Sunday, April 30, 1989

Further Annoyances ...

Despite my lack of sleep and not setting my alarm, I still somehow woke up for breakfast. Since I was up I couldn't get back to sleep, so I went to the bank to withdraw some dosh, and bought The Sunday Times (which includes a photography special insert), as well as a copy of Q magazine (featuring an article on Peter Gabriel).

I sat in my room and read, with Sgt. Peppers and Abbey Road playing (a must for a Sunday!), until lunch time, when I went to the refectory for a traditional Sunday roast beef meal.

That afternoon we gathered to play some baseball out in the field behind The Grange, which was fun until Big Jon Whalley started in on his Doug innuendos, and then made a smart remark about me as well. That pissed me off. Even though I was pitching, I just dropped the ball and walked off the field unannounced. It must have caused a stir, because at dinner that evening, several people commented on it. I said nothing.

After dinner, I did some more reading and avoiding work on my essay. Also took a 6.45 p.m. Cosby Show break.

Oh, backtracking to earlier in the day. When I was walking back from the newsagents, I was approached by a poll taker to take part in a broadcasting research survey, which was pretty cool. I got to say what shows I watched and become part of those select few who decide what you get to watch on TV, heh heh.

Anyway, after Cosby, I returned to my room, rearranged it a bit (it's optimum now), let Shannon out, made some coffee and then reflected a bit on my experiences here in England by reading some past excerpts from my journal.

It made me see how much things have changed for me since earlier in the year, mostly not for the better. But as I can see (and you can, too), definite changes. I also wrote a few letters this evening.

Pictured: Adrian Edmonson (Viv on The Young Ones) wrote this book, "How to Be a Complete Bastard." Funny book. Big Jon and Kenny must've taken some tips from it.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles

  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Like a Prayer" - Madonna


Saturday, April 29, 1989

Phone Calls from America ...

This was a day of not leaving The Grange Halls, so you know that it's going to be an exciting entry in my journal! Not too bad of a day, although I spent most of it on my own.

During the day I finished up my letter to Viv and started making a tape for her, to commemorate our six-month anniversary (a little bit late, but it's the thought...)

While I was writing the letter, I got a phone call from Greg back in America, which made my day. Among other things, he said that he was going to be going to Millersville University in the fall, so we are planning (and will) room together next year. That was great news!

Other news was general Camp Hill gossip, movies, his plans for coming to Europe (now tentatively June 10th), and music, which was highlighted with a discussion about The Who reunion tour, of which he has 10th row seats to see them in Philly this summer.

I went back to my room after the extensive call and completed the first side of the tape for Viv before dinner. After dinner was TV time, and at 8 p.m. watched yet another Charlie Chaplin film, "The Circus." Sentimental, pathetic and immensely entertaining, as all of his movies with The Tramp are.

Following that, an episode of "The Young Ones" was on, but we actually opted to watch something more serious, the World War II drama "Escape from Sorbibor." It shocked many of us into the harsh realities of Jewish treatment in Concentration Camps. It was a true story about the only successful mass escape by Jewish prisoners, and it was brilliantly done. The film shocked, disturbed, and enlightened me, and I really felt good in the end when they were escaping and had killed several of the Nazis. Excellent.

The film ended at midnight, which is when I went back to the phone to call my parents and discuss various topics, including their plans to visit me at the end of the term. Final dates have been set, and they will be arriving at Heathrow on the 14th of June, and we will all be leaving to head back to America on June 23. It's a bit shorter than we originally planned, but still plenty of time to show them England (Scotland will not fit in.)

Of course, we discussed various other tidbits about home to keep me informed on the goings on. The Pennsylvania Lottery jackpot is at $115 million, the highest ever for a U.S. lottery, and the second highest ever in the world. Gee, what I could do with that kind of money!

Following our talk, I returned to my room, and although it was late, I was not tired and decided to finish up Viv's tape, then listen to it in bed. Didn't get to sleep until after 3 a.m.


Friday, April 28, 1989

Worst Day Yet ...

This won't go down as one of my better days in Hull. I had no classes today because Roz Billington felt it pointless to have a seminar in Social/Political Structures today.

I did a bit more reading, and checked some books out of the library for both of my essays... no big deal. Then I just loafed the afternoon away, playing for J.P. the "album" of joke songs that my friend Scott and I recorded (met with lukewarm reviews), as well as some Cosby. Then we played a game of Risk, where J.P. and I finished in a standoff (which I think I would've won).

That evening, I debated, but eventually decided to join everyone and head over to the Student Union. It was alright... nothing spectacular. I spent £1.25 to get in, and that was it... I didn't have any money to buy drinks. I mingled with a few of the Spanish students there, and actually did a fair amount of dancing.

After walking back to the Grange afterward, the lot of us (Kenny, Andy, Big Jon, Turlough, Kenny's brother Andy, two Spanish girls and myself) went to Kenny's room to chat and have coffee.

It was here that I got annoyed.

Kenny and Big Jon decided to make it a "Trash Doug" evening, and ragged on him about being a homosexual, making fun of his poetry. I got very annoyed at them and stuck up for Doug quite vehemently. I didn't appreciate it one bit... the guy hasn't even been around here in over four months. Why suddenly pick on him now?

I left and returned to my room, where I wrote a letter to Viv. I think I'll be writing one to Doug as well.

Now more than ever I want to leave this place.


Thursday, April 27, 1989

Disappointing Grade ...

I didn't do anything very exciting today either. Ate breakfast (I do seem to be getting up earlier these days so that I don't miss a meal, though!), took a shower, and then did some reading for the better part of the morning.

At 2 o'clock I went to my Modern Prose Fiction Class. It was on Evelyn Waugh, so I was familiar with the material. Following the class I was feeling pretty good about the essay I handed in a few weeks before on Waugh, because it seemed that I covered a lot of what he commented about during his lecture.

So it was even more disappointing when I received my final grade... a 54. My lowest Lit grade yet! Still not a terrible grade (translates to a C+/B- in American terms), but very disappointing.

Apart from that, nothing of any great significance happened today. Viv was supposed to call, but our phone is conveniently broken, so we have no way other than post to contact each other. Sod it all!


Wednesday, April 26, 1989

Today Is Film Day ...

After breakfast I went to a fruitful lecture on food distribution in the third world. A very interesting lecture, I thought. Following the class, I returned to continue rearranging my room, as I was not completely satisfied with how I left it last night. Now I think I am completely satisfied.

Shortly before noon I set off for town, stopping at the University Union to get some flight information. I made my way into town alone again, walking down Newland Avenue, stopping at shops and buying a Batman comic book (part 2 of "The Many Deaths of The Batman.") It was a nice day for a walk, so I didn't mind going alone.

I ate lunch at McDonald's (only 99p), bought some toothpaste and headphones for my Walkman (since Shannon on Monday got a hold of my other ones and rendered them useless.)

From there I dashed to the movie theater, where I saw "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." Overall I liked it, and thought it was technically brilliant. But I think that I was expecting more.

Returned by bus for dinner, showed J.P. my new room design watched "Buck Rogers" and "Rapido," and then it was back to reading. That's pretty much all this day had to offer.


Tuesday, April 25, 1989

Sometimes it Snows in April ...

I woke up early for breakfast again, and post finally arrived (first time since Friday!) I only received my bank statement, however, which told me what I pretty much already knew.

I read Hemingway for most of the morning, then attended my classes. Geography was alright, but as usual it was highly disorganized. Before Social/Political Structures I spent an hour in the library reading, during which time it snowed for a few minutes. (Hey, Prince is right... "Sometimes it snows in April.") It was the first time in ages that I saw any snow close up.

Social/Political Structures was alright - only just enough to keep me attentive. Afterwards it was back for some more reading "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (I'm actually quite enjoying it) before dinner.

After dinner I partook in a little television, some reading, taking care of Shannon the Hamster, and rearranging my room a bit to give it a little fresh change.

Not much else to mention about today. If you have been reading this straight through, this part must be immensely boring.


Monday, April 24, 1989

A Six-Month Anniversary ...

Woke up early enough today to grab some breakfast. I spent a good bit of the day reading "For Whom the Bell Tolls" for my Literature class, after taking a morning walk up to Cottingham Road (pictured), taking photos for The Snapper. When I finished with the roll, I put it in an envelope with other various items for The Snapper folks and mailed it. I also bought some food and coffee at Grandways to keep me going.

Class at 3.15 was alright. We talked about T.S. Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral." I've been pretty much reading the books that I want to lately instead of the ones I'm supposed to be reading. I spent the rest of the evening reading, until about 9 p.m., when the movie version of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" came on TV, which I watched.

Shortly after the movie ended, Viv called me. Today is the six-month annivesary of when we officially started going together (October 24), so I was glad we got a chance to talk for awhile on this day. We covered a number of topics, such as plans for her visit to America this summer, and of course, how much we miss each other.

Viv is going to call me on Thursday and I'm going to get her some flight information. Following our conversation, I went back to my room, let Shannon the Hamster run around a bit, and then read a bit more of Hemingway to close out the evening.


Sunday, April 23, 1989

Carbon Copy ...

Today was a virtual carbon copy of my lazy Saturday. Watched "Lost in Space," read a bit more, played some cards with Kenny (pictured), and put together the last bits of my final letter to The Snapper, which included an article I wrote on the Hillsborough disaster.

Later that evening, we all sat in the TV room and watched the movie "Tom Jones." Man, I sure hope things pick up around here soon!

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles

  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Like a Prayer" - Madonna


Saturday, April 22, 1989

Watching Loads of British Telly ...

A little bit of baseball was not to be today, as rain washed away any hopes of that. Today was pretty much a lazy day with more TV, dream of doing school work (I skimmed through one Spanish book), and general nothingness.

That evening, J.P., Sam (pictured in his room) and myself watched loads of TV, including "Yes, Minister" and "Not the Nine O'Clock News." Then they both helped me put the finishing touches on a cassette tape I am making for the gang back at The Snapper in Millersville.

Things got dull after that, so I came back to my room and fell asleep. Oh, how I wish I had some money!


Friday, April 21, 1989

It's Official: I'm Going to See Elvis Costello! ...

Arose bright and early today and following breakfast, I went to my Social/Political Structures seminar, after which I stopped at the library to check out some books on the Spanish Civil War. After a failed attempt to round up someone to go into town, I caught the bus and ran my errands on my own, picking up the photos I had dropped off.

Unfortunately, as I feared, one of my film rolls did not develop... of course, it was a roll of photos from Spain, so that was disappointing. Fortunately, in her letter from yesterday, Viv said she could get me copies of some of the photos she took if my photos didn't take.

I went into the Central Library and checked out a few books, bought another book at Brown's Book Shop, and then I bought a ticket for the bus trip offered at Gough and Davy to see Elvis Costello at Newcastle on May 24. Lorna said she may go to the concert, but if she doesn't, and if I can't find anyone else interested in going, then I'll go alone. But that doesn't bother me. At least I know now that I'm going to get to see him. I'm definitely looking forward to that show!

I returned to a relatively uninteresting evening of watching television, and then I spent a good bit of time talking to Sam. Watched an episode of Sgt. Bilko, a special on Hillsborough, Cheers, a documentary on Adolf Hitler, and a movie called "Downhill Skiier" with Gene Hackman and Robert Redford.

Most everyone else went out tonight - there was a benefit event at the Student Union for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster last weekend (see the poster that I nicked above). But with me now short on cash, I decided it best to stay in, so when the movie was done, I went to bed.


Thursday, April 20, 1989

Mail Call Was the Highlight of the Day ...

I spent most of today working to finish up the tapes that I am recording in order to return the tape player to Paul. You know, important stuff.

I went to class for the first time this week, which was a discussion on "A Passage to India" again.

I received a letter from Viv today, so I stepped up production on my own letter and mailed it today... as well as my Access bill.

It was great hearing from Viv. She said she's missing me (same here!) and talked more about our plans to have her visit me in America. She's worried that it might be difficult to get the proper permits. I think it'll be OK. She also included a pass from the aeropuerto with a very nice message on the back: "Don't know whether you kept one of these... if you did, I'll bet it's not signed. Saying goodbye was painful and sweet at the same time. I'll always remember it."

Meals were nothing worth mentioning, and apart from watching some television, I did little of any importance today.


Wednesday, April 19, 1989

Pretty Much a Hermit ...

I spent today mostly on my own. No class today (and I've not been all week), so I went on some errands. Picked up my food grant at the Cottingham Road site, then deposited all of my money into the bank (including the £120 that came from home yesterday). After all was said and done, I ended up with slightly less than £1 more in my account than I had before I deposited these checks... except that now I have no more outstanding bills!

Anyway, I walked into town, stopping to buy a Viz and an ALF comic book, as well as a book and a Batman comic in another shop. Also bought some food for Shannon (should last the term), tapes for Liz, dropped off my film from Spain for processing, and ate a 99p lunch at McDonald's.

Also bought batteries for my Walkman, took some photos of Hull, then headed to the movie theater to see "Dangerous Liaisons" on my own. Fabulous movie! I quite enjoyed it. It probably would have won Second Best Picture of the year.

After the film, I caught the bus back to The Grange, ate dinner, then began to make some tapes for Liz that she had requested, stopping by the TV room to watch "Thirtysomething." I was pretty much a hermit today.


Tuesday, April 18, 1989

Finishing an essay ...

Woke up bright and early in order to pull an essay together. The day started on a bright note... I got a letter from home that included £120 - that's pounds, not dollars - in it. So I was giddy with happiness as my outstanding bills could now be covered.

I spent the morning reading "A Handful of Dust," which it quite good, I might add, followed by writing my essay in the library. I must say that I got the essay completed and handed in on time, and although it should show a solid working knowledge and understanding of the novel, it is somewhat basic and probably won't bring me a very high mark. We'll see.

That evening, I was able to borrow Paul's stereo, so I made a tape for Viv and Company down in Madrid to enjoy. I hope they like it. I put some songs on it that I got from back home, so they might not.

Pictured is a sign I created to hang on my room door when I was deep into my studies.


Monday, April 17, 1989

Rounders ...

Well, today I started out working on an essay on Katherine Mansfield, as I had been planning to do for awhile. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any books on her. I trekked to both of the Humberside College libraries, and found nothing. So I thought I'd head over to the massive Hull University Library, where I did manage to find some books.

However, upon doing my research, I found Mansfield to be quite the insane person. Plus, the question we were required to answer is quite difficult, and add to that we are not allowed to check books out of here.

So I gave up, and went to the book shop, where I decided to buy a copy of Evelyn Waugh's "A Handful of Dust" and start from scratch, writing an essay on this book instead. Grabbed some books on Waugh from the Inglemire site library, then skipped class in order to read the book.

It was quite a good book, and I continued reading until dinnertime.

After dinner, I decided to take a break and play some baseball with some of the guys. Well, OK, not exactly baseball. It is a game called rounders, which I think must have been created because the British had difficulty hitting a ball with such a small bat. It was fun, besides. Nice to play something sort of like baseball. Despite the somewhat odd rules, I played rather well.

Following that, I jumped back into my work and got a lot farther in the book before I got too tired to read anymore.

I got Shannon the Hamster back last night, and had her roaming around my room most of the time this evening.


Sunday, April 16, 1989

Dr. Morrison Visits ...

Dr. Morrison came by today at lunchtime. I woke up for breakfast, but but fell asleep until lunch. So when Dr. Morrison came into the dining hall, I still hadn't a chance to wash up. He showed me his America pictures and gave me some things from home.

(Pictured is a photo from that trip to Camp Hill. That's my dad, a young Glen Morrison, Dr. Morrison and Mom in the living room. The Morrison and Reitz clans got on famously.)

We drove to Beverley because he's never been there, and we stopped at a little cafe for scones and coffee.

It was a quaint little place called The Tea Cosy and quite pleasant. It was a blustery day as we walked the streets, stopping at an antique shop to look around. I bought a few Victorian Era coins here, which were quite novel.

After walking around, we decided it was a bit too cold, so I stopped at the bank, followed by taking a few photos of Beverley, and we then drove back to The Grange. From here we went into Hull to see the movie "Working Girl." It was a pretty good movie... not too unlike "Secret of My Success." And Melanie Griffith was actually quite good. She deserved her nomination for Best Actress, though I'm not sure the movie itself deserved a nod for Best Film. I still need to see "Mississippi Burning," "Dangerous Liaisons" and "The Accidental Tourist," and I will have seen all five movies nominated for Best Picture (having already seen "Rain Man.")

After the film we ate a nice dinner at Chaplin's (named after Charlie). I had a steak, while Dr. Morrison had a Mexican dish. Following the meal we returned to The Grange, and soon after, Dr. Morrison returned home to Liverpool.

He told me that he was on call last night after the tragedy at the football game in Hillsborough, but only had one call for a fan suffering from shock.

After he left, I went over to St. Hilda's where I went to Kenny's room and listened to a few of the tapes I received from home via Dr. Morrison, before returning to my room for some sleep. Haven't put much thought into my essay, which is due on Tuesday.

Oh, and I called home and talked to the parents, to put their minds at ease.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Like a Prayer" - Madonna


Saturday, April 15, 1989

Tragedy at Hillsborough ...

It was a day of sadness and tragedy today. 93 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death in an overcrowding incident at the F.A. Cup Semi-Final game in Sheffield, which is about an hour's drive from here.

I found out about it after a relatively uneventful day, which had been highlighted by my own little game of soccer with Little Johnny, Andy, Paul, Big Jon, J.P., and some other guy I didn't know beforehand. I played horrible, as usual, but it was good fun. It was also very cold, and we were all quite exhausted and thirsty following the game.

Upon returning, I took a rest, then tried to take a bath, but the water was too cold, so I gave up.

It was then that I went over to St. Hilda's and found out the news. Everyone was in the TV room watching the live footage from the field. The death toll had already been confirmed at 52 fans when I first arrived, but during the next hour it climbed into the 70s. It was hard to comprehend exactly what was happening, but it was truly devastating.

How the Hillsborough disaster happened (BBC.)

Following dinner, Turlough had an evening of watching TV, catching news updates on Hillborough, as well as distracting our thoughts by watching an episode of Bilko, a special on Charlie Chaplin (it's his 100th birthday celebration), then we watched his classic movie "The Kid," among other things. I don't think I moved for about 4 hours.

Next I tried to call home, but there was no answer. I'm sure Mom is worried, and even though she knows I don't really follow football much, or have any money, she's still worried about me because of it.

This was a very maudlin day. I didn't see anyone take it harder than Chris from Liverpool did. He was in tears, and though I didn't ask him, I believe that he may have had friends or family at the game. Rough day for everyone.


Friday, April 14, 1989

Escalation of the Water Battles ...

Before going to class I received a letter from my friend Scott, which included a "Scott's Obligatory Album" cassette with it... cool! After a weak Social/Political Structures seminar and a bit of a wait, I went and listened to it in J.P.'s room, while he walked into town. Quite entertaining, and good to hear something from home.

After dinner and relaxing, a group of us headed to the pub. We only stayed there for a short while, whiche was fine with me since I didn't have any money. I tried again to take a few photos, but again the lighting just wasn't good enough.

Well, when we came back to St. Hilda's, we had a little party of our own, which was good fun. J.P. and I drank more home brew while we played a game of Myrtle Beach. Though not quite as fun of a drinking game, it was still good fun. The game got Jodie, J.P. and Sharon quite drunk, as well as Sid. I think I was able to get some good photos here, that I can send back to The Snapper folks.

Following the game it was goof-around time. J.P. and I earlier in the day had a water fight where we shot at one another quite randomly in the common room, during which time we got Jodie. She chased J.P. and got ketchup on his shirt.

Well, it was time for revenge.

In retaliation, J.P. had us fill up the bathtub with water, and then we all grabbed Jodie and put her into the water, fully clothed. It was rather funny.

Of course, it didn't quite end there. Jodie got her revenge for J.P.'s revenge by locking J.P. and Sid in his room for about a half an hour, but threatening to keep them in there all night. Eventually, she was persuaded otherwise.

Soon the party died down, and after some late night "chair dancing," I called it quits and went to bed.

Pictured is Scott's "Obligatory Album." Paula Abdul? Honestly, Scott...


Thursday, April 13, 1989

Uneventful day ...

Yet another primarily uneventful day. I woke for breakfast, then spent the morning in bed doing very little. I went to my Prose Fiction class at 2.15 (on E.M. Forster's "A Passage to India,"), but I was so tired that I had difficulty paying attention.

Came back to the room and went to dinner. Later that evening we watched "A Room with a View" on TV. A good movie, but the atmosphere was rather poor for watching it.

Not much else to write about today.

Pictured: What's On? Not a whole lot in Hull today, apparently.


Wednesday, April 12, 1989

How to Drink and Be Merry at the Student Union, and Not Pay a Single Pence ...

Following breakfast, I was treated to receiving two more issues of The Snapper in the mail, as well as a few photos of my friends back home - mostly of Michele (who now has long hair!)

I went to an exceptionally dull Geography lecture, then found out part of my final exam schedule (last exam is scheduled for June 13), then returned to waste the rest of the morning.

Later that day, after reading for a bit, writing some more and dinner, I gave Jane some letters that I was requested to give to her from Spain. After that I went to J.P.'s room, where we hung out a bit before heading over to the Student Union to celebrate Big Jon Whalley's birthday.

J.P. and I came up with a way to spend absolutely no money this evening and still have a great time... and it worked!

Step One: We drank a few rum and cokes in J.P.'s room before we left.

Step Two: We made sure to arrive early, before they start collecting admission at the door, so we didn't have to pay to get into the Uni.

Step Three: We loaded up J.P.'s backpack with bottles of the home brew that he made in his room, and snuck that into the Uni. And that's all we drank all evening. It was actually a pretty good batch he made, and after a few rum and cokes, it really didn't taste all that different from the beer we would've purchased.

We had a good time celebrating Jon (and Sharon's) birthday. I took my camera, but it was too dark to get any pictures in here.

The only thing about home brew is that you need to stop drinking before you get to the bottom of the bottle, because there's usually a collection of heavy sediment laying there that will gag you if you drink it. But this provided us with a unique opportunity for laughs and hijinks.

As we neared the end of each bottle, we would pour the undrinkable sediment into an empty pint glass at our table. Eventually, the glass was reasonably full... enough that it looked like a barely touched glass of bitter.

Now the trap was set to teach a lesson to a pint-nicker. We got up, went over to the dance floor, leaving the enticing, unattended brew sitting there, all alone. Sure enough, we returned to the table a short time later, and the glass had vanished. We didn't see who ended up taking it, but whoever it is might not be feeling so well in a little while if they polish the whole thing off!

When we got back to the halls, we caught an episode of the new Twilight Zone on TV, about "The Shadowman," and then I went back to my room and slept very soundly.


Tuesday, April 11, 1989

The Game is Bond. Portfolio Bond ...

Woke early for breakfast and got my Access bill in the mail... I owe £171.00. How do I pay that? Never mind, I'll survive.

I began to work once more on my Social/Political Structures Essay, and then I got another letter in the post, this time from Trista. She told me some rather disturbing news. A friend of ours from high school tried to commit suicide. She didn't give me many details, but it bothered me as I went back to work on my paper. Apparently, she's OK now.

Got to cranking on the paper, and with 20 minutes to spare, I had handed in yet another hopeful award-winning essay. We'll see. The intro was great, but I'm disappointed with the conclusion.

Anyway, I then went through some recent issues of The Times to see if my numbers came up at all in the Portfolio Stock Game (pictured right) that I'm playing. No luck, but I sure could use some of that prize money. It's good fun, at least.

Came back to the room, ate another meal, then went and hung out in J.P.'s area of St. Hilda's, playing a game of Scrabble before going over to the TV room to watch yet another thrilling episode of "Moonlighting." Following that, there was a show on Ferdinand Marcos called "A Dangerous Life" that I watched. It was OK, but not great. Went back to my room and went to sleep not too late.


Monday, April 10, 1989

Back to the Routine ...

Well, I slept very well this night, waking up at 11 a.m. with the realization that my Social/Political Structures essay on journalism is due tomorrow. No mail today, and I spent my remaining change to purchase two sausage rolls.

I don't like being broke.

Went to my 3.15 class, which was on T.S. Eliot with Dr. McLauren, so it wasn't too exciting. When we returned I was able to have my first full meal since breakfast yesterday... meat and potato pie. And it wasn't too bad. Cleared my plate and left satisfied.

I did my laundry and put the clothes away, then began to continue working on my essay. It was going well for awhile, and my coffee maker made the last of my remaining coffee for me, but soon I hit the usual writer's block, so I stopped a little less than half way through the rough draft, and went to bed. It was late, besides.

The picture is of St. Martin's Hall at The Grange in Hull. Look closely in the window, and you can see me and Sam waving from my window.


Sunday, April 9, 1989

Piccadilly at 3 a.m. (The Journey from Madrid to Hull, Part Two) ...

The train from Longfield to London rolled into Victoria Station at about midnight. However, I told the ticket agent on the train that I had boarded the train at a different station, so I ended up paying about half as much as I should have for the train ride to London. That was necessary, as I now realized that I needed to account for every pence that I had until I returned to Hull tomorrow evening.

At 1.30 a.m. in Victoria Station, after a coffee, rest, and a repacking of my bag into a locker so that I wouldn't have to carry it around all night, I made a decision regarding my fate for this evening. Rather than just sit at the station all night, doggone it, I was going to explore this city and try to salvage potential misery into fortune as best I could.

So I began my trek walking down Buckingham Palace Road to go - where else? - to visit the Queen and the Royal Family. Well they were tired and not accepting foreign visitors at this late hour, so I didn't stick around too long. I walked from the palace down Birdcage Walk on the St. James' Park side, toward Parliament Square to say hello to Mrs. Thatcher.

In the square were your typical landmarks... Big Ben, Parliament. Next I continued down Whitehall past 10 Downing Street, which was heavily guarded. So I assumed there would be no lodging for a wayfaring American here, either.

I continued to walk down Whitehall to The Mall, which brought me back to St. James' Park again. At this point I decided to take a break, sat at a park bench, popped a cassette tape of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Trilogy" album and listened to that here until it was done. I was tired at that point, but I got up and continued to walk, because that was the best way to keep warm, and by now it was quite cold outside. I headed back past Buckingham Palace and along Green Park to the Wellington Arch.

Here, I got a bit confused, and instead of going down Piccadilly, I ended up walking down Park Lane and through Mayfair... indeed, the wealthiest neighborhood in London, and I could clearly see why with the posh homes here. I was feeling rather safe in this neighborhood, though I must admit that throughout the night, I never felt threatened or unsafe... try doing this in New York City!)

I passed the Roosevelt Monument and soon found my way back to Piccadilly, which brought me shortly thereafter to Piccadilly Circus, where even though it was after 3 a.m., it was quite crowded here. I found myself wandering the streets in this vicinity, walking nostagically passed the Prince Edward Theatre, where Viv and I saw the musical "Chess" last December... and in the nick of time, too. It turned out that the cast performed its final show at the Prince Edward this very evening.

I then decided to make my way back to Piccadilly Circus and grab a donut and some coffee at the Dunkin Donuts there. I warmed myself up a bit here in the eatery, and even chatted a bit with the security guard there, named Dave. I parlayed my saga to him, and he offered to try and find me a place to crash for the rest of the evening after he went off duty at 5 a.m., if I wished, rather than continue wandering around the city. I told him I'd think about it and possibly come back at that time.

I also chatted with a nice fellow from Belgium, who only spoke a little English and was sitting in the booth seat across from me at the Dunkin Donuts. Despite the language difficulties, we had a nice conversation about world travel, before I set off once again on my own late night travels.

Continued walking a ways down Piccadilly, passing several airline offices (Zimbabwe Air, Aeroflot, Iran Air (picture of Khomeni inside), Libyian Arab Airlines (portrait of Khadafi inside), just to name a few that you don't often see in America.

I returned to the Dunkin Donuts at Piccadilly at 5 a.m. to see if Dave was serious about his offer; however I couldn't find him anywhere. So I continued my explorations up Regents Street, where I passed Hamley's toy store and a Lloyd's Bank that had its burglar alarm going off. Well that was splendid timing. I looked at the building with interest and curiosity, and then saw across the road a female cop, who summoned me to come over to her.

The cop asked me a few questions about where I was going and other things, and then said she was just concerned because I looked confused and she was trying to help me out. Not confused, just curious about the blaring alarm, which didn't seem to bother her much. She was very nice and we talked for a minute as I briefly explained my situation, before I continued my streetwalking past the BBC building, and up Portland Place to Regent's Park.

By now, it was starting to get lighter, and it was approaching 6 a.m. The park was closed, so I ventured down Marylbone Road, passing Madame Tussaud's, and then back down Baker Street. Still no sign of Sherlock Holmes' house at 221B. Made my way down Oxford Street, and now, on the brink of daybreak, I found myself in Hyde Park. They had a stack of wooden lawn chairs here, so I unfolded one and relaxed for awhile. Still a bit cold, so I didn't stay here very long.

Next I continued through the Serpentine to Hyde Park Corner. Next I passed by the Wellington Arch, Green Park, and marveled again at the numerous ducks and fowl congregated in St. James' Park (right). Amazing.

I took another stroll past Mrs. Thatcher's home, this time in the daylight, then finally made my way back to Victoria Station... stopping along the way at a small restaurant where I had a very nice English breakfast for only £2.65.

Next I decided to look for a grocery store to find some food that would get me through the return trip to Hull. I ended up walking down King's Road and through Chelsea (the place that Elvis Costello didn't want to go to...), as well as South Kensington, before finding a grocery store. Where do these people shop? I also walked past Harrod's along the way.

Well soon I found myself on Knightsbridge, which brought me back to Hyde Park Corner. Made my way down Grosvenor Place back to Victoria Station. This time I decided to stay close by, since it was finally getting close to the time when I could catch my bus. I went into a little shop and found a Spanish flag that I bought (something I couldn't find while I was in Spain. Odd.) Gathered my gear from the locker at Victoria Station, and I was at the bus station before 2, a half-hour before the bus left.

Finally, a chance for some extended rest!

But it was not to be. I took a few short naps along the way, and had a cup of chicken soup, which was nice. But I spent a good bit of the trip talking to the guy sitting next to me on the bus. Although I never got his name, I know his name must have been Bob. For some reason, he looked like a Bob to me. So he was Bob.

Well, the bus arrived in Hull a bit early (a little before 7 p.m.), and I caught a local bus (the fare had risen to 38p) back to The Grange. On the bus were Abbey and Cat, also returning to the Grange from their travels over Spring Break, so we chatted about where we had been until we arrived at our destination.

Boy, after all of that, I was glad to finally be back in my room! My only real meal of the day was that breakfast I had had back in London. Fortunately it was a filling as it was.

And then I saw Sid and J.P. when they arrived, a full day later than I had initially expected to see them. They were both relieved to see me, and then gave me a full account about what had happened.

It turned out that J.P. did come to the airport to meet me yesterday. Heathrow Airport, instead of Gatwick. The rest of the ordeal was simply us not crossing paths at the same time. Had I stayed at Sid's house, they did eventually return that evening.

It seemed like they were more worried about the situation than I was. At this point, with it all now in the past, I was OK with how things transpired. It turned out to be a much more interesting experience than I had anticipated.

Sid gave me back my bag-o-things that I gave her to watch while I was gone... and then J.P. hit bottom. We walked into his room and discovered that someone had broken into his first-floor room by smashing his window, then taking the stereo that was on the table next to his bed. Quite a bummer, especially since it wasn't insured. So the stereo that Doug bought, then J.P. bought from him, was now gone forever.

On the upside, I had a nice large stack of mail, including another package of Snappers from Millersville. So I reminisced with everyone, gave them some of the highlights from my month in Spain, then returned to my room.

Although you'd think I would've crashed at this point, I pulled out The Snappers and started reading them to get updated on news at Millersville. I finally fell asleep at about 2.30 a.m. - nearly 40 hours after I last had a night's sleep, crushing my old record of not sleeping, Camp Hill High School's "Wizard of Oz" cast party in 1986. Not exactly a record that I will be looking to try and break.

This has certainly been one of the most interesting days of my life, and quite an ending to one of the most interesting month's of my life.

Pictured top is a postcard that most accurately depicts the first half of this particular day!

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Saturday, April 8, 1989

A Detour Through The Twilight Zone (The Journey from Madrid to Hull, Part One) ...

I didn't think I'd have a more bizarre traveling experience then the one I had when J.P. and I were trapped in Perth back on Dec. 30. I was wrong.

Oh, it started out fine... very sad, but fine. And then it got frustrating. Viv and I woke up a little before noon. Late, true, but long before everyone else in the flat. I packed my bags while Viv made us some food.

At a little before one, I said farewell to Liz (the only other person who woke up before I left). She was very sweet - gave me a hug and tearfully said "Aw, you're my friend, Rick." Very touching. Then Viv and I caught the Metro for my last trip. After that stop, we walked to the area where we caught the bus to the airport, and our timing was quite good.

We got off the bus, found my terminal, and checked in without any problems. I bought a newspaper and sat with Viv awhile, until the last moment when I couldn't stay there any longer.

Viv and I said our tearful goodbye. I hope to God she is able to come to America this summer.

That's when things started going a little... funny.

While in the terminal at Madrid Airport (right), waiting to take the same flight as me were most of the European Business Students (like Viv, only in reverse) from Spain where were actually heading back to Humberside College in Hull. What are the odds on that occurring?

Nothing too thrilling to report about the flight, though I should say something, considering how much I had to pay out of my budget for the trip. It was pleasant, and the food was pretty good as well.

My plan was to meet up with J.P. after our flight arrived at Gatwick Airport south of London. J.P. was staying with his girlfriend Sid in Kent, outside London, and I was going to be staying at her house overnight, since my bus ticket is for Sunday. I had sent J.P. a postcard with my flight time, number, terminal, so he knew where to meet me.

That was the plan, anyway.

Well I arrived at Gatwick (right) and checked through with no problems. However, no sign of J.P. No worries at this point, though. After awhile, I decided to grab the Gatwick Express train back up to Victoria Station. Once I arrived there, I struggled to put my bag into a locker there, and at that point called Sid's house. No one was in. Hmm, that's odd. But no worries, I can try again later.

I went and grabbed some dinner at the nearby McDonald's, then came back to the public phone booth and called Sid's house again. Still not in.

Then I made what turned out to be a mistake. I decided to take a chance and go out to Sid's house on my own. So I purchased a one-way ticket to Longfield, and took the train out with the hopes that they were just out for a little while, and that I would catch them by the time I got there.

So when I arrived at the stop after a 45-minute train ride, I made the walk to Sid's house (click on the map to see where her house is in relation to the train station). No luck. The house was dark, and no one was home. Still, it wasn't terribly late, so I decided to wait a little while to see if they came back home.

But after waiting around for awhile, it started to seem more and more likely like they weren't coming back. Perhaps they forgot, or perhaps J.P. never got the post card. So I had two choices, continue waiting and risk being stuck outside in the country all night, or catch the late train back to London and take my chances there, where I could at least go inside some places if it got too cold.

I wrote a note to J.P. and Sid telling them that I had been there, but that I decided to take the train back into London. So I trekked back to the station, where I waited just under an hour for the 11.18 train to London. During this time I was annoyed by three pestering kids hanging about, who fortunately left fairly soon after. There was one other girl there at the station who for some reason found it difficult to believe that I was telling her the truth that this train goes to London.

By now, as I rode on that train back to Victoria Station, I was starting to feel more and more like Griffin Dunne in "After Hours," wondering where Sid and J.P. were, and where exactly was I going to stay, and what I was going to eat, since I had very little money on me. As I thought more and more about my situation, I resigned myself to realizing that this was going to be a long, long night.

The saga continues tomorrow.

(Editor's note: This was the last time I saw Liz, although we did send letters periodically to one-another for a few years afterward. I have since lost contact with her. The same is true of all of the other students I knew and lived with while I stayed in Spain... except, of course,Viv.)


Friday, April 7, 1989

My Last Full Day in Madrid ...

Today is going to be my last full day here in Spain. It started out with not much to do during the day except sleep in, clean, draw a bit and read. But then Viv skipped class to spend more time with me on our final day here, so we decided to walk down to El Prado (top, with me in front of the statue) and check out more of the paintings that we missed the first time we were there a few weeks ago.

Of course, it was great. Saw the Bosch painting again (that's our favorite), as well as another favorite of mine, "The Triumph of the Dead" (middle). I bought postcards of both of these paintings, as well as one by Goya (bottom). It is simply a spectacular art museum, unlike any I've ever seen before. Granted, I've only seen a few thus far...

So then we left the museum, only to be greeted by a downpour, and after a wait to see if it would stop, we decided to dash through the rain and go to a nearby gift shop. Eventually we realized the rain was not about to stop in the near future, so we scratched our plan to visit the Templo de la Egypt and made it to the Metro for the return trip back to the flat on Calle de Pelayo.

Tonight was to be the flat mates' housewarming party, so Viv and I bought some rum and coke for the evening. After umpteen more games of Gin Rummy, we joined the party of international students. I met another American student, Todd, from Minnesota, who is braving it out over at the Residencia with The Old Man.

I mingled with the gang until Puri, Liz, Viv and I took a late night excursion to McDonald's, had Big Macs, then returned. We saw a scuffle take place out in the street (it is a bit of a rough neighborhood), though we never figured out exactly what had transpired. After that excitement died down, several people went to a disco, but Viv and I stayed behind.

The flat was a wreck, but it was a modestly fun last evening in Madrid. This will be the last time I see Viv until she (hopefully) makes the trip over to visit me in the United States this summer. I'm going to miss Viv so much.


Thursday, April 6, 1989

More American Graffiti ...

Another gloomy day indoors. Not much to tell, really. Cleaned up the room a bit, and ate as much food as I could gather. I didn't do much school work, though. I did manage to gather quite a few notes for my Sociology essay. It's quite interesting, although I dread writing it.

When Viv came back to the flat, we went out to get a few provisions and ate hot dogs for dinner. That evening we played several games of Gin Rummy.

The highlight of the day was probably adding some more "artwork" to the graffiti hallway. I decided to recreate the album cover of my band, Yokel, for the wall.

It didn't turn out too bad. I wonder how long it will last before someone removes it? It's kinda cool to think that I was able to leave our mark here in Madrid, even though only a few people will get to see it. And none of them will get it.

Besides that, there just wasn't much to do today, and we went to bed rather early.

Pictured below is an artist's rendition of the artist's rendion of the Yokel picture that was added to the graffiti wall at the Madrid flat.


Wednesday, April 5, 1989

'Un Pez Llamado Wanda', y 'Groonan' Uno ...

Another day of not-much-to-do, so I did more things around the flat, like clean up the kitchen. I read the paper and The Satanic Verses a bit, worked on my Social-Political Structures report a bit (time to start working my way back to reality!), and I added my first bit of artistic flair to the graffiti wall here in the flat... The Monkees guitar logo (hey hey!).

Shortly before everyone returned from class, I began to cook Viv and my dinner, chicken, rice and chips. And once again, when Viv returned, she helped me prepare the meal. This meal was an overwhelming success, unlike last night's fare.

Following the meal, rest and cleaning up from the meal, we went out shopping. Bought tickets to see "Un Pez Llamado Wanda," a.k.a. "A Fish Called Wanda." At Madrid Comics I found a copy of issue #1 of Sergio Aragones' comic book "Groo the Wanderer" (called "Groonan: El Vagabundo" here in Spain), and it was selling for face value! That will be a nice addition to my complete "Groo" collection back home.

We also bought a pillow, black paper, tape and Spanish earrings at El Corte Ingles for my sister. We found a 100 peseta coin on the ground, and Viv gave me 50 to buy another International Herald Tribune. Mariners lost their opening game of the season, 3-2, to the A's. Michigan beat Seton Hall by one point in overtime to win the NCAA College Basketball Tournament.

Well, next we picked up Liz (not literally) and the three of us went to see the film. It's a great movie, and now I've seen it three times, in three different countries, once dubbed in Spanish. Oh, and nothing bad happened to me after this viewing, so my "Wanda" curse has been lifted. Great!

Came back to the room, read a bit, then went to bed.

I only have 3 days remaining in Spain before I head back to Great Britain.

Pictured top is the cover of the Spanish "Groo" comic book, and below, a street shot of Calle de Pelayo, outside the flat.


Tuesday, April 4, 1989

Tastes Not Much Like Mom Used to Make ...

Not much to say about today. I woke a little past 9 a.m. this morning, ate breakfast, broke Raquel's mug, cleaned up the room, read the paper, did the crossword puzzle, wrote the last of my postcards, ate raviolis for lunch (they just don't taste quite the same without a classic rerun of Hogan's Heroes playing on the telly while eating), read a bit of The Satanic Verses, then took a nap until 5 p.m.

At 5 I began to make dinner... my own concoction of Mom's beloved ham, noodle & cheese casserole. Viv came while I was cooking and helped. It didn't taste quite as good as Mom's since we used canned ham, but it filled us up anyway.

After we ate, we contemplated going out, but didn't bother until about 9 p.m., when all the shops were closed anyway. Still, it was my first time out all day, and it felt good to get out of the flat for a bit of a walk. I bought another paper, brought it back to the room, and Viv and I, after some cola cao (hot chocolate milk), played another Gin Rummy tournament. This time she clobbered me, pulling out to a 9-2 lead before I caught up a bit, finally losing 15-9. That was fun.

Following that, we went to bed.

Photos are more images of El Retiro.


Monday, April 3, 1989

Confusion Sets In ...

Ate breakfast with Viv this morning, but once everyone left for class, I went back to sleep until late morning. The hot water heater was out of gas, so there was no hot water for a shower this morning.

Everyone was finished with class by 1 p.m., so they came back, and after Viv and I ate some sandwiches, we headed out to the Royal Palace. It started to pour down rain (only the 3rd time on the entire trip so far), and when we got to the palace, it was closed for formal functions until Saturday.

So, we walked back through the rain and stopped in a doorway until it died down. We walked through a few shops, buying another International Herald Tribune to read, and pricing pillows in Galerias Presadios and El Corte Ingles, two larger department stores here in Spain.

Finally, we returned to the piso to wait for Kurt, Angie, and the rest of the crew to go visit Sanchez, the real estate agent. Of course, although we were scheduled to be there by 4.30, they didn't arrive at the flat until 5.

And that's when the confusion began.

Viv and I left to go shopping and took the keys with us to make copies, so that everyone who is living there would have one. We left under the pretext that we would be back in an hour, so that when they returned from the agent's office, we could let them in.

We made the mistake of locking the door to the flat when we left, thinking that it could be unlocked from the inside, no problem. So we went and had the spare keys made, gathered a few other provisions, and also purchased tickets to see "Rain Man" later that evening. We returned at exactly the time we said we would.

Viv and I only discovered our error after returning from this excursion, and everyone unnecessarily started yelling at us, upsetting Viv and angering everyone. These doors are quite funny, and when they are locked from the outside, they cannot be unlocked from the inside. Wow, that's safe.

I installed a lock on our other door, and then Viv and I went out to do some grocery shopping at El Corte Ingles. When we returned, we received apologies all around and all was well once more.

Next I installed some lights for Viv in her room, and then we once again headed out for a budget-friendly meal at McDonald's for some Big Macs, etc. Then we went to see "Rain Main," dubbed in Spanish. It was strange for me to watch, and not nearly as good as seeing it with the original actors' voices. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see an American film presented as a foreign film, and although I could understand very little of what was being said, I could still catch the jist, having seen it in Hull not too long ago.

We returned to the room at 12.30, and an hour later, after unpacking our food, talking to people, reading the newspaper and doing all of those little things that you do before going to bed, we went to sleep.

Still need to get a pillow and sheets, though.


Sunday, April 2, 1989

Another Cash Poor Day in Madrid ...

Since we are poor until Monday (OK, we're always poor... but cash poor until Monday), little was done today. Woke up late, had a bowl of Chocapics for breakfast, then worked on fixing up Viv's room some more. We switched beds with Isabelle, then went to the store room to get out what was supposed to be a wardrobe, but after we pulled it out, we determined that it was something for the kitchen, so Viv didn't want it.

We took one of the chairs that was in the room, but later in the day one of our chairs was "stolen" from us, leaving us with one.

Isabelle the frog managed to get on everyone's nerves at one point or another.

After eating sandwiches for lunch, Viv and I took a walk down Gran Via to El Retiro, where we just sat on a bench for a while, relaxing and talking. It was nice. Then we got up and gradually made our way to the Television Tower, which we found out too late that that visitors weren't permitted. So much for an unrivalled view of Madrid.

From there we caught the Metro at O'Donnell Station (good Spanish name!) back to Chueca station. It looked like it might be closer to the flat then Gran Via, and it was. It turned out to be only about 500 yards away, but immensely seedy. Apparently, the leather-clad teddies liked to hang out in this area. Not exactly my scene.

The flat is located at 19 Calle de Pelayo. It's not exactly the greatest neighborhood. But the price is right, and the door is secure.

We rested in the room until Liz returned, when we made pizza and chips. Liz semi-whined about getting a smaller portion, so later Viv decided that she was not going to share meals with anyone if they act like that.

Viv and I sat chatting in our room, and at around midnight, the cheeky frog next door told us to shut up (in her outrrrageous Fronch axscent), not too unlike how The Old Man did it just a few nights earlier. So Viv and I decided to stay up even later than planned and continued talking and playing Gin Rummy. We finally went to bed a bit past 1 a.m.
Pictured to the right is a street photo of the flat that Viv and the other seven international students that abandoned the Residencia were now living. And where I was now living until my departure from Madrid back to Hull. The heavy black door was the entrance, andthe window above was to the room that Viv had claimed as her own. I didn't actually take any photos of the place, but found this photo on Google Map, actually. Never thought I'd find it... but there it is. Looks pretty much the same as I remembered.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Like a Prayer" - Madonna
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Saturday, April 1, 1989

Not Much of a "Fooling Around" Day ...

I didn't waste any time, and actually started off with some April Fools' Day Jokes around midnight, but this wasn't much of a day for fooling around. Today, all but two of the students moved out of the Residencia.

This day was a bit of a mess. Viv and I packed our things in the hostel, took some of our bags and headed for the agent's office, where we were to meet everyone at 11.00 a.m. We got a late start, and didn't get there until 11.30 a.m. - but, of course, we were still the first ones to arrive. It was then that Sanchez, the agent, told Viv that he couldn't accept the check she had written out, and that we would have to go and cash it. So we left to cash it, but Viv only had two checks left, and wrote out the first one for an amount that was more than was allowed, so that check was void. She wrote out the second and final check for 30,000 pesetas, the maximum allowed, which gave her just enough money to pay for everything.

After a bit more running around, I went back and paid for the room at Villa Garcia. It started with me having a difficult solo attempt at talking to the hotel manager, trying to explain to him what was going on, that I was waiting for Viv to arrive. He had no idea what I was saying, but we managed to keep things afloat until Viv arrived to translate for me... and rescue me. Following that we paid for that.

It was after all of that confusion that we finally got all of our bags in the new flat, located just off Gran Via. We then made our way to Gran Via to find a place to eat (after borrowing some from Angie, since we had no money once again.) While out we found a shop that sold everything, so we went in to price things that Viv would need. While there we saw a little restaurant in it, so we ate chorizo sandwiches, walked around the store a bit more, and then headed out to Gran Via, casually walking up and down looking at the many shops and movie theaters.

Next we caught the Metro down there and took it to the Residencia to pick up Viv's remaining items. While there we learned that Kurt was supposed to arrive by 2 p.m. However, it was now 3 p.m., and he still wasn't there yet to get the rest of his stuff and to help some of the others with their bags. Liz, Viv and I went out so that Liz could get something to eat, and when we returned, Kurt still hadn't arrived. He finally got to the Residencia at 5 p.m. - punctual as usual!

Soon, everyone was at the flat and the next question was, who will get what room? It went surprisingly well, actually, and when it was done, everyone was happy. Kurt and Angie, as expected, got the back room. Liz and Raquel both got the single rooms, Rowan and Claire got the open room located next to the cheeky frog Isabelle's room, and Viv got the big room with the balcony at the front of the flat. It's the room that is intended to be the sitting or living room. The only problem with it is that it doesn't have a wardrobe.

After we got the rooms sorted, Viv, Liz and I caught the Metro to Madrid 2, a huge shopping mall on the outskirts of the city. We spent most of our time in one store, Alcampo, buying various provisions for the flat. This was followed by a brief search for McDonald's for some dinner.

After eating, we returned to the flat to find our room had to be reworked. The TV that was there went into the storage room, as did the single bed frame. We pulled out the two single mattresses and a double bed frame, but the mattresses were too large for the frame. (Isabelle had the double mattress, but wouldn't trade with Viv until the morning. Cheeky frog.)

So we plopped the two mattresses on the floor, made the bed as best we could, ate some sandwiches as a late night snack, and shortly afterward, went to sleep.

Not much in the way of April Fools' jokes today.

Pictured top is the Fuente de Neptuno in the Plaza Canovas del Castillo. It is located in the center of a roundabout outside the Ritz Hotel. We were not staying in anything resembling the Ritz Hotel, of course. The second photo is of Alcampo at Madrid 2.