Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Window Shopping for Connoiseurs

DSCN0430I collect Andalucian windows. Old, brokendown ones most people want to replace. By collect, I don’t mean I want to take them and own them, I want to leave them where they are. Where they belong, To rest in peace or in pieces, without so much as a new lick of paint more than necessary. And many times less than necessary.

Here’s some from my collection. I begin with a pretty plain type. Unpretentious, it has spent all of its life letting light in when needed, and keeping other stuff out the rest of the time.

Most Andalucian windows I like, never had glass in them. They were protected from the elements by wooden shutters, even up until very recently. So presumably on wet and windy days you had to do your stuff in the dark, or by candlelight. Even if you weren’t the sort of person who had to do your stuff in the dark for reasons of a legal nature we are not going to get into talking about here. This is an arts feature. And I don’t mean just because you couldn’t pay your electricity bill. Anyhow, luckily, there are a lot of sunny days in Andalucia.

DSCN0401The rich folk were more  fortunate – aren’t they always? They could afford to have glass. And then put bars on the windows so nobody could steal it. Well, I suppose that’s why they did it. Strangely enough, I have always wondered why even in the oldest cities in Spain it seemed so necessary for people to put elaborate bars on their windows. Almost as though burglary was a fashion, And not to be burgled meant you didn’t have anything to steal. Makes a sort of sense. The very rich really are that perverse.


But even some humble folk were security conscious. Don’t what was kept in here, but it looks as though it’s suffered several attempted break-ins already. Or maybe he just forgot his key.

Doctored window

Now don’t you just want to rush this one back to put it on your mantelpiece next to the pottery ginger cat. And if you print it out and put it next to your pottery ginger cat on your mantelpiece and then post it on one of those instanfaceflckrytwittybook thingamowotsits you can expect a letter from my lawyer, as soon as I get one.

DSCN0424Although some of you maybe thinking this one doesn’t really qualify, having obviously just been recently painted, at least it does look as though it was done with a half a can of something leftover in the garage. And it also looks as if they did get their glass stolen before they did it. So in my mind, it warrants featuring. Out of sympathy, if nothing else.

Anyway, whtever way you look at it, you just can’t buy windowframes like those anymore. I know there are people who are thankful for that.

Time to get back to the point, it only goes show how extremely paranoid and incrediby careful one has to be, even when living on the top floor of an apartment block when you have lots and lots of valuable stuff most people can’t afford to buy, but wouldn’t mind having if they could get their thieving hands on it.


Oh, if only we could confine ourselves to discussing the artisitc merit of ancient architecture,

You may be thinking by now that some windows in Andalucia would only really qualify as holes in walls that needed blocking up in other parts of the world, but here in Spain, glass or no glass, windows they are. I show a few as evidence to prove my point.

DSCN0444This hole is severely damaged one, whihc only adds to its beauty to real connosieurs, who undrerstand the difficult job mother nature has in created such a fine asthetic balance. Such perfection take absolute decades.Window WeedThis one is an old favourite of mine, which appears on another page. You could think the mice that live in the place had created their own wndow box.

DSCN0389This one’s a very new edition to the collection, and I’d love more of these. I could spend decades, or even decayeds, looking at it falling apart.

Most of the houses in the photos have been abandoned long since, but not sold because families often can’t agree on how to split up the cash. Well, I’m not complaining. Long may they squabble.

DSCN0428As with much  of Andalucian architectural art, there’s a clear Moorish detail in the little pointed arch above this lovely little window.

Granada windowHere’s a lovely window I’ve featured before on my pages. This photo was taken at about eight in the mornng on a May day, as the shop was about to open.

Cats Behind BarsI can never resisit putting this little beauty in. Though it’s really a cat picture, there’s a window in it and they’re trying to get out of it.

Cadiz in PinkThese windows are typical of C’ádiz and many other Andalucian cities. This ones on this building appeal to me because they seem to belong to the only pink house in the city.

Green WindowThen there’s another of my old favourites. I saw it the other day in almost exactly the same state. I really should get another shot of it.

La ChancaThis one will never be the same again. Unfortunately the old chanca in Conil de la frontera has been completely over-restored to the extent you’d think it’d been built yesterday.

Pantile window

I’d certainly like to wake up and open this one first thing in the morning, If you stretch up on your toes you can see the sea, and in the evening you can watch the sea setting down below it. Marvellous what nature can do when she puts her mind to it.DSCN0453I’ll finish this lot off with another hole in the wall, and hope to be back with a new lot soon.  It ain’t so easy as they;re getting harder and harder to find. Looking a teensy-weensy bit closer this window seems to hae installed a brick curtain. Maybe they’ve had a bit of a tiff with the neighbours. On the other hand, they might have a meths lab going on in there

DSCN0418And here’s one of the prettiest I forgot till very early in the morning, when I was was too very drunk, and toked  at some reluctantly offered spliff – not bad the spliff, but  not so great either. The photo ain’t even average. But I love the flowers.

Waking to that display must be a real treat.

3 comments on “Window Shopping for Connoiseurs

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    June 23, 2013

    Oh, I love the one with the kitties 🙂 Cats always have an interesting look on their face, always.

    Love all these windows. What an interesting study! Sort of can’t believe that white walled one with wooden panels though – just seems strangely simple, strangely like a prison.

    Love the green wrought iron one. Would love to sit at that one, writing.

    Hey Bryan, I had notification of a post ‘My Other Blogs’ but when I clicked on it, it said page not found so just letting you know.


  2. Michael Reynolds
    June 22, 2013

    Hi Bryan, interesting topic, amazing how different windows conjure up thoughts of how people lived in earlier days!
    I’m in Andalucia for a couple of weeks from the 26th, we always venture down Tarifa way at some stage, fancy meeting up for a drink?


    • Bryan Hemming
      June 24, 2013

      Thanks Mick,
      Love to meet up for a drink. Just send me a date, preferably in July, rather than the end of June, as we could be quite busy up until the second week in July.
      Look forward to catching up with you, Bryan


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This entry was posted on June 20, 2013 by in Art, Articles, Photos, Travel.

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