carry on as I am I guess. Picking up occassional commissions and selling sketches on the street whilst trying to raise money for charity (that isn't going to well ATM).

For a year from January I will be travelling all over Europe and Africa :) Making art, film, photography and exhibiting. Paintings, sketches, photographs and more will be offered for sale via an all new website and auctioned on ebay. All profit to go to charity. A bit of a working holiday. I'll be paying for it myself - ultimately, it's all about an adventure for me and self-promotion. I will also be looking for donations to charity and I have an offer to help fund costs of community projects.

Yeah - I know, I've changed my mind plenty of times before, but this one is workable. No flying. All land and water. Walking, buses, car, motorbike, ferry. As much walking as possible. Walking is expensive mind.

In the meantime, it's business as usual. I haven't been to Segovia yet. I met a couple from Segovia here in Leon. They bought sketches. One sketch may well pay for a bus to Segovia. There is actually a pilgrimage route I could walk from there. One last time to Santiago de Compostela???

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A Bag Full of Letters...

Anyone who has been following my blog will probably know what I'm on about.

I have a bag full of letters. I can't get rid of them! I don't want to get rid of them, but I feel I have to. Very occassionally you meet someone who has a very profound effect on your life. Damn them :D

I'm going to take a short break. Visit an island off the coast of Galicia for a couple of days. I'm going to have a letter burning ceremony. Possibly. Or, I'm going to drink a bottle of wine. Wash and dry the bottle of wine. Fill it with letters and a couple of photographs and throw it as far as I can into the Atlantic. Knowing my luck it will wash up on the beach of new boyfriends home town where his dog will find it and deliver it to him. I will then be accused of devising some elaborate plan to interfere.

Now I've planted that little seed in my mind I'm going to have to burn them. Nah, keep them. Burn them. Keep them? Burn? Bin?

Damn you!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Why I Like Leon.

I can't really explain it in terms of why I like the city as a city. It just seems to sort of balance very happily. Old and new. Tradition and convenience. Beautiful buildings for a small city, and the most elegant cathedral I've ever come across. Also the best stained glass windows I've ever come across.

Most of all; good things always seem to happen in Leon (when it doesn't rain). I always get good work, or make enough cash selling on the streets. Today, a young lad asked his uncle to buy a sketch as a birthday gift. I am absolutley chuffed with that. More than any prestigious client name. More than my very own themed hotel in Granada. More than the very nice display I was shown today in the Cathedral restaurant/bar here in Leon (that looks cool as, but...). I was wasting pocket money on Athena shit at that age. My favourite customer to date, and he got my best Leon sketch to date. Five people tried to buy it.

I feel finally retsored from the nightmare of Santiago and Granada. It wasn't all bad - lots of very good also, but only now do I feel like I'm the relaxed, easy going artist I almost lost! I know who I am again. I know where I'm going again. I'm going to take a short break somewhere. Someone told me about a peaceful, beautiful island. Perhaps next week for a couple of days, or so. I need to let go of a dream???

Someone gave me a book. There was a quote quoted. Can't remember who, or verbatim, but something like "It is always easier to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams". Works for me. Not sure if it's good, bad, meaningful, or totally irrelevant. Perhaps it's just a bit of esoteric poetry, or summat???


I do like this city. Hoping I will find enough work to stay here until the start of my next project. Trying to find a man to talk about designing a psychedelic, multimedia, mobile stage for classical guitar performances!!!

I have a kitchen. I can cook my own food. I have a washing machine. I can wash my own clothes.

Leon is positively thriving. It's a fresh, fun little city with fantastic bars, affordable accommodation, plenty of art, nice parks and plazas, a river and a nice relaxed vibe - no Policia Local ripping up sketches.

Policia Local in Granada are fucking the place up as far as I can see. They started using 'black leather glove' psychology to scare people. They only seem to pick on those who appear to be the most vulnerable also. I may return later in the year if I have to.

Plan now is to clear a bit of debt and find enough work to see me through until December when funds become available for my next project. Small exhibition in Barcelona next week may, or may not provide cash also. It's a bit of an experiment really.

Next project? It is either going to happen in Africa, Eastern Europe, or London. Yet to decide.

Saturday, 7 August 2010


Granada. Love it - hate it. When I'm getting commissions it's very good. Selling on the streets is difficult at the best of times. I had decided to stay. Now I'm desperate to escape again.

Thursday evening Policia Local confiscated my sketch. Filled in some paperwork. Fuck knows if a fine will materialise.

Last night 3 of them just walked up to my sketch and ripped it up :( No warning. No asking questions. Before I had a chance to protest it was ripped into pieces.

I give up with Granada for the time being at least. I don't enjoy being made to feel like a criminal when I'm simply sketching and trying to raise money for charities. Other cities in Spain are far more artist friendly. Not sure where to head yet. I know where I don't want to go. I'll probably end up in Leon for a while. I like it there

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Granada, Granada, Granada and Life as an Itinerant Artist.

Granada. I like it.

It is very difficult to make money on the streets here, but I'm picking up good commissions. Not brilliant, just good enough. And, I really do like the 'me' themed new hotel full of my giant sketches and other art. I like it a bit too much actually!

I know many people here. I have many friends here. There are as many reasons to stay as there are to move on. However, move on I must. It seems no single provincial city is going to provide sufficient fulltime work for an artist like myself. I have to keep moving. Keep following the work. Taking each opportunity as it arises. Seems this is the only way to make it work financially.

I'm still busy here. No reason to move on just yet, but work awaits in Leon, Salamanca and Santiago (Santiago can wait as long as it has to - I'm in no rush to return!).

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

You Don't Have to Have the Solution...

Just don't be a part of the problem.

Did someone sing that once upon a time?

Granada. Love it. Hate it.

I'll start with the good; the dry heat and a readily available supply of locally grown opium has got shot of my rheumatism for the time being. Joking. Possibly ;)

The good gets better. A new hotel (very posh, very nice) has entirely designed their decor around my sketches. Looks fab and it's a totally ME themed posh hotel :)

Down side...

Well, dead people doesn't do much for the spirit.

No cash on the streets and Southern Spain manaña syndrome.

I'm still a little more than fucked off with the way I was let down in Santiago (and, I have to go back - fuck it). Because of one single person I seem to be burning bridges here, left, right and center. My trust has gone. Ripping up sketches in front of clients. I'm losing it again.

On the other hand, I have good friends here, know good people. I may be skint, but I will never go hungry, or short of tobacco (thank you Tracey!). But, 12 hour days for about €8. Seriously that shit on the street. Good commissions generally, but my mind really isn't on the job ATM. I'm doing more harm than good.

Work lined up for a bus to Leon. I love Leon!!!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Granada. Hmmmmm...

I love this city. It is unique. It is 'home'.

However, everytime I return I get bad news. Three 'street folk' dead this time plus someone else a little bit fucked-up to say the least.

I have moaned about having to work on the streets amongst street people. I have called them 'manipulative'. Many are - they have to be. But, many are also highly vulnerable and susceptible. As difficult as they can be at times, they are on the whole very likeable, intelligent people. On the whole. There are always exceptions. As in any other walk of life there are cunts amongst them.

3 dead people amongst a very small community.

People talk about the comaradery/comradeship amongst street people. It exists, but it is incredibly shallow. Most have their own priorities. Those that die are very quickly forgotten. It's almost like an accepted risk.

Someone is avoiding me, and it's not just about a €10 'loan'.

I love Granada, but I want out. Back to Leon!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Madrid to Granada.

And, back to Granada. Will it still feel like home? Been a long time this time around.

Leon was as good as ever. Long bus ride ahead. Stuff to do. I am still feeling totally gutted :( I need time in Granada. Sure it will still feel like home.


I'm not a violent person BTW. Did I mention that yet?

Friday, 9 July 2010


Rapidly becoming my 1st favourite city.

Far better mood today. No more bitterness! Ponferrada and the good people of Bierzo delivered again. Thanks for the free food and thank you very much for introducing me to lemon iceydrink thing with beer.

I'm in my favourite hotel. The good people there who know me well and know I'm not violent have given me a huge double room with flatscreen TV and everything for just €18/night :) Can't really explain publicly why I've found the accusations of being a violent person so offensive, but it hurt. Lots.

Moving on. I'm in a city I love. I'm cashed-up. Seems it is only Santiago's problem. I missed the Friday deadline for permission to work the streets for the weekend. Hopefully that won't be a problem.

Plan is to enjoy Leon for the weekend and make enough cash to get directly to Granada Monday. And, buy new shoes. I would really like some new shoes.

Best of all; I got my eyes treated. All is going to heal perfectly.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Let me tell you about some of the people I have to 'work' with.

Big storm has just arrived and spoiled plans, so I have free time for internet rubbish and stuf :)

Paul. I use his real name. He is a pretend pilgrim. A bus to Santiago de Compostela for easy begging. He sometimes works for super secret government agencies who follow him all over the World and have underground bunkers wherever he lives. They owe him Millions. Not sure Millions of what? He is a believer. He was actually at The Last Supper! As I left Santiago he asked me to buy him a drink (he manages very well, even got €100 out of the pilgrims office for a new passport - blasted on booze and coke in 5 hours) he told me very seriously that he had been watching me. So, I guess I get arrested for suspicion of terrorism when I get home. Bugger! That could be a problem, I have things to do.

Ax. A very different sort of artist. Very clever. A manipulator. He used to play with a big, big super group that formed in the 70's. He may well have done in his dreams as a 10 year old watching TV in his bedroom. He is going to form a big band and tour the World. In the meantime he will just busk for as long as he needs to if he can't find a woman to fool. He is a peace loving hippie who also fought in the Gulf War (obviously, he picked up a few mental troubles). A peace loving hippie who likes to throw people down heavy stone steps.

Hektor. A very worrying recent acquaintance is also a pretend pilgrim. Managed to walk here from Valencia via San Sebastian and Pamplona in about 10 days! I'm in Ponferrada. He is a very dangerous fuck.

Various others ask and steal everyday. They fuck about with people I care about and can't watchover because I actually have to work. All are very susceptible characters themselves, but most of all they find life easier as manipulators. Well, good for them.

I am seriously fucked off ATM. Generally (and, I am generalising) most street folk are cool. I'll give anyone time and trust until they go to far. Then, I let them know they have gone to far in a very understandable, strong, none-violent way. Everyday. Every 12 hours I work in hot conditions, windy conditions, whatever conditions.

I give up because to many of these cunts have been to much of a problem and now they're fucking on my personal life also.

Too much. New project cometh. Very different. Finally all is in place :)

That was a very, very tough 8 months, or so. An experience mind. All good in someways, but I still can't see any point in praying to God. If he does exist, he is actually a total cunt.

A different sort of pilgrimage. Mostly it was very, very beautiful. Just ended a bit fucked.

Exhibitions to do. Other stuff to do. Then, I go walk an even bigger, extrenely different walk :)

Still wobbling just.

I totally lost the plot there for however long it was??? Finally getting a grip. Back on track for a return to Granada, but it has been absolute fucking hell. A very lonley journey. Got there eventually.

Off to my 2nd favourite city, or Madrid this evening. Haven't slept for 4 days. I'm getting those funny imagined music background experiences I first got in Cordoba. They're the only fun bit. Subconsciously writing your own songs and music! Tired. Very, very tired. Bed is priority.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Back to Granada (via Madrid) Somehow???

Yesterday I had more money stolen than I made. Holy Year is attracting all types to Santiago! It's to difficult. Saturated with buskers, street artists, beggars and common thieves.

€43 buys a ticket for a night bus to Madrid. Sketches and paintings sell in Madrid. It will be easy from there.

I have to get out of here for someone elses sake as much as my own! Then I have to return in a couple of weeks to erm... clean up debt :(

Santiago was not good to me this time. Met many good people. Met someone who made life very good for 3 months, but generally, it's been very difficult.

Is this just 'crisis', or just Santiago? Madrid will answer.

Friday, 2 July 2010

An Almighty Wobble.


Very stupid. Totally lost the plot for a few days. A self-induced, self-destructing binge of badness that has left me with sight problems. I can't see well enough to sketch :( Thankfully not permanent.

It's raining again. I seriously want out of this city. Now! But I'm not sure how to get out yet.

I'm up against it ATM. Day 1 of recovery process. Something good will surely happen soon???

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Now I am actrually a bit lost.

I don't know where to go, or what to do.

I am not making enough money here. Far from raising money for charity, I am clocking up debt still.

Love destraction probably erm... destracted me. That was the only thing keeping me here. Now it's gone :(

Now, the only thing keepìng me here is a debt to clear. I have been working 14 hour days just to cover the cost of my bed. Is this just 'crisis'?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Aaaaargh! I have debt. Sketches have not been selling well recently. Good weather has returned. Yesterday was an improvement, but generally it's not good. I've been surviving on small commissions mostly. Not entirely sure if it's just 'crisis', or if my sketching skills have gone crap.

Things will change. They have to.

I'm making new plans for a very different walking adventure. For the last 4 months I have been telling everyone I speak to "enough is enough - no more walking". Now my feet are itching again for a much bigger challenge. MUCH bigger!

A little uncertain about my plans. Most probably staying in Santiago for another 3 months. Work, money and something much more important will dictate. Then researching for an all new, exciting walking adventure.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Santiago Fucking Stinks!

It does :)

Rubbish is piling up. Festering in the heat. Very humid today also. That won't help.

Many tourists won't notice. The pretty bit of town is being kept clean by strike breakers with the help of Police. Why do people do that? Break strike to keep the tourists happy whilst their own people are left to suffocate in the rancid air of the suburbs? Cunts! It's just my opinion.

The smell is more about disinfectant today. A humid breeze is carrying the stench of the suburbs into the pretty old town.

Where will it all end?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

New Shoes.

Someone asked for a new blog post again.

I shall write just to remind myself what I'm supposed to be doing. Laxe is to expensive during summer. I have been offered a place from September.

But, I have a new plan. It may be a little bit ambitious and may not happen until January next year, but it's a plan I am pretty set on.

I've almost given up trying to find sponsors for the time being. Making money on the street is proving to be far more difficult now than it was this time last year. I am picking up quality commissions though. Sort of surviving. Not raising money for charity. Not complaining. Not really moving forward. I think my plan is to simply 'hang on in there' until I have my own money to move things forward at the end of the year. It's a lazy plan.

I have also met someone who may, or may not affect my plans! I care about her a great deal. No idea which way this will go???

And, I have new shoes. I like them. Simple black trainers with white and blue stripes.

That's about it. Life has become very routine in a very unreliable, artist's sort of way.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A Post About Nothing.

Someone mentioned I hadn't blogged for a while. That's because nothing much is happening. Just business as usual. Things may change soon. A new opportunity may have arisen!

I'm also getting just a little distracted by someone who is very beautiful. Lucky me :)

Friday, 23 April 2010

Stop spamming my blog you cunts.

OK. I'm in a much better mood today :)

Nice hotel with no bedbugs. Good work. Beautiful company. Life is alright again.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Why I Hate Santiago. I'm Afraid I Do.

I've been staying in a shit little pension. Probably spent somewhere in the region of €800 over the past couple of months. Shit room. No window (other than the one that opens onto the communal bathroom). Tonight they refuse me a room because my sheets were always covered with blood.

Blood from your fucking bed-bug infested shit. Evil, little facsist cunts. Why is this my problem?

In short, this sums up Santiago. It's not a nice place to live. Where are all your black and Indian people Santiago? Where is your Christian goodwill? Ugly, ugly little city.

Fucking evil little cunts for the most part. I have met good people, but they are few and far between here. Honestly!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Good Weather!

Yay! I'm rocking and rolling quickly towards my next project.

Thieves are still thieving on a daily basis. I can't spot who it is. 1.30PM(ish) everyday and someone takes a dip into my poy, but... I'm getting there anyway. Good weather, more tourists, more opportunities.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Help Me Through My Cynical Days.

A reference to an XTC lyric. Normally at this time of year I enjoy listening to the album Skylarking. It has a very optimistic 'springtime' feel. Not from said album, but possibly one of their best known tracks is here on Youtube A very cynical song. One of my favourite UK pop bands (although they're a bit more than pop).

XTC sort of evolved from punk/post punk. Punk sort of evolved from anarchy. There is a certain type of 'anarchist' I have a huge problem with. They smash up your mobile for the hell of it and steal your money. They do this because it's being an anarchist innit. They tell you they can live without money. Then, they steal more money from you. They're not really anarchists, they're filthy, lying, fuck wit, smack-head scumbags who lead a life far more regimented than any 9-5 office worker.

Every morning they wake and go through the same daily routine to satisfy their anarchic cravings. At 1PM and 8PM they will visit the Church organised and provided free kitchen for their food. You will see them at exactly the same time everyday in the same places. Begging for the cash they don't need to feed a habit that will deny rules their lives. Begging, stealing whatever they need to do. That's everyday of the year. No weekends off from heroin addiction.

Lots of new 'anarchists' arriving in Santiago with the milder weather. Not easy to spot them immediately, but it soon becomes apparent. May be that's why I didn't make much money yesterday? I saw what was happening today. Sneaky fucks some of them. Drop a 20 Cent coin and pick up a €1. Or, just pretend to drop and only pick up.

Difficult not to get very cynical about the World when you have to share it with smack-heads and cunts.

Just in case anyone hadn't noticed; I use this place to rant and vent steam. It is legal. Smashing twats in the face isn't. Sorry if anyone gets offended!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


The weather was good. The crowds were good. All looked perfect.

€6.28 in 12 hours!

Something is wrong here. This time last year I would have banked on €100 for a day like this. It's worrying - I'm in trouble.

Anyone reading here know how you survive on €6.28 a day?

Bed = €15
Food = €4 (without good nourishment)
Cigarettes = €3 (well, yeah, OK)
Wine = €2 (well, yeah, again - not a need, but...)

Then there are all the other things. Life saving medicine, clothes, internet and mobile top-ups.

Obviously, a holiday in Portugal is completely out of the question ATM. I just want to know how to escape this God forbidden hell hole!

This is it.

Even I need money to live. Forget the charity cause. Currently, I'm not even making enough for my own bed. Never mind travel. Worse than that, I may well go hungry!!! God forbid! I get very angry when I get hungry :(

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

I do believe it's getting better.

Well, hey - thank fuck for that!

Papere money in my pockets again. Bag of sweets to munch at the internet cafe. Good weather. Good people. Hotel with bogs booked.

Paper money! The only finacial security I've known for the past 18 months. A carrefore carrier bag full of 50 €1 coins is just as good, but a crisp, new €50 note sort of gets you a better reception at your choice of bed for the night for some reason.

Some arsehole on the TV is going to spoil it and tell me it's going to rain tomorrow now. I know they are. Plastic faced lying cunts!

Portugal for a break is looking favourite ATM.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Back to Square One.

Before I start moaning again :D I should point out that this is my choice. And, yes, it's a very nice way to live. No way am I going back to the way I lived before!

Thanks for the nice comment. Talk to me next time - I'm not nearly as scary as I look, or as angry as I come across here sometimes.

However, this is a very precarious way to live. After a weekend of stolen work, stolen cash, knife in face and smashed mobile I am skint again. I should have worked yesterday, but just felt to defeated. No enthusiasm. Today I worked 12 hours for €12! Not enough to pay for a bed. The €12 I have will pay for cigarettes and coffees to get me through the night. Tomorrow I will be sleepless fucked and have to work another 12 hours in the hope that I actually make enough for bed, food, cigarettes, booze, new materials and pens, chemist (that should be priority really) and maybe even some chocolate.

That's just the nice bad stuff about this lifestyle. My stomach is not well. I would like to make use of my own bathroom. There is no bathroom to use other than bar bathrooms that cost at least €1.20 for a coffee. Late bar closes at 5am. First to open is 7am. You learn these things very quickly in any city!

On the upside; I did my best 2 sketches yet today. Very nice even if I say so myself, but fucked if they got any interest. This is not good. This time last year I was comfortable. Easily selling 3 sketches a day even on Monday.

12 hours working the streets with all that entails for just €12 :(

Not good. Not good at all.

I need new boots, new jeans, new socks and stuff. This is not easy. Actually, it is hard work and a hard way to live if you're not the type to 'enjoy' it.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Spanish Mobile No8 Bites the Dust.

It just gets fucking worse here.

Sitting down in Praza Quintana texting mates and some crazy woman sticks a knife in my face demanding my mobile. Initially I tell her to fuck off, then realise trying to calm her down is probably the better idea. She grabbed my mobile, and instead of running off with it, just smashed it!

All of this happened in front of Policia Nacional. I have to show my ID - fair enough. It's the law here. But, they let crazy person go - she will undoubtedly do the same to someone else who may not be as used to these sort of situations as I am. In the meantime, I get given a hard time for drinking a can of beer and littering the plaza with my sketch (I threw a tantrum myself yesterday when the cunts stole my sketch).

So, on the first dry, sunny weekend I get in Santiago instead of making decent cash I'm down the cost of a replacement phone and I need to source paper on a Sunday to try and recover something. That stolen sketch wasn't just a stolen sketch that would have sold for €50, or so. It was the paper I had to work with.

I'm just a little bit more angry than I was yesterday. I do not like it here!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Thieving Cunts in Santiago de Compostela.

First ever. Anywhere. Some fuckers just stole my sketch. 4 hours work. The words are very clearly displayed: I am an artist raising money for charity...

Not only did they steal my sketch (cunts), they stole my shell and money (double cunt people of this shithole fascist city).

Not even in Madrid, Barcelona, or Seville did I ever get a sketch stolen so blatantly.

Forget the frustrations of rain and wind. It's sunny now. But, oh Santiago - you bunch of Christian believing fascist fuckers - a folder of sketches stolen and now a huge sketch stolen in broad daylight.

Last straw for me. Fuck you Santiago. I leave tomorrow. Fuck the idea of raising money for charity when Christian cunts in this world are just going to grab it for themselves. Selfish fuckers.


Not sure I can come back from this. Think it's time to move on.

Friday, 9 April 2010

If You Don't Ask - You Don't Get!

You know what? Sometimes when you ask you don't get either.

Back in Santiago. I got distracted by something I saw on the coast. Research time.

Not sure how long this will take. I could be in Santiago (or, tooing and throing between here and somewhere else) for a while.

Monday, 5 April 2010


And, on to Laxe.

A bit of a change in plan/approach due to lack of funds. Obviously, I don't want to turn up in some tiny village skint. Plan now is to go on a bit of a reccy. I will paint in a location where most will see me and stick a written explanation (who I am and what I want to do) next to my painting. Hopefully, after a couple of days I will have the info and contacts I need to make this happen.

Soy un artista Britanico recaudando dinero para organizaciones caritativas en España y el Reino Unido. Mi plan es vivir en Laxe durante un año y crear 5 cuadros a la semana para vender en internet y donar el dinero a dichas organizaciones. Necesitaría encontrar un alojamiento asequible durante este tiempo.

I am a British artist raising money for charities in Spain and the UK. I intend to live in Laxe for 1 year and create 5 paintings a week to auction on the internet for charity. I need cheap accommodation for this year.

If you don't ask - you don't get.

Being the cheeky, no shame fuck that I am, I plan to approach the mayor and local tourism bod's asking for help :)

There are many reasons I have chosen Laxe for this project. Mostly because the area is just outrageously beautiful and extremely varied in landscape.

A little bit apprehensive about turning up in a tiny village where no-one will speak English (my clumsy Spanish is gradually turning into clumsy Gallego) although, my previous experience of small villages in this part of Spain suggest I have little to worry about.

Back in Santiago to work next weekend. Plan from now on is to paint on the coast by week and work the cities at weekends for my own pocket money.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Santiago Webcams.

Hey, look! It's still pissing it down :D

Plaza Quintana is where I normally work. You may see me here if the sun ever shines again.

2010 is a Holy Year. Extra brownie points for pilgrims. The camera is pointing at the Holy Door - an entrance that is only open during Holy Years apparently. You can watch all the soaking wet, miserable pilgrims arriving and being forgiven for their sins. Watch them enter in sadness and then leave with loads of cash and happiness. It's miraculous.

Despite the rain, I am still hoping to leave Santiago on Monday and find a place in Laxe to finally start my next project. Hoping(?)!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Did I mention the rain? Did I?

Sigh. More wet, cold and windy stuff.

On the plus side, I've been sketching a mural in a warm, dry bar.

Next weekend maybe. Perhaps next weekend will be the weekend?

Whilst in the mountains of Anceres Natural Park, I made this website for a friend. I like his work much...

A very wet, and quiet Semana Santa so far. Just about making enough to cover costs. Oh well.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Semana Santa?

I think it starts tomorrow.

Everyone told me today would be busy. It's no different to any other weekend I have known in Santiago so far this year. Wet, cold and a distinct lack of art buying tourists.

"You will have trouble finding a bed" they said. Cheaper this weekend than they were last weekend.

Worst of all, the wind has switched. It's a very cold North Easterly that suggest no change in weather for days.


I'm close to praying and going to church. If anyone reading here hadn't worked it out; I'm not a believer, but, hey! You know what? If prayer, and hanging onto hope is an easier option than actually dealing with reality I may well give it a go. Can't do any more harm than taking drugs to escape for a while. Can it?

Nah. Fuck it. I'm gonna buy a bottle of wine and find some pills instead. I will deal with reality tomorrow.

Will I ever get to Laxe?

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Bats are Out!

Well TFFT!

Winter is over, blossoms are blossoming, insects are insecting and the sun is shining. Aaaaachooooo! The bats can either smell the pollen, hear the insects, or, more likely, hear me sneezing.

I see I've lost a blog follower. Never mind.


I do like it here, and I've met many very good people. Many. Lots of offers of help. I like it lots, but, but, but...

Here's my problem (rain aside). Policia Local. The 'authorities'. Not all of them. Just the couple of small pricks who tell me I can't work. All I'm trying to do is raise enough cash to get my next charity project rolling. I'm no threat to anyone. Not the public, not businesses - no-one. When Policia Local threaten me with a denuncia I can't afford to pay just for sketching in a public place, a public plaza, a space we all pay for I have a big, big problem.

Some reading here may think I should just shut it and live within the 'rules'. Well, I do live within the rules. That is what annoys me. I have just as much disrespect for those who choose to stay quiet. These are very liberal times we live in. They are worth preserving for future generations. May seem like a small issue to some. Not to me. I've been writing this blog 'on the fly' since I started. Only once have I felt the need to edit/delete posts. I see no need here. I'm getting more support in Santiago for being honest than I would for just keeping quiet.

There are very few people here from ethnic backgrounds (unless you include Gauls as ethnics ;)). There are geographical reasons for that as well as political. Still, after Three months, I only know One black guy to speak to!

After Three months I am finally getting regular work. I DO like it here. But...

On the same day that Policia Local threatened me with denuncias if I didn't stop sketching for charity, some guy (who regularly did) let his dog walk all over my sketches. "Excuse me, it's my work". His reply: "This is my city and my floor - fuck off". Nice! So, perhaps you can understand why I vented so much steam here?

To focus on the good...

There are far more good people here than twats :)

I'm off to the mountains for a few days break. I deserve it. Back on Thursday. Spring has started smelling. Bats are flying and my nostral tissues are about to take an almighty beating. Yay! It's been almost a year. Mosquitoes will be next :)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

OK. Let's forget about yesterday.

2 arguments with Policia Local. 2 ripped up sketches. 1 ripped canvass. Things can be very frustrating at times. Very frustating.

Today was better. Much better.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Santiago - Fascist Hell?

I may have to run quickly after this post ;)

Not many coloured people in these parts are there?

I'll give One, or Two exceptions, but, on the whole, this is Fascist hell. I am close to hating this city and all the people that reside here. Twice today Policia Local told me I wasn't allowed to work. Illegal to sketch in a public space! What? Why?

In all the time I've been here (on this last visit), I have only spoken to One single black person! Conservative isn't quite the right word. 'Backward' is possibly closer to the truth. It stinks here. Really, really smelly.

Fuck it. I could rant here forever. I hate this stinking, racist, fascistic little city.

Going to take the first bus out of here :)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Onwards and Upwards. I need a little break.

That was a shit week. Despite the good weather, good people, free food (Thank you very much to La Crepe in Praza Quintana - absolutely delicious. I shall return with friends someday. Seriously good food, beautiful service and relaxing ambience. Would have been worth every Centimo if I had paid). All the focus on the food and service. Exactly the way it should be. Subtle flavours with no distraction.

Illness, temporary blindness. Not worth blogging about really. I'd sooner forget it and move on. So, that's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to write about someone called 'T' (that'll be you!). I've enjoyed every minute of your company. Good conversation. Yesterday, you commented on how forgiving I am. I'm afraid I'm not. I always hit back if anyone crosses me. You are confusing forgiveness with tolerance. If people walk on my art because they didn't see it, then there was no intent. A simple accident. Nothing to get angry about. If someone spoils my art on purpose, I'll probably burn their house down before seeing them hung, drawn and quartered very publicly :)

It's possibly just a language thing, but... the Two people I have enjoyed the company of most in Santiago have both been from Estonia. Sana - hope to share a coffee and chat another time. And, 'T' - I'll keep in touch and see you later in the year. Both very interesting people who I would like to know much more about.

Santiago didn't click this time and I'm itching to move to Laxe and start my next project, so a huge change in plan. Heading to the bus station for a little break before coming back to Santiago with a bit of my own cash to get the next charity ball rolling.

That's the plan at least. But, a work offer in Berlin, and a curiosity about Estonia could change things! Heading South initially. East is tempting.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Sunshine since Sunday actually. So, why can't I make money still?

Summer is coming. Sooner, or later, it will happen. Probably later.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

My Language!

I shouldn't really do that. School children and the easily offended may be reading.

Forecast was wrong. It's bright and sunny. Almost spring like weather.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Fucking Cunts Changed the Weather Forecast Again.

Why do they do that?

Build up your hopes, then go knocking you down.

Another week of rain then :(

Jebus fucking wept!!!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Take a Step Back...

... and look at what is actually happening.

Well, it's fucking well raining all of the time. That's what is happening and spoiling my plans.

But, today it didn't rain all of the time. Pay day. 1st of the month. A bit of sunshine, and hoorah! I only need 1 day a week like that in Santiago and I'm singing. Hence, a gamble on a flat for a month. Maybe.

Tonight I'm in the 'funky' part of town. A room above a Chinese restaurant for just €15. The locks on the doors have been kicked and smashed as many times as Bruce Lee's midrift. Pretty sure whoever left on my account will be knocking a bit later, but I would actually kill for sleep and a shower tonight. No! Seriously!

4 dry days since mid December! It's been a wet winter for sure. Day to day survival really. It ain't fun. Something has to change. I'm still thinking.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hurricane Warning (re-instated).

Just in case anyone reading here took my word for it!

The worst is yet to come :(

False Alarm :)


Just another mass of wettness :(

I've finally worked out why they built a cathedral here and made up some story to get the cash from The Church. It's simply because it's the farthest corner of Spain. Thus, all pilgrims had to walk as far as possible. Thus, spending more money and being milked for every possible penny.

Simple really.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Hurricane Alert!

WTF! Oh noes :(

Just when you think things can't get any worse...

Relentless rain here since Saturday. HUGE rain at times. HUGE! Totally unworkable conditions, and it looks like it's only going to get worse before it gets better. Time to take a few steps back and look at alternative directions.

No shortage of good people here mind. Free bed. Free coffees. Plenty of help, just no sales even if I do have commissions to crack on with when it finally gets dry.

New plan?

Sunday, 21 February 2010

And, back in Santiago it was still raining.

No surprises there then :D

Anyone who doubts just how wet this place is, take a look at this World weather map and notice the little dark green splot in NW Spain. That is Santiago. Wetter than England. As wet as anywhere in the UK actually (well, almost). So, quite wet then. Click on image to see all.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


First things first...

What a friendly bunch of people and a very lovely place. Good to meet so many good folk in such a small village. Huge thank you to albergue Hogar Miguel, the guys from the 'otherside of the mountain' ;) all at bar Pirata, and countless others.

Few tourists. Finacially difficult, but with so many offers of beds and meals that was not a problem. Seascape completed, back in Santiago. I did wonder if I was going to get 'trapped' for while!

Very easy to understand why such a place has become legendary, mythical, magical and mystical. Stunningly beautiful and a bit weird in it's contrast. It doesn't make sense at first glance. Awesome Atlantic views, beatiful beaches, flowers, fruit and alien tress (in February), rugged, stark, stoney mountains. It's a very unique place. I'll be visiting more through the coming summer.

I would imagine it's a very different place in summer!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


A flying visit. Only come here to do a seascape and get my next project rolling.

I have been refused entry to the municipal albergue because I didn't walk all the way from Santiago de Compostela. Like walking 4,500KM in a year and a half isn't enough! Private albergues seem to be closed. Oh, and you liars sleeping at the municipal tonight - I know, and so does God. You'll be going to hell.

Talking of liars and cheats, that guy walking aorund Santiago with my folder full of A4 sketches. What really annoys me about this is that I talked with him one day in Plaza Quintana. When he left, he left behind his tobacco. I kept it and found him the next day to return it. He knows that folder and those sketches are mine. Absolutely no doubt. Yesterday, he had the audacity to ask me for a fucking cigarette. Cunt! He'll be going to hell also. Little reward for being honest in this world.

Sleep on beach, or fork out for a hostal. It's mild enough, but not dry.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Yesterday was a very good day.

Sometimes I wonder why I wasn't doing this 10 years ago, or more.

A little bit cold mind. Managed to pay for beds for 6 yesterday. Two day fiesta - hopefully today and tomorrow will bring similar.

A huge thank you for the email of encouragement. It meant a lot. I was close to quitting yesterday. You know who you are - the thought was appreciated greatly.

Sometimes this life is very, very rewarding. Sometimes it ain't. Same as any other way of living really!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Fuck Me Sideways!

Freezing, fucking freezing, and very, very windy.

Not nice working conditions. Three sketches ripped to pieces by the wind today. Sometimes, I ask myself why the fuck I even bother trying. When it's not wet, it's freezing fucking cold and exceptionally windy. So, why the fuck did anyone ever want to live here?

Friday, 12 February 2010

So, Why Did Santiago Happen Here?

There's a library, and museums and places like that I could go to. Instead I've just been talking to people who live here and researching on the internet.

Wikipedia is always a good starting place. Not always very reliable though. Much of the history of Santiago is lost in the fog of the debate about the religious claims. I'm more interested in why a settlement was formed here and went on to become a very rich little city indeed.

I see Tracy Saunders gets a mention on the Wiki page. Perhaps I should read her book. I met her and her diaghter once. They seemed good sorts.

Around 400AD a tribe from the Rhine Valley settled here. Most probably in hiding. It was simply a last resort. Shit weather, but perfect for a self-sustainable community that didn't want to risk mixing it with the Roman authorities not to far away. Then, there's the name - Compostella. Commonly believed to be a bit more litteral than it might be. Country Stars - the way of the star. But, more likley to be a bit more pessimistic and about many dead people and dead stuff. Dead people maybe. Dead Romans? I'm told it was the site of a huge Roman graveyard. A bttle not worth fighting any longer because it always rained here anyway :D So, the tribe on the run from the Rhine decided to stay because the Romans couldn't be arsed to fight for the dampness? Am I getting close yet?

Move on 500 years, or so, some clever guy realises that there is fuck all here other than rain and comes up with some bullshit about saints and bones.

That's about it. The city grew from a myth that was funded by The Church to empower the Christians and destroy any last remaining pagan believers?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Personally, I think there is much more in the theories about early migration routes. Difficult to dig into though.

All views, theories and facts more than wlecome.

Blue Skies, Nothing, but Blue Skies.

Bit chilly mind.

Just for a change (from sketching the cathedral (although, it has many different aspects to sketch)) I'm going to do a 3x1 Meter sketch of The Alhambra in Plaza Quintana, as viewed from Mirador de San Nicolas from memory. Been a few months. I'll try and post a photograph of the sketch here to compare with the actual view tomorrow.

I met a crazy Galician piper here a few weeks ago. Gave me a couple of very large glasses of the local coffee liquor at about 8 in the morning. He was taken to the hospital for the not very well in the head people yesterday fro dragging metal barriers into the cathedral. I shall be avoiding binges on the local coffee liquor. Seems to be bad for the brains.

Yesterday, there was a special mass at the cathedral. Not sure exactly what it was about, but it seemed to be for dying people. Ambulances were waiting outside. Very strange. I still don't quite get this religion thing. Santiago is certainly a very religious place. You would expect it to be I suppose. But, why the fuck did they build a cathedral here? How did this city happen? No river. A fair distance from any port. And, don't give me any bollocks about saints arriving in stone boats. Anyone tried to pull that off today, they would get sectioned!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Today was a good day.

It didn't rain until 5PM!

Almost record takings for any day, of any month, of any year. I have choices!

Favourite is to take a night bus to Seville to deal with 'unfinished business' that has to be finished soon. But, I may change my mind. Good to know that I can make good money here when the sunshines, but should I stay, or should I go?

Santiago plus points:
Lots of tourists.
I know some very good people here.
Accommodation is affordable.
It's a very beautiful little city.
Deportivo stand a good chance of hosting Villa next season (a short bus ride to La Coruña).

Santiago minus points:
Take away the students and the tourists/pilgrims, it's a little bit to Conservative for my tastes.
Policia Local and me aren't getting along well.

The deal is you have to apply for permission at least 2 weeks in advance. No guarantee it won't be raining on the day you have permission for. that's my problem. I rely on the better nature of certain police. Certain police don't have a better nature.

50/50 stay, or get bus to Seville ATM. Mat Google the weather for a clue.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Today was not a good day.

Between showers, misty stuff and wet stuff, I actually managed 30 minutes of sketching the cathedral. In that 30 minutes I collected enough to buy materials for tomorrow and gratefully accepted a coffee from someone. Then, little prick, fascist cunt of Policia Local ordered me to stop.

I am totally losing the plot now. I threw coffee all over my sketch before binning it. That's the last 4 sketches I've completed - all gone to waste in fits of frustration.

Tomorrow may be dry. Fuck, who knows - anything is possible. I'll sketch until little prick, fascist cunt Policia Local tells me to stop. I'll continue and offer my hands for him to make a charge. Then, wehe I have sold my sketch and have enough cash I'll buy a bus ticket south to the dryness and sunshine :)

Oh - the Water!

It's not getting any better. I am totally rain and wind defeated.

My last handful of coins got swept away with a freak gust of wind that took a 3x1 Meter sketch flying across the plaza yesterday. Absolutely skint. Sales wise, times have not been more difficult since setting off in September 2008. It's not just the rain.

I seem to be in disagreement with the pension I'm staying in. They seem to be as convinced as I am about what I owe. No receipts!

And, worse of all, my folder of donation receipts, legal documents, A4 sketches from my travels (for selling), credentials, copies of passport, authorisation forms and all my press clippings appears to have gone missing. Gone missing, because I'm pretty sure where I left it, but a bit of carelessness from me.

Back to square One again. Have paper. Have pen...

It's still very wet. The forecast was good. The outcome is not.

I need a good day!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Artist Hissy Fit Number 34.

When I start leaving sketches all over town with 'fuck this' type messages scrawled all over them then I know it's time to move.

Tonight's teenager like crap reads; "You can spit on my art/work for free! Your spit might make the World a better place".

Fuck me. Idiot. It came after collecting 20 Centimos in about 3 hours. It was a beautiful sketch as well.

Nevermind - move on. But, where?

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Things are Not Going to Plan.

No no no.

The wettness. The fucking wettness. I expected wet. I didn't expect this sort of wet. I'm stuck! Not sure what to do. I'm far from convinced I can make enough cash here in the rain, so a bus ride to Madrid perhaps. Possibly. I'm only €200 short, but always €200 short. So, that's a round €120 trip to the dry and back, and then on from there?

I like Santiago. I don't like the fucking continuous wettness. No.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Old :(


I'm 43!!!

43 and bumming around Spain with very little direction :) I should be married with kids and getting stressed about cash and stuff like that. Where is my large automobile? ...Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

Not really, I know exactly where I'm going and I don't want a big car anyway. The weather people have given me sunshine. Very kind of them. Must remember to thank them if I ever find out who they are.

43! OMFG!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Pictures on Coins.

Still sunshiney! But, bleedineck - the wind has a bite to it today.

All the visits I've made to Santiago, all the times I have sketched the cathedral, all the coins I have collected on large sketches, I have only just noticed all the copper Spanish Centimos have a picture of Santiago cathedral on the reverse. Strange that.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Time I Stopped Moaning.

No rain today!!! (Yet?).

A list of good things about 14 days and 14 nights of rain and policia hassle in Santiago...

Someone gave me a nice new shoulder bag today - 'Parliament of Galicia' embroidered on the front. I like it and it's perfect for carrying all my artists kit. Thank you very much.

When I was sketching in front of the cathedral last week (in the ice cold wind and snow) someone brought me coffees with congac - my favourite. Thank you very much.

The kebab shops appear to be at war. €1.99 for a nice big kebab. Thank you very much.

There are good people in this city. Thank you very much.

More good in an aesthetic sort of way is just how tidy this city is in all sorts of ways. 24 hour street cleaning (I know, because I've met the early morning shift whilst looking for a safe, free bed!). The municipal logos here are very nice and clean (I tend to notice these things due to past work interests). Same goes for the shop signage. Generally in Spain, it's chaotic. Not here (in the old town at least).

Also on a visually aesthetic note; walking around this city is sometimes like walking into a very surreal centre page spread from Vogue magazine. Stunningly beautiful people dressed to kill. I swear the university recruits on looks as much as brains - all part of the 'Spain's most beautiful city' master plan. No doubt.

Another good thing. Think I've finally figured out where and when I can and can't work. I think I have buskers rights here which means I can sell during working hours (10AM - 2PM and 4PM - 8PM) leaving me free to complete small sketches early morning and during siesta. I think. More than a little bit of stress on the 'think'. If I'm right, I now know how to plan a bit more carefully for both rain and police. I can make this work. Another good thing about Europe's wetest city (possibly) is that it was built for the rain - there are plenty of arcades and dry pitches to work.

Tough going still (wet, wind, crisis, middle of January (as someone who has a birthday in anuary I know all about cash shortages at this time of year!)), but pretty sure I can make it work.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Is this Europes Wetest City?

I think it's up there in the top 3. 13th day in Santiago and 13th day of rain. It did actually stop for a while this afternoon, but didn't get dry enough for sketching on paper on the ground.

I have 2 possible commission opportunities. If just one comes good I'm home and dry, so to speak. If they don't, I have no idea! Struggling with the rain, policia and bad time of year. It's not going to plan.

Everytime I look at the weather map, there's a big, grey, damp, blob over Santiago whilst the rest of Spain gets the usual Spanish stuff. Just 20KM in any direction and there's sunshine, but not here.

Huge canvas and paints wait for sunshine.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Good Fucking Grief. More Rain.

OK. This is getting depressing. Silly me thought I was going to enjoy a dry day of sketching and painting. Oh no. Since leaving Valencia (last year !) I think I've enjoyed just a single day without rain, or snow. This is not Spanish!

At least I managed to dry and wash my clothes. I'm not going mouldy anymore.

It is actually a serious issue. That fascist Policia Local who insists I'm breaking the law by sketching is an issue, but he's powerless compared to rain. I'm going to lose the plot with him. Pretty sure about that. Next time he tells me to stop sketching I'll simply offer my wrists and ask him to arrest me on a charge that I will take to the papers.

Internet cafes are dry, but not cheap here :(


Fuck yeah! Blue skies, dryness and everything!

The power of the sun. I feel full of new enthusiasm, energy and a revitalised liking for Santiago. I'm ready to take the bull by the horns and crack on with a huge painting of the cathedral. Painting to sell to the highest bidder to help fund the set-up of my next project. I'm also looking for advertising links on my all singing, all dancing, new video and photography website (coming to a pooter near you very soon). More about that later. In the meantime, I need a little translation help for a press release and info sheet. Anyone reading here have the time? It's a bit beyond my level of Spanish.

I am a professional fundraising artist. the profit from every painting I sell this year will pay for disadvantaged people to enjoy 'Camino Experience' with a mentor (if necessary). I will be living on the coast of Galicia attempting to paint 5 pictures a week to auction on ebay for charity. This painting is offered for sale to the highest bidder - the proceeds will help to establish my new project, and in turn help others. Place a bid in the 'bid' box, or make a small donation in the 'donation' box. I rely on sales of sketches for my own income - please browse through my portfolio. Thank you.

Set-up costs for anyone wondering are basically the cost of getting my equipment transported from Granada to Galicia. 3, or 4 days car hire I guess and the cost of a tent for painting on beaches in the rain, and costs of time getting the all important new website ready and effectively publicised.

Any translation help greatly appreciated.


Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Rain is Art.

So they say here in Santiago. I like picking up local sayings and customs. Not so keen on this one. Only the insanely optimistic could enjoy this relentless deluge. And, the forecast isn't looking to good either.

Rain spoils sales. Rainy days usually deliver about 10% of the cash I can make on a sunny day. I'm still a long way from getting enough money together to head for the coast. Can't paint in the rain. Few dry pitches to sell from. Oh well, nothing I can do to change the weather - I need a change of plan. It could be 360 degree panoramic umbrella sketching time again.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tough Going!

Continuing in the vain of this last trip (I would like to say walk, but...) things are not easy. I'm struggling to make €5 a day :(

Time of year - few tourists and most people still paying for Christmas and New Year.

Weather - it's been fucking awful since I left Granada. Big storm here last night. Some rare snow the other day. Freezing cold winds. Few people willing to stop in the street to look at art never mind remove their gloves and put hands in pockets.

Policia Local - I'm told I need permission. I go to get permission. Told I don't need permission. Told to go to some office authorising artists activities in the street, but there are no permissions for January. Then told I need to go to the Traffic Office for authorisation to sketch under the arcades (out of the rain).

It's all a bit meh. Losing my enthusiasm for Santiago a little and desperate to get out to the country and the coast for a bit of reality.

I'm also getting a bit sick of the money promise that Holy Year offers traders here. They're expecting some sort of salvation from crisis, but it doesn't look as though it's happening. I was virtually dragged into a bar the other day. Warm welcome. Congratualtory shake of hand. Followed by a cafe con leche with brandy for €4.40 instead of the €3 I normally pay. Business isn't good all round.

Two commissions and I'm out of here to head to the coast. That may take a couple of weeks still. I always meet good people in Santiago, and generally make good money. Looking back at this time last year Granada was equally tough cash wise. Just the time of year I guess.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Santiago de Compostela.


Not warm here. Somehow I managed to wake up (or, get woken) on a bus in Santiago bus station this morning with 3 canvasses, a set of paints, a healthy pocket full of coins and an almighty hangover. Straight to work despite the cold and the head. I need to find cheap accommodation that isn't infested with bedbugs. My hands are still scarred from the last time.

A very small painting to start (easy to sell), then a mid sized canvas before going full on with a huge canvas.

Right, anyone want to rent their spare room to a weirdo English, pilgrim artist for a month?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year - New Project.

Walking around Spain has been a fantastic experience for many, many reasons. I have many people to thank for buying sketches, commissioning paintings, donating, feeding me, offers of beds and countless other kind offers. A fantastic experience, but I really want to remain static for a while.

Currently in Leon - I love this city. Can't really explain why. I always get a good reception here. It feels very 'homely'. Perhaps that's because the weather is very British during winter (cold, wet and windy). For me, Leon has the perfect balance between old and new. Funky new architecture that doesn't get in the way of the charm of the old town. It's a very affordable city also. Even during the many rainy days I can make enough to pay for bed and food.

Plan is to head onwards to Santiago tomorrow. When I have enough cash I'll head to the very beautiful, varied and interesting Costa de la Muerte and find a place to live for 12 months at least. Painting 5 seascapes a week to sell via ebay for charity. I'll be working weekends in Santiago, La Coruna and here in Leon to make my own cash. Not 100% confident I can make it work that way, but I'm sure it will work one way, or another.

Really looking forward to this. I know the winter weather is going to be totally shyte. I don't care. The place is stunningly beautiful come snow, rain, or shine.

In Santiago I will paint a large painting of the cathedral in acryllic with a plan to sell it to cover my initial months rent on the coast. A big ask! If you don't ask - you don't get ;)