Corporals, Sargent and Grandmothers

He liked to have others do his thinking for him, felt secure when obeying orders, how he rejoiced when on parade, as they marched on time, his companions of arms in perfect and synchronized order, never stepping ahead of them, and much less, falling behind, carrying the waving flag on his shoulder with pride…          (Tombstone of the unknown corporal)


Bandera mexicana Londres. UK
Mexican flag
London streets, London, UK

“I hope not to be boring you to death. If not, allow me to explain the enormous number of small, tiny, useless, but regrettably, unavoidable, details to be observed, and attended to, while preparing my grandfather’s morning, daily, and most dull, tasteless, breakfast. I doubt that in all mankind’s history there has ever been a creature as picky, as fussy and so thoroughly fastidious as my grandfather, Sir John Henry.”

La bandera inglesa Calles de Nightsbridge , UK
The British Flag
Nightsbridge streets , UK

Happily laughing, Alicia answered in an excellent mood:

“Bore me, Sir John? Quite the opposite. Today has happened to be a most memorable day. It’s been years since I’ve had such a good time.”

“Well, if sharing a few cups of tea with this old geezer has turned out to be one of the most memorable times in your life. I must thank you, indeed, for such an undeserved honor, but you make me wonder on the extreme monotony of the life you have led,” he answered, delighted by her pleasant company.

La plazuela Calles de Nightsbridge , UK
The plaza
Nightsbridge streets , UK

“The daily rituals, my grandparents followed, required absolute exactitude and precise timing, for grandfather could not, and did not, tolerate any deviation whatsoever from his constraining instructions. And what had been established by him was rigorously pursued by my grandmother. She, silent as always, was a consummated artist of the repetitious and recurrent arts of the daily kitchen routines.”
“Grandmother excelled in following orders in an exact, accurate and punctual way. I must say that she could have been an excellent corporal or maybe even a sergeant. For, you see, she had no capacity for spontaneity, much the less for creativity, and lacked any possible traces of originality.”

Banderas Calles de Nightsbridge , UK
Flags
Nightsbridge streets , UK

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

Spinning routines

From her vantage point, in a beam of the ceiling high above the room, the spider silently spun her web, while observing the humans that below her, went about their incomprehensible daily routines


El ferrocarril Londres, UK
The train
London, UK

“There’s not much to be said about my grandmother. Her life was as sparing as her conversations. She spent her days in silence, sitting in her rocking chair, the back as straight as an arrow and her legs bundled in a blanket, unremittingly knitting all sorts woollen clothes for no one to wear.”

“On the rare occasions when grandfather spoke, she would limit herself to wholeheartedly agreeing and praise him for his wisdom. Then, she would soundlessly return to her incessant weaving.”

“Upon her death, she left behind a most impressive number of boxes. As to be expected, they were full to the brim with all sorts of useless woollen clothing, yet she had scarcely left any memories behind, for me to remember her by.”

Fachadas Londres, Inglaterra
Facades
London, UK

“Somehow, it was my grandmother’s funeral, that gave me the impression that my entire childhood unfolded stuck in gigantic spiderwebs. The first was a dense, dark black widow’s nest with a furtive and deadly obese widow in London. Then I moved on to the next. That was in Stratford, where a different web was waiting for my arrival. A dangerous trap, more of the domestic sort that killed its victims by lethargic indifference and boredom. The monotony of the daily routines of those spiders was spun into the same, identical designs day after day, again and again until it became the blurry image of an empty progression of nothingness.”

Vistas del parque Londres, UK
A view of the park
London, UK

“Curiously, my grandfather and I shared the same name, though his complete name was John Henry and mine was simply John. As I remarked a few cups of tea earlier, he was an accomplished master in the art of avoiding risks of any kind and at any time whatsoever.” 

“To give you an idea of the impressive scope of his imagination, let me mention how he began his days…  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, he enjoyed a couple of soft-boiled eggs for breakfast.”

Calles de Kensington Ciudad de Londres. UK
Kensington’s streets
London, UK

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

Life’s dreams

Chase your dreams, before they slip away

Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Stones


El puente Londres, UK.
The bridge
London, UK.

“Of course, when I found out that I would be moving to Rugby and live with my grandparents, I received those happy tidings most cheerfully. It’s not easy to imagine the relief I felt. I would then leave Mary Louise behind and her never-ending sermons as well. Her tedious lessons would fade as memories of the past! As far as I was concerned that was the best news I had ever received.”

La esquina Londres, UK.
The corner
London, UK.

“Regrettably, I had not met my grandparents, and for that simple reason, I failed to understand that moving to Rugby only meant a change of prison walls.” For a moment, Sir John was thoughtful before continuing.
“I must confess, I believed that compared to the alternative of living with Mary Louise, this change constituted an excellent opportunity. How naïve one we are at times!”

Las fachadas Calles de Londres, UK
Facades
London , UK

“My grandfather turned out to be the most boring person I have ever met in all my life! Compared to my grandfather, Mary Louise was a barrel of laughs…”

“My great-grandparents, by the way, were born in Berlin. They met there and later on, for some reason decided to move to England. This happened before my grandfather was born. Years later, they moved to Paris, where they lived till the end of their days.”

“When they decided to move to France, my grandfather wished them the best of luck, and all those things. He remained behind to live his life in England. By then, he had married Victoria, my grandmother.”

Vista del lago Londres, UK
View of the lake
London, UK

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

Unexpected changes

How hard it must be… to leave everything behind in the search of a new life


Caminando por la tarde Londres, UK,
Afternoon walk
London, UK.

“Outside my prison, the world was moving on, yet, at home, everything remained immobile, the shadow of a dying absolute truth with nothing more to add. I was a forgotten prisoner, left behind, living in a static, stagnated universe. Inside the prison walls, progress had ceased to exist. In the meantime, outside those walls, life went merrily on.”

“Fortunately, my father left me an interesting collection of children’s books behind. They were in mint condition and surely, he must have read them in his youthful days. Those books formed a small part (though for me, they were the most important one) of our library. When reading, I found shelter from this bitter and sour creature and her imposing ways. While reading, I left the countless rules of conduct and good manners with which she tried to fill my life, gratefully behind me. In an astonishing way, these rules were as plentiful as the apple tarts that she was forever munching away during tea.”

Fachadas Londres, UK.
Facades
London, UK.

Upon listening to these remarks, the young woman felt a sad, melancholic sentiment unsettle her. Though his comments were disguised with a dry sense of sarcastic humour, she perceived he had gone through a deep loneliness during those childhood days, and so, she was profoundly touched.

“What a pity that your childhood was so terribly solitary, Sir John.  Our childhood days should represent a most memorable time in our life, and fill us with sweet nostalgic memories that we recur to in the sad and unsettling moments of our later years.”

Puente sobre el río Londres, UK.
Bridge over the river
London, UK.

“Well, well. I never intended to portray myself as a martyred child, my dear. Children, you see, have that capacity for finding their own space, even in the most trying conditions, and I was no exception. But those were, shall we say, hard times for a young boy with his head full of dreams…”

El parque Londres, UK
The park
London, UK

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

A world without laughter

In her bed, she tossed around, turning over and over, anguished and afraid that somebody might be having a good time…

From Foundation, by Issac Asimov


Las crepes de la avenida París, Francia
Street crepes
Paris, France

“You did not get to know my custodian and thank heavens for that blessing! It is an experience I would never wish for any other unfortunate to experience” he answered gravely, after which he smiled timidly and continued the conversation.

La torre París, Francia
The tower
Paris, France

“The thing is that during all those years, there never was a moment of laughter in the house, not one single instance, God forbid! According to Mary Louise, the contractions of the facial muscles deformed the face, and what’s more, they produced wrinkled it up.  Still, I imagine that long ago, many years before my time, she must have been doing her fair share of laughing, for how else can you explain the formidable amount of wrinkling on her face?

“With Mary Louise, every event and all occurrences were solemn in nature and grave in extreme. She had this knack for detecting one’s errors and never observing the achievements.”

“I found myself a prisoner in my own home. I had no permission to leave the house. I wasn’t even able to at least contemplate the world through the window, for she insisted that the outside world was full of evil and sin. Consequently, to peek through the window was to invite the wickedness to enter.”

Vida en las calles París, Francia
Life in the streets
Paris, France

“They were truly the most tedious and boring years of my life. Excruciating progressions of useless instructions on children’s good manners, archaic grammar that echoed hollow times, dusty with age. Not to mention the never-ending dictation exercises full of hidden spelling pitfalls, and of course, the insufferable phonetics classes during the long hours of the morning. These were to be followed by the most boring lessons on a forgotten world history together with an inconsequential geography lesson after tea , precisely when I found myself lethargic after eating and ready to fall asleep. A charming way for a young boy to grow up, wouldn’t you agree?”

El parque París, Francia
The park
Paris, France

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

Widows dressed in black

I look inside myself and see my heart is black

No colors anymore, I want them to turn black

Maybe then I’ll fade away, and not have to face the facts

It’s not easy facing up, when your whole world is black

Song by The Rolling Stones


Vistas de la ciudad París, Francia
City views
Paris, France

“The truth is that Mary Louise, dressed in black. I am not referring to her manner of dressing (though she indeed wore black clothes), I’m speaking more broadly, in the context of the world that revolved around her person and myself, if only in a modest secondary role, both of which she covered in the darkest colors of black.”

“With respect to her taste in dressing in black, she used to say that she was still in mourning for the death of her husband. This happened, according to her, somewhere in the colonies, during a revolt against the Crown. Further still, she held that this occurred when she was still quite young. This leads me to suspect that if in fact this wedding actually took place, then that poor devil of a husband of hers, assuredly fled to the colonies to fight off rebellious plots against the Crown, rather than face a dreary, insufferable life with his wife!”

Desde La Concordia París, Francia
Seen from La Concordia
Paris, France

“You see, sometime after having moved to live with my grandparents, I began to go to school. I must admit that I was a peculiar little boy, for I was overjoyed by the prospect of leaving the house to visit the world outside its walls. I really did not care where. In my case, if that where consisted in going to school; well, so be it! I was more than happy to go to school.”

“Anyhow, one day when I was precisely at school, we had a lecture on the arthropods. Did you know that the arachnids, more commonly known as spiders, belonged to this type of animals? In particular, on that day they mentioned a type of a spider called the black widow, you the one that is notorious for killing her mate… Well, you can imagine the nickname that I came up with for my dear tutor. Who could know for sure? Maybe she did kill her young husband, and he never made to fight in those distant colonies of her imagination.”

En el museo París, Francia
At the museum
Paris, France

Observing the astonished face of his visitor, he went on:

“They say that life is full of surprises, and you know what how wild the imagination of child can run…”

“I fear that you overstated yourself. Perhaps, just a little bit, Sir John?”

“Quite the opposite, my lady. I believe the description of my jail and of its warden, fell quite short of its all too vivid reality” he answered in a thoughtful tone of voice.

Entre bruma París, FranciaqEntre bruma París, Francia
Misty mornings
Paris, France

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

In the care of a Governess

In his dream, he found that his deepest intimacy, lay far beyond the borders of his solitude


Vista del Río Siena París, Francia
View of the Seine 
Paris, France

“Assuredly, you must believe I have lost my wits, at least momentarily!” he remarked excitedly, as he recovered his breath. “I assure you that it is quite the contrary! Perhaps you would find my enthusiasm easier to understand, if I briefly describe the charming conditions in which I grew up in during my childhood days.”

La vitrina París, Francia
The display
Paris, France

“During the initial years of my life, my father dedicated himself to rummaging and poking around, among the tombs of the long dead Pharaohs, searching for treasures and whatnot of historical interest or at for his own. As I mentioned before, at the time I was placed in the care (may I rather mention, the scrutiny and custody) of a Governess.”

“Custody is too kind a word to use while describing the attentions of Mrs. Mary Louise. The aforesaid madam must have surely seen better times before the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.”

La margen del río París, Francia
The riverfront
Paris, France

“Not to tell a lie, I never knew her true age. It was an unfathomable mystery, even for my vivid childhood imagination and absolutely without any apparent solution. The fact is that in those my most tender years, my stock of numbers to count things only included numbers up to one hundred. So, if for some reason, I had been able to uncover her age, surely the number of years found would have exceeded my capacity for expressing them!”

Upon listening to these pungently sarcastic comments, Alicia could barely hold back a smile.

Calles del barrio París, Francia
The neighborhood streets
Paris, France

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

The intrepid globe trotter

I his dreams, he found his own truth… and never! shared it with anyone else.


El café París, Francia
The café
Paris, France

“So, my most intrepid globe trotter, you who visit us from the faraway Americas”, he began to say in a hushed and low tone, suddenly interrupting his guest’s train of thought. It seemed as if he was secretly scheming together with his visitor on some clandestine and shadowy underground plot…

“It was in the City of Love!” Sir John exclaimed in a loud and ecstatic voice, abruptly getting up from his seat and raising his both hands in the air, this followed by a dizzying twirl on the tip of his toes, which culminated after having done a complete 360-degree spin.

La plaza París, Francia
The plaza
Paris, France

As if it were a highly orchestrated choreography, he let himself fall on his right knee, with surprising agility… not without first retrieving his white handkerchief from his pocket, with his right hand, and placing it high over his head. He ended his movements by describing and arch with the handkerchief in his hand, delicately lowering it until it gently touched the floor. The he posed on his knee, before his most astonished and absolutely amazed visitor.

Graffiti callejero París, Francia
Street Graffiti
Paris, France

After which he exclaimed, in a profoundly emotive voice:

“Paris… my dear lady. Better known as The Eternal City of the Enamored!”
The reaction did not take long. Overwhelmed by the brilliant performance of her host and his sudden change of mood, she found herself on her feet and next to her seat, without realizing how, nor much less, while rendering a deep, heartfelt standing ovation in appreciation of this man’s more than colorful act.

El Río Siena París, Francia
The Seine River
Paris, France

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

The doors of a hotel

People are strange when you´re a stranger

People are strange, song by The Doors


Caminando las calles de la ciudad París, Francia
Walking the city streets
Paris, France

“Allow me to clarify, dearest traveller from far away Colombian lands; you who have dared the vast Ocean. What I have to offer I shall express in a simple and straightforward way…” 

El café Paris. Francia
English spoken
Paris. France

“The memories of that unexpected trip to France, touch the deepest chords of my heart, even today though so many innumerable years have gone by since then… Irrevocably, they make me feel young once again. To dream that the world awaits my touch. It’s there, suspended and at my reach, waiting for me to stretch out my hand and take it. as my own personal treasure.”

Vista desde Plaza de la Concordia Francia, París
View from Concordia Plaza
Paris, France

This last remark was followed by a rich and heartfelt laughter, exquisitely sweet, as it exploded from deep within his guest. Alicia was fascinated by the thought of considering herself the exotic traveller from far away lands. And to think that she had arrived by mere chance to this most curious shop, this kind of a museum, after walking aimlessly, distraught and absorbed, enjoying the streets of an unknown city. Now, here she was, absolutely enjoying this unexpected morning.

«“The doors of hotels not only open towards the streets of their city. Better said, they direct us to fortuitously explore worlds that were unknown and unsuspected until the moment…” she pondered to herself.

El mueseo París, Francia
The waiting
Paris, France

 

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More

The city of light

in his dreams he found , life offered many an answer to all of his questions


Puente sobre el río Paris, Francia
Bridge of the river
Paris, Francia

«“How could this happen? Which was the most unforeseeable and ridiculous combination of incredible circumstances that paved the way for my grandfather, among the uncountable thousands of people inhabiting this spacious Island, would fall upon this exotic and wild idea of becoming the antiquarian of Stratford-upon-Avon? Certainly, this is an absolutely valid question that may be indeed formulated, especially in the most peculiar case of my grandfather.” 

La esquina Paris, Francia
At the corner
Paris, Francia

“That man was the least innovative person the world has ever known. Of a most confining and narrow imagination, prodigiously reduced, not to say so absolutely scarce… he could not see past the modest rents that he received from some properties he owned in Rugby (inherited from his parents, by the way). It was with this income that he held a truly modest and boring life, absolutely uncomplicated and so perfectly tailor-made to fit his extreme conservative style.”

El reloj Paris, Francia
The clock
Paris, Francia

Alicia could not hold back her laughter as she heard Sir John’s remarks and observations. In effect, the refined and polished gentleman held a magnetic personality that captivated her. Possibly, the theatrical stages would have welcomed him, happy to receive such a charismatic character, who could charm his way with his manners and that contagious smile of his that positively shined with his high spirits and good-natured humour.

“Paris!” he theatrically exclaimed all of a sudden, as he fixed his intent gaze at the visiting lady with that smile that could dazzle and delight anyone who came close to him. “The responsibility for such a preposterous incident belongs to the stunningly beautiful City of Light…!”

La rueda de la fortuna París, Francia
The merry-go.round
Paris, Francia

 

 

Stories                In Spanish                How to buy          Facebook

 

   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

Read More