Last summer we gave our neighbours a gift and swapped homes for a little while with a lovely family who lived in Barcelona. They had a great time exploring Scotland and getting to know our neighbours while we enjoyed being hot in Barcelona.
It was incredibly hot, there was a reason the Barcelonians wanted to escape to Scotland, but we enjoyed making friends with their kitten and chilling out in their gorgeous home in the day time, going out in the evening when the heat was more tolerable to explore gorgeous Barcelona.
Things we loved most were:
Seeing La Sagrada Familia - we didn't go inside because the kids didn't want to, but there's a great play park behind it where we watched parrots fly and admired the building.
Shopping around Las Ramblas - so much fun and lots of silly little shops. The area has a reputation for pickpockets but we were fine with our purses tucked away.
The CosmoCaixa museum - this was a fantastic visit, we adored the museum which had so much to do and to interest the kids and us. BTW it's a science museum with some awesome live animals too.
Anyhow, with all that time that we were hanging out in the house waiting for the temperature to come down a bit I did bucketloads of writing, including writing Sonnet 404 which appeared in the first issue of 404 Ink's Magazine, and writing this poem about our experience of Barcelona which appeared in Allegro Poetry's travel special in December last year.
Clearly a mistake
to leave the cool green,
summer of soggy,
Exchanging our home for another
in August heatwave-heavy
We lived like vampires.
Hiding in shuttered rooms
from infernal sun.
Emerging at dusk
to a city alive with people:
hearts beating fast
as sweat evaporates
in sweltering dark.
A gorgeous mistake.
Catalonian colour and vibrant lights.
Layers of truths told
in art and architectural splendour.
In the light of the fountain
the kids danced
for wind, for green,
for the rain's sweet kiss.
Thinking about it now, I'm wondering how I managed to get all that writing time. There's always more time when you're in someone else's house! Today I've been trying to write this and get the house tidied up and I've been distracted by one thing or another all day! Tomorrow will have to be the day we get the house tidied up... or I could just pretend that I'd tidied it and the kids have trashed it again - it's going to happen anyway!
I'm sharing this poem with Prose for Thought (I'm afraid I can't find the picture link thing), because I haven't joined in there for ages (for so long that I've lost track of when it is!) and with The Prompt, because although our Barcelona experience was odd, it was very happy indeed, and happy is the word of the fortnight.