I’m Not as Daft as I Look
May 15th, 2011 by Les

Philip Johnson, American architect and graduate of Harvard said: “All architecture is shelter; all great architecture is the design of space that contains cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.”

“An architect is a drawer of dreams.”  Grace McGarvie, retired teacher, Plymouth Minnesota.

“A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his client to plant vines.” Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect and writer.

Mexico is an amazing place.  Admittedly, a bit hectic and certainly cluttered and somewhat chaotic area, while at the same time fascinating, challenging and romantic.

Granted Mexico may not have the crenel-lated gothic structures like the Masee National Du Mayen Age, Thermes De Cluny (Cluny Museum of Medieval History) in Paris.  Or, Westminster Abbey, as my father would say a great French thought expressed in excellent English.  The wonderful city of Guadalajara located only 45 minutes from our little village of Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico and is the cultural center of all of Mexico.  The Guadalajara Cathedral is just one example of the beautiful ancient architecture one can see when visiting the center of the city.  When first built in 1541 it was a small and simple church.  The current Renaissance style structure with neo-gothic towers was finished in 1618 and is as beautiful an edifice as one might find anywhere, in my humble opinion.

What do I know about anything and, in particular, architecture and history?  This may explain my take on both…one of my favorite places would be the Spy Museum in Washington DC.  Architecturally nothing special, however you can purchase the “Handbook of Practical Spying” at the museum with an entire chapter dedicated to: “Keeping Caution from the Wind”.  The chapter explains how contacts could be safely approached and might explain my favorite place comment.  I can tell you this much, wearing a Sherlock Holmes cap does put people off a bit. I’m not as daft as I look, maybe, just a bit cheeky.  As usual, I digress.

My point you ask?  Well, much confounds me.  I can wander the streets of our little village, and have done so for almost two years now, and each and every time I go out I see startling beauty everywhere I look.  We all know David has the innate ability to capture, with his ever present Nikon, actual photographers that often take your breath away.

By the same token, I have not learned as much as a feel I should have in the time I’ve lived here about the history of Mexico and, in particular, the Lake Chapala area.  I am soaking everything up as quickly as I can folks.  Often time I think I am thinking when I’m merely frantically rearranging my brain cells to complete a thought.  However, I shall move ever forward in my quest to learn about Mexican history.

In the meantime, dear folks, and since I don’t believe my main purpose in life is to serve as a bad example, I shall trod the streets of my small village and those surrounding it soaking up the atmosphere, smells and excitement of every day life.  As it was explained to me recently, much of what you see in Mexico has been here for hundreds of years.  For example the adobe homes have remained and some have been adapted to the 20th century (yes, 20th century) with electricity and in-door facilities.  Some still have windows put into place in the 1930’s.

It doesn’t stop at the architecture, lives are lived differently here.  Many of the people we share our lives with in Ajijic centro, have walked these cobblestone streets since they were born.  Learning to speak the language has helped us to hear stories about life we could not have heard when we first came down here.  Granted, David’s grasp of the language is much, much better than mine.  Right now I know two languages: English and Body and I’m not so sure about Body, with a smattering of Mexican and, of course, Welsh if one is singing.

I leave you with a snap of the National Geographic web page upon which David’s hummingbird appeared this week in all it’s splendor.  The web site is .  This will take you to the daily dozen page and if you hit the forward arrows to your right you will come to David’s hummingbird photograph.

Below are photographs David took of “six corners” in Ajijic one recent early morning.  Enjoy.

Viva Mexico!

Carniceria - Butchers

Laboratorio De Patologia Clinica - Clinical Pathology Lab

Tapiceria Upholstery El Cojin - "The Upholstery Cushion"

Six Corners is just two blocks from our casa.

2 Responses  
  • Katy writes:
    May 25th, 20117:27 pmat

    This pictures are just wonderful, David has the great talent to capture the beauty of the simplicity, Congrats!!!!!

  • Susie writes:
    May 15th, 20114:19 pmat

    What kind of tree is that humongous one and what are those basket-looking things hanging from it?

    Mucho congrats on the Nat’l Geo cover!

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