Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Today I took the one-hour flight to Guadalajara - a name which has been etched on my brain since I was a 9-year-old. On 7 June 1970, the Estadio Jalisco played host to the classic World Cup match between England and Brazil. 'Bobby Moore's greatest game', that save by Gordon Banks, a stunning goal by Jairzinho... May & June of that year was when I really got into football: the Leeds v Chelsea FA Cup Final, Ajax v Panathanaikos European Cup Final at Wembley (with two goals scored by not-the-Mary-Poppins-star Dick van Dyk)... but what clinched it was the international exoticism that was Mexico 1970 - and the coins my brother & I collected at Esso stations. 
So all this was on my mind as we were taken to a dinner hosted by Raol Padilla, Head of Guadalajara International Book Fair (aka FIL) in a boutique hotel designed by Luis Barragan. The dining room, which was in fact a 2-storey, floor-to-ceiling library, had just the one table and looked out onto a gorgeous courtyard. I sat opposite Ofelia Medina, an actress active since the 70s who played Frida Kahlo in, not the 2002 Salma Hayek movie, but a 1983 Mexican one, Frida: Naturaleza Viva (which Mexicans generally rate the better of the two). A charming lady and wonderful food. I didn't mention the match. 

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