Merlín e Familia is a shop located in Santiago's old quarter (Xelmírez, 14), which takes its name from a fantasy novel (1955) by Álvaro Cunqueiro (1911-1981). With that name you can already imagine it is quite a unique shop. The success of Merlín e Familia is a testament to the tenacity and taste of its owner, Patricia. It is a small shop, but it has what every person dreams of - a truly intelligent selection of items (books, music CDs, china, stationery, bags and jewellery) and someone who can give you reliable advice and further information about the items she sells. As they say in the Michelin guides, worth a detour.
When I visited last time, Patricia recommended a CD by Germán Díaz, Método cardiofónico, with a laidback, intimate tone. Fine mood music. I am leaving you a sample in this video below.
This time I settled for a notebook which is already on its way to Thailand, designed by Laura Tova, a Galician illustrator.
And of course, a book: O meu avó Carmelo (2011), written and illustrated by Dani Torrent and translated into Galician by Manuela Rodríguez. Even though it does not really deal with letters, the gorgeous illustrations include a lot of them, as you will see in the pictures.
Even though it is a book for children, it is really sweet and moving, a homage to a grandfather who taught the child so much. It is also about the passing of time, maturity and growing up, written from a tender, delicate viewpoint. As Kalandraka summarises it, "A nostalxia da nenez, o paso inexorable do tempo e o recordo da figura entrañable do avó. Un relato sentimental que chega dende as nubes ao buzón da memoria. "