My fifth Christmas in Spain. I thought that must be wrong, but it’s not. Four and a half years since I bought my house, three and a half years since I retired and moved here full-time. Such a short time, yet it feels like forever. Continue reading
First of all it was remiss of me not to thank you all for the lovely thoughts and messages you sent following my heart attack. I really did appreciate every one of them – “the kindness of strangers” means a lot.
Since then I’ve been doing a lot of catching up. Trying to slow down, catching up with old friends, and catching up with long-delayed tasks. Continue reading
Some people are easy to like. Belén, for example. Kind, generous, pretty, gorgeous eyes, and she works more than 40 hours a week as a volunteer, cooking and serving meals for homeless people at Los Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche. One of life’s special people. So when it was her turn to need something, dozens of strangers who had never met her were willing to help. Continue reading
Seriously. There are no words.
When I walked (staggered) into the village health centre on Thursday morning I didn’t need any words. I stood swaying in the doorway and three waiting patients grabbed me and guided me to a seat, while two doctors and two nurses rushed to my side. For a smallish village we are lucky to have a 24-hour “Urgencias” onsite and our own ambulance, and it wasn’t long before I was strapped in and the siren sounded and we headed for Málaga. Continue reading
And finally the rain came. Not enough, but it rained. Across Andalucía farmers breathed a sigh of relief along with the bomberos (firefighters), the dryish leaves on my patio trees lifted their faces and cheered up a little, and everyone gratefully flung open all the doors and windows to allow the cool air into the houses. I pottered outside for half an hour, moving plants to the centre so they would catch more of the precious drops, enjoying standing in the cool, gentle drizzle. It’s refreshing. Continue reading
She’s not at all an unpleasant woman. Not as far as I’ve seen, and nor does anyone mention they’ve found her difficult. A bit grumpy at times, but then this is not the life she had imagined. Perhaps a bit judgemental, not really willing or able to see that nobody else wanted to be there either. Doesn’t participate in group activities, seems to sneer slightly at the art and craft workshops. But pleasant enough, a nice smile, easy to chat to. Continue reading
Language is cultural as much as grammatical. The Spanish don’t say “my” as much as we do. I don’t know if that’s a cultural thing, something to do with not wanting to boast, not wanting to appear too proud, or what. It felt odd at first, but you become accustomed to it. “The head hurts me” to the doctor. “The tooth hurts me” to the dentist. No need to say “my tooth” – after all, nobody else’s tooth is likely to hurt me. Continue reading
It was warm on the plane so I peeled off my two thin jumpers, which I’d worn for the whole five days in Dorset, not having packed correctly for the British “summer”. Shoving them into my flight bag in the overhead locker I snagged it slightly on the safety pin. Continue reading
The arguments have been much more vicious, more deep-felt. People have been unable to agree to disagree. It’s been far worse than an ordinary General Election. Perhaps because we’ve had our whole adult lives to get used the concept of different political parties, different viewpoints, different ways of organising a country’s budget and services – different, but not radically so. Not really. Continue reading
You gotta have roots. Life would be just … I don’t know … just too transient and superficial without roots.
Living in a new country, you have to find ways of accelerating the process of putting down roots. A sort of Baby Bio for immigrants. Continue reading