Sunday stroll

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Today I have company on my Sunday stroll in Madrid. We are dressed comfortably for walking, with biscuits and water in the knapsack. We have about an hour’s walk ahead to reach the Prado Museum, where I have suggested to Arturo that we see the Raphael showing. Arturo is 25, and has visited museums with me since he was a child.

Now he has come of age at a time when the construction industry’s house of cards has collapsed. He has traveled far more than I had at his age, but his future is no less uncertain than mine when I was 25. In 1981 the prospects, for a graduate in letters, of finding a tolerable job, were slender too. And I remember it was a little after my 25th birthday when the coup attempt took place; when Tejero walked into Congress and shot holes in the ceiling — filling us first with fear for our skins, and then with shame for our country.