122 – Of Acorns, Olives, and Old-Andaluz

122-1pigs1The pigs definitely won.  Out of everything in this amazing multi-cultural language immersion week, the pigs definitely won.  And the horses, the dogs, and the miles of rolling countryside and beautiful holm-oaks.  Or maybe the food?   Or perhaps achieving the challenge of a week without a single word in our own languages?   Or possibly …. no, never mind.   It was the pigs. Continue reading

121 – Walking Under The Moon

121-MoonTree“Un Sendero Nocturno”.   A night-time walk.  It had sounded beautiful.   A relaxed stroll in the moonlight, chatting with 30 friends and neighbours.  Starting from the next village, Casabermeja, and wandering gently up to Torre Zambra, an old Moorish lookout point and beacon, under the bright light of the October full moon, to be followed by a meal in a bar.  Lovely. Continue reading

120 – Reddest, Greenest, Tastiest …

I’d heard it a million times.  Gardeners, exaggerating how marvellous their fruit and veg were.  Fisherman’s tales of everything being greener, bigger, rounder, smoother, and above all, so much BETTER than everything we poor mortals were buying.  Yawn.  Until my awakening.  Until that Damascene moment.  Until I ate the first tomato from my own plant. Continue reading

119 – Noisy, Noisier, Noisiest

It’s over two years now since the sounds outside my bedroom window that very first night, made me think about how we react to noise, especially at night  “First Night in My Casita”.  Back then, in July 2012, I took a firm decision that NOISE, however noisy, was not going to bother me.  The combination of dogs barking, children shrieking, adults arguing, and church bells ringing, was clearly going to be a regular occurrence, and even as an inexperienced newbie it seemed to me to be something that I either needed to get used to and push to the back of my mind, or it would grow to become something unbearable.  Continue reading

118 – Location and Politics

You don’t change your politics when you change location.  Your world vision.  Your core beliefs.  Those thoughts and behaviours which demonstrate your ethics, your personality, your essence.  So, for example, as a supporter of local food in Dorset, I continue to avoid supermarkets and items with high air-miles, now that I live in Spain.   I seek out green groups and community organisations, and charities that help immigrants.  And of course in terms of left and right, nothing changes.  So it never occurred to me that location has an impact on one’s politics, until this month. Continue reading

117 – How Not to Sell Spanish Lessons

I’m not a salesperson.  I vaguely remember working in some sort of coffee bar as a school student in Sydney, but as far as I recall I’ve never worked in a shop.  I was a freelance trainer and consultant for 18 years so I suppose I had to “sell” myself to potential new clients, but I certainly don’t claim to know much about selling. Continue reading

116 – And is There Honey Still for Tea?

So why did it become so interesting, the Ashya King story?  The little boy with cancer, whose parents were arrested in Spain after a European Arrest Warrant was issued?   Human interest, of course, and the added interest that the family was found in the Axarquía region. Continue reading