Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The road ran downhill into Spain

 Back in London. It feels like coming home. And back in Sussex - and at this time of year, when it's cold enough that there's almost a frost, but warm enough for you to keep the front door open to let the brisk and fresh November air come honestly into the house, it feels like Bloomsbury, like the film Sylvia. I want to go to Monk's House, but I don't have the car. I want to walk along the Downs, to read Woolf, I want to paint in the garden. (I can't paint).

The Christmas market is being set up on London's Southbank. When I'm working there in December, I'll go there to get mulled wine after work and listen to the buskers.

It is the Southbank Jazz Festival this week. I went into Royal Festival Hall, listened to some conceptual European jazz, including a French woman leaning on the piano with her elbows while a Japanese woman went nuts on a drum kit. There was a photography exhibition on at the same time, based on news photos of the past year. There was one particularly arresting picture of a man being gored at a bullfight in Madrid. The bull was white, and had blood running all down its legs, and one of the bull's horns was hidden under the swirling serge of his cape, and the other horn was going right through the man's chin and out through his mouth. But apart from the blood on the bull's chest and legs (and you couldn't understand where that came from, although you looked for the wound), it wasn't gory at all. The toredor looked in pain, yes, but his eyes were tightly shut as if he was on a rollercoaster, not as if he had a horn gored through his face. The horn came peacefully out of his mouth as if it were meant to be there, his lips wrapped around the horn as though it had the perfect dimensions to fit into his mouth. That man was back in the ring only four months after the goring.
I want to see a bullfight before they are banned. I don't know if I would have the stomach for it, but I want to see one.

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