Thursday Thirteen – What I Found in Madrid
Last week, my Thursday Thirteen was all about how I prepare to give a paper, as I was traveling to Madrid to deliver a paper at a conference at the weekend. This is my first post since I got back from Madrid, as I got back late on Tuesday evening, and then I was at a wedding all day yesterday (more about this in another post). So, I thought that I’d base my Thursday Thirteen this week on what I found in Madrid.
In Madrid, I found:
- New Friends – One of the things that I love about conferences is that I always meet such interesting and lovely people. This conference was no exception! Every evening I was out enjoying great food, great wine and great conversation with people I had only just met at the conference. it was worth the trip alone just for that!
- Old Friends – As this was the second Conference of the Book that I had attended (last year’s was in Boston), I also got to catch up with some friends that I made last year. Many people travel from far and wide, and if it weren’t for this conference, I don’t think we’d have much of an opportunity to see each other.
- Angels in the Sky –
- Public modern art –
- A Good Reception – My paper was very well attended and it seemed to be well received. I managed to control my nerves, and I think that it went well in the end. I certainly got quite a few positive comments regarding it afterwards. So thank you to everyone who wished me well last week. Your wishes clearly helped!!
- Renewed Joy in my Research – This happens at every conference I go to, and it is in part why I love going to them, despite the effort of putting together a paper and a presentation for the event. When I left Madrid on Tuesday, I realised that I was brimming with excitement regarding my own research, and that I had felt that exact sensation when returning home from last year’s conference. I feel now that I can really get stuck into getting the phd finished off.
- Tapas – I’ve been out for tapas in the UK, but really it can’t compare to the tapas in Madrid. I had the most wonderful chorizo, prawn fritters, cured meats and fish… the list goes on and on. Truly delicioso!
- Generosity and Compassion – When I woke up on Sunday morning (the day I was giving my paper), I quickly discovered that I had no voice. I came down with a cold on the day I flew out and it gradually got worse throughout the duration of my trip. When I arrived at the conference, the organisers were so lovely and gave me some orange vitamin C fizzy drink, and my voice returned long enough to give my paper. What a relief!!!
- Wonderful Service – Everywhere I went I received really excellent service: the airport, the hotel, the conference centre, the restaurants, cafes, shops… The Spanish people left a wonderful impression on me, and I will certainly go back one day with my family in tow.
- Amazing Art – On Saturday evening the Prado was open free to the public until 9pm, so I managed to see some of Spain’s greatest works of art. Very impressive!
- Fans –
- That I Knew More Spanish Than I Thought I Did – I learned Spanish for 4 years at high school, but haven’t used it in 14 years. So, needless to say, I didn’t hold high hopes for understanding anyone, or for making myself understood. However, I didn’t do too badly! If I had any spare time, I might have taken up lessons again. Maybe in the future…
- An Excuse To Go Back – Unfortunately, the Reina Sofia museum was closed every time I had an opportunity to go, and so the painting that I really really wanted to see, Guernica, went unseen by me. However, rather than spend any time regretting this, I’ve decided that this just means that I have to go back another time. What a pity 😉
Hope you enjoyed my Thursday Thirteen this week!