From Growing up in Madrid to Lino floors

What has growing up in Madrid got to do with lino floors making a comeback?

I was just thinking about Dani growing up over the next few years. Rather, I was trying not to think about schools! Anyway, let’s not get into that subject just yet….

Growing up in Madrid

It occurred to me that Madrid is not a bad place for him to grow up. Sure, it is a big city with all that goes with that but it is easy enough to get out into the countryside and mountains. There are even ski resorts (well ski areas would be a better way of saying it) just outside the city. It is the capital city of Spain so obviously it has pretty much everything. The one thing that anyone living here will tell you right away that it does not have is a beach. Madrid is more or less in the centre of the country so the nearest beach is just over a 3 hours drive away – if you nominally break the speed limit. Probably under 3 hours if you drive like a Spaniard.

A definite plus is that it hardly ever rains here. Of course it rains but in comparison to even the driest place in the UK it really hardly ever rains. But that does not mean that the weather is always warm and sunny. In fact, in summer it is often too hot and sunny. Not the same thing believe me.

In winter time however it can be cold. The thing about living here though is that most people live in apartment blocks. The whole block is heated from a central boiler so the heating is on constantly. At no extra cost, and no huge bills. Well at least for me, as it is already covered in the rent I am paying. It is usually included in a monthly community charge paid by every apartment in the building.

The problem with central heated apartment buildings is they can be too hot. Even turning down your own radiators is not always enough. Today for example. Even though it is cold outside I need to walk about in shorts and T-shirt indoors. Or maybe I should try turning the radiators down a notch?

Cold winter memories?

That got me thinking. How did we manage all those years ago in a council house with no central heating? Not here in Spain but back in cold, wet and damp Blighty!

Back then we did not even have duvets on our beds. We had a couple of blankets – and pyjamas of course.

I clearly remember not having any fitted carpets on the floors. More like large rugs that more or less filled the floor space in the living room. I can also remember not having any carpets in the bedroom. Not even cushioned vinyl. We just had lino.


Ah Lino! Short for Linoleum. The floor covering of choice back then; and you can still buy it. I know this because I have just googled it.

I suggest you google it too as it is far more interesting than you might think. Made with natural, sustainable products and highly durable too. In this eco sensitive era in which we live surely lino is due a huge comeback. Now I have read about the product I am surprised that there haven’t been protests outside vinyl flooring factories with eco-warriors waving placards made of lino.

Can anyone out there remember having lino floors? Is lino overdue a comeback?

The funny thing is I can clearly remember all of those things like lino flooring but I cannot remember what it actually felt like not having central heating.

These kids today eh… They don’t know they’re born do they? And of course they would not have a clue what lino is! Come to think of it neither would their young dads. Probably.

Old dad blues setting in. Time for a short break…

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