Ricardo Blanco's Blog

Mexican history, pasties, & the fall of Europe

  Perhaps nowhere on earth is the contiguity of past and present more strikingly evident than in Mexico. An ancient wall, cracked from an earthquake, stands before a pair of ascending high rise towers, from one of which… Read More

The things he saw one day in May

So, I’ll start with the serious stuff, and work downhill towards the frivolous. Yesterday I was taken by the poet (and translator of Seamus Heaney), Pura López Colomé to see an impressive and moving exhibition at the Museo… Read More

Storms, eggs, everyday corruption, and the Consul’s approaching end

  The airport in Saltillo closes because of the fog, so I miss my lunchtime flight back to Mexico City. Julián is laid low by a mystery bug and Mónica offers to drive me to the airport, after… Read More

Edward Hopper in Saltillo

After a hot weekend, the temperature drops by twenty degrees overnight and the morning brings a discernible chill and a fine rain. Saltillo has been the surprise of my Mexican trip, a kind of ugly, lovely town, as… Read More

The Pig of Babel

  Saltillo has proved the most hospitable and generous city I have visited in Mexico. It seems to be filled with people who love books and actually read them, in spite of being the centre for Mexico’s automobile… Read More

Mexico, violence and random bad luck

Caminar en esta zona no le recomiendo: es muy peligroso, said the guy on the evening shift at my hotel. ‘I don’t recommend walking in this area: it’s very dangerous’. So much for my after dinner stroll. I… Read More

Popocatépetl

Yesterday I came back into Mexico City from Puebla, the massive form of Popocatépetl (5,426 metres) to my left – caught fuzzily on my phone camera – passing the misty woodlands and broad meadows that gather around its… Read More

The Zapatistas’ breakfast

Last night, in the city of Puebla – the setting for the first battle of the the 1910 Revolution – I stopped off at a street corner kiosk and recognised, among the picture postcards, a famous image that… Read More

Will Self and the ghouls of literature

  Like most people with an interest in the subject, I read Will Self’s article in last Saturday’s Guardian on the Death of the Novel  with a strong sense of déja vu. The novel has ‘died’ so many… Read More

Veracruz by night

  Leaning over the balcony of my room in Veracruz on a Saturday night. It is hot and the air is dense, the sky laden with clouds that have not broken all day, suggesting, to me at least,… Read More

Jaguars, snakes, rabbits

If you travel, Blanco thinks, if you just travel, go from place to place, walk around, you should never get bored and you should never lack for things to do or write about, if this happens to be… Read More

In Xalapa

Leaving behind the poets of the monstrous metropolis that is Mexico City, Blanco catches a bus and crosses the wide plain strewn with cacti upon which perch enormous dark birds. Did he actually see them, those birds? It… Read More