This was a day for Jane to, sadly, stay in bed, suck strepils, keep the multi vitamins up, drink plenty of water and sleep, so as to recover from throat and nose sickness.
Hence, I ventured out to the big outdoors and made my way to the green lungs of the city, “Jardines del Buon Retiro”, where, in full sunshine and not a cloud in the sky, I slowly wandered along the meandering paths amongst the various trees, small lakes and flowers, observing people either jogging, playing soccer or tennis on the manicured lawned courts and pitches set up high in the park, doing tai chi, sitting or lying with a loved one, strolling or just sitting on the many wooden benches placed around the paths or under trees. There was constant human activity enjoying the beautiful day.
Many school groups of various ages were out on excursion to the Prado Museum and Botanical Gardens. Being a teacher I watched closely the teachers of the secondary students and their students, in my mind comparing to my students back home. A market, was operating but was not over crowded. There was more browsing than buying. It was not a produce
Police, all armed, many with heavy weapons, are everywhere and never alone. The minimum would be two, however, four to eight has been the constant. Life goes on around them as if they are not there.
Cafes, the vast majority having street tables, are constantly patronised. The social part of life is always in full swing which creates a really good atmosphere. Madrid is very “sweets” orientated and today I noted the many people having churros – strips of dough dunked in hot chocolate – with their beverage for breakfast. I say beverage because that varied from coffee of all types to beer! Doughnuts, known as rosquillas, come in two varieties - smart ones, with sugar coating and stupid ones, served plain. Some people skipped the sweet breakfast and were eating fried squid in crusty bread. Many of the bars serve this meal. My breakfast, under the watchful eye of Jane, has not been sweet orientated!!
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