If you had told my 19 year old self that, 30 years on, I would enjoy taking pictures of boring buildings I would have stared at you incredulously. And then if you had continued to say that I would actually enjoy walking around gawping up at said buildings and snapping photographs with not one human-being in front of them...I would probably have dismissed you as delusional...and backed away slowly yet determinedly.
Is this was age does to you? (stumbles as the walls shudder to a reverberating chorus 'YES!!')
Nevertheless I found myself in Seville for a few days last week with my darling dotty mother. I have visited Seville once before and I do remember loving the place. So much, in fact, that I vowed to take my mum there for a holiday. Umpteen years and a poor memory later, stumped for an idea for her birthday present, I suddenly remembered my vow. Eureka!
I booked a impressive hotel - Las Casa de la Juderia - in the heart of the historic quarter Santa Cruz. Impressive only as I chose it using the internet equivalent of pinning the tail on the donkey blindfolded. But my mother doesn't need to know that, does she? After a horrible flight (RyanAir. Never.Ever.Again) we landed in the heat and vibrance of Seville.
Aaaaaaand b r e a t h e.
The hotel was the perfect choice (sshhh!) for my nature loving mum as it is a maze of quaint old buildings and courtyards adorned with lush gardens. Mum insisted on pointing the various flowers and fruit out to me and telling me the names. Hibiscus, Jasmine, pomegranates and, erm...well lots of jasmine (I'm not a keen gardener - can you tell?) I was impressed by the orange and lemon trees that lined practically every street though. Different ones you understand - oranges and lemons do not grow on the same tree even in the magical land of Seville. Silly.
So we walked, talked, laughed and got totally lost on the streets of Seville on a daily basis. I took pictures of buildings and flowers and tiles (Seville does like a cool tile...for obvious reasons) and sometimes I even let my mum stand in front of them. Madness. Must have been the heat.
When I had told friends that I was taking my mum to Seville I got 'In August? It's very hot there!'. Well I can tell you we LOVED it! Admittedly 32 degrees centigrade can make one flag a bit, but what with the air conditioning and the shaded plazas and the meandering and the pretty scenery...and the cold beer and tapas breaks we were just fine thank you very much.
And did I mention the colours? Sunshine makes everything seem so much more alive! Time away from home, a chance to recharge in the sun and to sleep without my head racing. It's amazing what a few nights in a different space can help you achieve.
I love to work with colours and patterns so it's no surprise that I feel so inspired by the shortest of times in Seville. I'm glad that I took all those pictures of buildings and flowers. Maybe my 19 year old self wouldn't think I'd lost it after all.
So what about you? Have you altered your viewpoint as time passed? What might your younger self think of you now?