I missed No D Day (it was yesterday) so am playing catch up today. It’s a great initiative to get us thinking and writing about things other than diabetes. I hope Ninjabetic doesn’t mind me being a day late.

I’m back in Barcelona, a city I could quite easily call home for no other reason than the sangria. There is a gorgeous relaxed charm here, which I’m sure I see and feel because I am a tourist on holidays with few worries other than where to stop for my next sangria.

Tonight, after a meal of tapas (oh, and sangria) in a tiny bar we headed to the Santa Anna church to hear a classical guitar concert. It was a performance by husband and wife duo Joan Benejam and Ksenia Axelroyd who call themselves Barcelona Duo de Guitarra. The setting couldn’t have been more perfect – a corner cloister with a vaulted ceiling, lit only by candlelight.

It’s been a long time since I performed as a musician, but I still remember the exposure and vulnerability I’d feel when standing up in front of an audience to play. As the couple played this evening, there was an intimacy between them that was at times almost difficult to watch. They would search each other’s faces for cues, a small smile appearing on their faces. A couple of times their eyes met and they gave each other a secret look.

Their interaction was perfect. Sometimes Ksenia led the way, with Joan in a supporting role; other times it was he who had the melody, her harmony providing the background that allowed him to shine. They negotiated, took turns and looked to each other to make sure they were heading in the same direction. And at the end of each piece, they stood and together took a bow.

Their encore was a four handed guitar performance where they were both playing the same guitar. Their hands and fingers danced across the guitar strings and fingerboard, never getting in the other’s way. They finished and stood up, holding hands while the audience cheered our appreciation.

We spoke with them at the end of the concert, asking them to sign copies of the CDs we bought. We asked about their guitars and Ksenia made a joking comment about how many guitars Joan had. ‘Oh, I can relate to that!’ I said and we both laughed. I wanted to ask her how they managed to work and live together – what happened on stage if they’d had an argument about whose turn it was to take out the garbage? And I wanted to know what those secret looks meant – was it anything more than ‘Hey, we’re sounding great tonight’? But I didn’t.

We thanked them again and said good-bye and walked out of the church’s courtyard, back into the throng of Barcelona at night, the beautiful music still in our heads.

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Husband and wife team – Barcelona Due de Guitarra performing in St Anna’s Church.

photo 2