The following is a diary entry I wrote in March 2017 after leaving my job in London and trying out a new life in Spain.
Granada is a wondrous place. Granada is also a mysterious place to understand. A week in Granda is not long enough to understand what makes it tick.
The first thing I noted when we arrived off the bus in the city was an orange tree. This pleased me because it felt like we really were far away from London now. I had read previously that Granada is home to 3 million orange trees, but the ones you find in public places and on the sides of streets are not the kind you want to eat. They are bitter in taste and are used in marmalades - rather it is the sweet oranges that are grown in orchards that behold the most satisfying experience.
We scrambled up cobbled streets; I dragged two black suitcases full of books to inspire, pencils to potentially draw with and clothes to wear in +30c conditions, the best I could. With black velvet boots, black tights, a black turtle neck dress and a white sheepskin coat, smudged eye-liner and bloodshot eyes, I couldn’t have looked any more London if I tried. What fool only brings black velvet boots as their only mode of footwear to Spain?
The room exhibited an unusual mix of interior decor. One wall was exposed brick (but not the tasteful kind) and the others clad in Spanish tiles. There was a replica print of Mona Lisa on the wall. Her ugly head each day reminded us of the complex and often absurd dynamic between beauty and vulgarity. Nobody quite understands the significance of the subject Mona Gheradini or the answers to the many questions posed about her life, and after starring into her beady eyes for an entire week, I have come no closer to finding the truth myself. For what it’s worth, I did however enjoy my week spent in that room. And it was almost a week, for half of the time it was raining and most of the time I was attempting to busy myself with work-related issues, because no matter how free you are, in any city you may find yourself in, you’re always going to need some cash.