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?