LifestylePersona March, 10th 2011 by

"Spanish Memories"

Spanish Memories

After writing my story about castanets. I felt a deep longing to visit Spain again to re-capture my childhood memories.
I turned on my computer hoping to find a flight out of Melbourne. It was very confusing so I decided to call in to my local travel agent who helped me sort out my departure and return dates. My flights were booked and I was soon leaving to re-discover my childhood memories.
It was a long flight, which I expected. I kicked off my boots my window seat was perfect as I could nod off when I fancied until the crick in my neck woke me up again. I watched a couple of films and ate food from a tray with little compartments, which was different! The Chardonnay was good but I was not sure that I liked the cut glass glasses! Sitting next to me was an elderly gentleman , his face was warm and inviting immediately I felt I could talk to him. He spoke pigeon English he was Spanish! my adventure was  already beginning.

He was returning home to Spain with his wife after visiting their son who was working in Australia. His wife had a silver curl falling over her forehead, which bobbed up and down every time she nodded and smiled at me. They were a charming couple and every moment I spent with them, gave me a feeling of closeness to Spain, with its clicking talking castanets.
We circled London at the break of light. My brother was waiting for me at the airport, my tummy was churning with excitement. I had not seen my brother for ten years. I knew he must have changed, and I wondered if he would recognise me.
Held tightly by our seat belts, the plane applied its hydraulic brakes. It’s engines cut, and the huge jumbo jet came to a stand still. We had landed in London.
The  aisle became jammed with people ready to disembark. I waited in my seat for a while, put on my boots, touched up my lipstick, took my bag down from the overhead compartment and headed for the exit.
It was wonderful to feel my brother’s arms around me and hard to bite back the tears. I realized that time had passed so quickly, but everything was the same. After spending a few days in London I boarded a flight to Spain.
My girlfriend’s face was a picture of delight greeting me with hugs and kisses on my arrival at Malaga airport. Her husband unburdened me of my cases and bundled me into their car. We drove up into the mountains to where their old stone house nestled snugly between dozens of different shades of green. The drive was winding, but breathtaking.

Various different sculptured shapes stood dotted around on the paved arias; turquoise pots filled with plants marked the entrance to steps leading down into the water, which lapped against the marquisette tiles around the swimming pool. This was a glorious place to be.
Gathering information for my story “Castanets” and learning about their fascinating history I was anxious to find some. I wanted to see if I could spot the difference between the male and female, their sounds and size. I wondered if by painting them (as mine were painted red), changed their sounds, or were they better left in natural wood or other materials used. I imagined that Spanish dancers would have several pairs in different colours matching their outfits. I wondered about their dresses. Did they make their own, buy them, or did they have them made?

Photo by Paul Wilcockson

And how about their accessories, fans, shoes etc? I also wondered about their hair ornaments and hairstyles. I felt there had to be hairdressers who specialised in this unique style of hair dressing so typical to flamenco dancing.  All theses questions remained in my head unanswered, though, I felt sure the answers were soon to be realized.

My search for castanets took my girlfriend, her husband and me to a local restaurant. The restaurant was filled with people , the clatter of china and glass mingled with the chatter of patrons enjoying wines and waiting for their meals to arrive.
With expert skill we were seated at our table, our order taken, and our wine poured. The  atmosphere was electric and I could hear “Castanets!” I held my breath, my head was spinning.
The dancers arched their backs tapped their toes and stamped their feet. Thrills and ruffles flashed vibrant colours into instant dance. Their dresses displayed a panorama of poker dots and stripes swinging high and then down low whirling in circles and falling to the ground. Once again I fell captive, imprisoned by the entrancement of the magic talking, laughing, clicking castanets.
I followed my dream and returned to Spain,  now I know that my childhood memories are real..

Photo by Paul Wilcockson

Photo by Paul Wilcockson

Photo of the famous Spanish guitarist Paco Fernández By Paul Wilcockson

Paul Wilcockson L.M.P.A

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