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

114 – Vete a Dormir (Go To Sleep)

Twenty-five years ago I crawled out of a tent in the Sinai Desert at midnight, hoicked my rucksack onto my back, 114-1-MySinaiPicand followed our camels in the age-old pilgrimage from St Catherine’s Monastery to the summit of Mount Sinai.  You climb it at night as it’s too hot during the day.  Plus the main point of the pilgrimage is to be on the summit as dawn breaks, and the extraordinary colours appear to rush towards you as the sun rises and picks out the layers of mountain-ranges spread out before you. Continue reading

113 – More Than a Foreigner

Of course it’s quite fun at first, isn’t it?  Being “the foreigner”, having a bit of a laugh with neighbours about one’s bad Spanish, apologising all the time, and realising that the sentence you can speak most fluently is “I’m sorry I don’t understand.”  But there comes a point when that simply isn’t good enough. Continue reading

112- Progress?

112-1-LaPenaYou see the famous rock near Antequera from every direction.  From the flat plains it juts up, suddenly and harshly.  Known to the Spanish as la Peña de los Enamorados (the lovers’ rock) and to many as the Indian’s Head (or Charles de Gaulle rock) it is visible for miles, a way-marker for those travelling north-south between Córdoba and Málaga, or east-west between Granada and Sevilla. Continue reading