100 – Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

New routines have now become normality.  The morning bakery walk, round the outside of the village to the stunning views from the horse-trough.  Squeezing fresh oranges for breakfast.  Driving past the lake down to the coast for coffee and intercambio.  A bit of writing.  A bit of reading.  A tapas or two.   Planning an excursion.  Pointy-hooded processions and olive-spitting competitions.  Walks in the mountains.  Catching up with friends in the UK via Facebook.  Continue reading

99 – Wholly About Holy Week (and food and football)

We were trapped at the top of the Tribuna de los Pobres.  No chance of moving in any direction. 99-1-estudiantes Fortunately we were happy where we were.  In front of us, on the bridge, El Cautivo (one of the grandest and most popular Semana Santa floats) had halted, accompanied by 500 Nazarenos in their tall hoods.  Below us at the foot of the curved steps crowded with people, the beautiful float of Los Estudiantes moved slowly and majestically by. Continue reading

98 – Foreign Food

So I asked her in my best Spanish “Donde se puede encontrar latas de la leche de coco, para cocinar?”  Where can one find tins of coconut milk for cooking?   She looked up from her shelf-stacking and sighed.  She jerked her head over towards the next aisle.  “Estan por allí” she said.  They’re over there.  “En las estanterías para …”  (at this point I’d swear her lip curled slightly) … “… para comidas extranjeras.”  On the shelf for, well, foreign food. Continue reading

95 – Waterfalls

Ana-Maria stared at me in disbelief outside our front doors.  “¡No hay cascadas de agua por aquí!”  There are no waterfalls around here, she insisted.  Yes, I said, well not in the pueblo, no, but up there, up in the mountains.  I pointed vaguely upwards, or northwards, sort of over there …. Continue reading

94 – Priceless

It wasn’t the best of days.  But as the stranger who helped me said, “You can tell a lot about a person by how they react to difficult situations.”  He should know – he had watched two or three people every day drive into the same bollard I had driven into.  He had waited with some of them, too, for the tow-truck, though some (he said) were so rude that he didn’t bother. Continue reading