To think that just a week ago I was sitting in Marbella’s Plaza de Los Naranjos (Orange Square) sipping upon a creamy Cafe con leche, and snacking upon a light crispy churros con chocolate. The sun was shining, and we were sat in the shade, shying away from the September heat which, remarkably, was hitting the 30s. Only a few hours later we took a flight back to London. The realisation only kicked in as the plane started to descend. It was that moment as we plunged from a clear peachy sky at sunset into the grey gloom of a tumultuous storm cloud. The little plane was battered from side to side, the windows were suddenly hit with a rain shower, the drops dancing diagonally across the pain in the direction of our high-speed travel, and within seconds we had been violently redirected from Summer into a deep and depressing winter. Setting down on the concourse at City Airport, we could barely see for the heavy rain all around us, and descending the plane’s steps into the outside, our sun-kissed bodies shivered in despair at the instantaneous 20 degrees drop to which they had been so suddenly sacrificed.
A few hours later and I was back at work. A week later and it’s as if the holiday never happened at all. And yet it’s the memories which to my mind give a holiday its value. When you’re away, its all too often like you’re traversing a dream, your feet never quite touching the ground, as the ties of reality continue to drag your concentration back to the entrapments of home, never quite freeing you sufficiently to fully immerse yourself in your holiday destination. It’s vital then that we remember – and of course this blog, and my photos, and my recipes are key to my success in this.
For today’s Sunday Supplement then, I have decided to return to one of my earliest paintings, completed in Marbella in 2002. It shows the old town’s main bustling square, full as it is of cafe’s and restaurants, musicians and people turning out for their evening stroll. With a play on words which only the English translation of the square’s name accommodates, I painted the oranges square to give pictorial illusion to the place name. There too is the central bust of King Juan Carlos, and the bright yellow postbox which gives some lemon to an otherwise orange square. Finally the painting is dappled with the flowers – the brugmansia, the bird of paradise and the jasmine whose scent fills the square with perfume all year round.
It may be Autumn all around me, but in my mind, orange hues and blossom scents fill my imagination.
PS: If you like my painting of Orange Square, it’s available as a limited edition print along with other prints and my range of Norm Christmas cards on my Etsy Shop – check it out!
Enjoy your Sunday.
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