Saturday, June 17, 2006

Universal Languages

Went for a walk through the tourist zone: from the hotel district out to a mall called Madeira Forum.

I was in the loos when a woman in her seventies asked me something in Portuguese. Despite me being clueless, she persevered until I got it – was her lipstick on alright.

It was perfectly applied. And for that moment, despite barriers of language and age, we were both ladies!

The photo here is of the seafront down by the Lido. I come down here most days, stand on the pebble beach and stare out at the horizon. The first time I came to Madeira I was stunned by this view: it reminded me of the end of a Keats sonnet -

"... on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink."

And each time I'm down here I am blown away - by the endless view and by the poem.

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