The question I will never make

I thought that I had no question to make for this encounter. I have one now, but chances are that I won’t be able to send it due to Twitter’s character restrictions. Not to talk about even replying to it, it’s something really impossible (well, not quite so, being the answer, in my opinion, a simple “no”). Therefore I will write it here, hoping to find a way to reduce it for tomorrow afternoon. If I can’t… well, I guess I would be able to carry on my shoulders the weight of defeat quite elegantly.

“It is frustrating to see how little has humankind evolved since the Salem trials, in 1647, or since Miller’s wrote “The Crucible”, in 1953.  We all are like Salem’s citizens, pointing our iphones instead of our lies or accusatory fingers. We are even worst than Abigail, hiding our hasty and unfair accusations behind the anonymity of a nickname. Do you think that there is still room for hope? Will ever the infinite Crucibles be something belonging to the past?”

The best thing of all

Walltown – Northumberland National Park

I knew already before this trip that Northumberland was an infinite succession of amazingly beautiful landscapes, but, what has striken me the most has been its people. My previous visits to UK were all limited to London; big metropolis are, in a certain way, all alike. A melting pot of different cultures and people, a place in which, for a Spanish living in Italy, you will never die of hunger because ninety percent of the waiters in the restaurants are Spanish or Italians. Therefore, this was my first trip to the “real” Great Britain; I would sleep in a small town in the middle of the island and I would arrive there with the train from Newcastle, hoping to have memorised well the road to walk from the train station to our bed & breakfast. I must confess also that I wasn’t able, before leaving, to forget completely one of those absurd commonplaces which, in the mind of an Spaniard, equal British people to a race not very amiable or kind. I know that it sounds something very absurd to read in a blog in which the vast majority of their posts is devoted to a certain English Gentleman. But as I told you, we are talking about an absurd idea printed in the dna of the average Spanish citizen after a childhood spent watching Erroll Flynn’s films with Claude Rains playing the naughty Spaniard and Erroll Flynn the corageous Englishman.

the sea hawk
Claude Rains as Don José Alvarez de Córdoba in “The Sea Hawk”. Click for source

Nevertheless, common places are made to be denied with reality, and so it was. Starting from the flight; we flew with an English low cost company, the only one with a twice a week direct flight between Rome and Newcastle. When we were about to land I was making with hubby the usual tourist-comments about what I was seeing, but I guess that one man sitting in the seat in front of me was not very happy at all to hear that I thought Durham was Newcastle and what I thought was Newcastle’s stadium was Sunderland’s. Therefore the gentleman informed me very kindly of what I was really watching from the window… panic. I did not understand him. After making him repeating thrice what he was saying, I gathered the meaning by the only words I understood (Newcastle – Durham – Sunderland) and by seeing from the window a definitely bigger city approaching. I thought that the communication problem was due to that annoying buzz you hear inside a plane, but when making the passports queue and, once more, not understanding the first time the question the lady organising the flow of people asked me (if I travelled alone or with someone else) I realised that I was not made to understand northern accent.


In this trip we were very lucky, not only with the patient people we met who had to repeat frequently twice what they were telling me, but with the weather. As you see, sun shined between the clouds but the temperature, for us, was definitely brisky. I longed for cool weather after the furnace heat we left in Rome but I realized, watching the people in Newcastle or walking in Haltwhistle that afternoon in t-shirt and sandals, that non only our English, but also our thermostats were callibrated very differently.

The list of incredibly friendly and nice people continued with our landlady (who spoke an absolutely intelligible English), the girls in the pub, the couple of tourists from Lincoln who chatted with us while we were waiting for our food, the bus driver… The next day when we were making a stroll in town a very kind gentleman asked us if we were lost. As I was in a holiday mood I didn’t even think for a moment that it was a polite way of saying “what are you doing here?”, as would have thought the usual and cynical me, but I felt absolutely happy because I understood him without saying the usual “sorry?”

The Black Bull in Haltwhistle. Delicious food, and, according to hubby, better beer

I must write more posts about this trip. Unfortunately, inspiration has completely run dry now. I guess it’s because I’m hungry.

The delicious meat pie I ate at The Black Bull

Off-line peak plus a below zero inspiration

Clumsy latin cursive exercise: the first lines of Ovid’s metamorphosis

Should someone over there ask him/herself what has happened to me, the title of the post is the answer. It has happened in other occasions: If I’m off-line several days chances are that on returning my use of internet will decrease exponentially. The first days after my English trip (by the way, when inspiration returns I must write a post about lovely Northumberland people) I was distracted with things to do at home (three cats now imply an increase of cleaning up their litters and the mess the young ones leave behind), scrolling the pictures of the trip, my fancy to write in cursive latin and reading. Then, I went back to work and, when office work increases internet rambling decrease; it decreases also due to the fact that things that before the routine-breaking seemed absolutely necessary are not anymore. Starting with tumblr which is absolutely the most time-consuming internet activity of them all. These days I have used Twitter mostly just to check how the subject of our admiration goes with it (and to learn some very great news as the agreement between the Old Vic and Digital Theatre… I will be able to see The Crucible!); according to misspelled hastags and mentions, he’s still not used to it but I am sure that it’s more difficult to learn Proctor’s part than to use Twitter and therefore misspelled hastags will be soon a thing of the past. This weekend has been devoted also to an intensive session of apartment cleaning including the painting of some walls; no, I’m not the Pinturicchio of the situation, hubby is but, as you all know, walls cleaning and painting imply white dust looming everywhere and drops of white paint that according to one of the many laws of Murphy fall one centimeter away from the newspaper sheet placed to avoid that inconvenient.

To cut a long (and meaningless) story short: I’ve been too busy this weekend to be online. I have also watched two chapters of Spooks, two of “The Pacific” (I’m quite enjoying that series), finished a book about the history of Hadrian’s wall, etc. etc. I would have liked to write a few lines of my never ending fanfic but together with the off-line peak my inspiration is below zero. Or at least it was, I have been able to write more than three-hundred words saying absolutely nothing.