168 – Space For Two Campos

168-brenan“Seen through Mediterranean eyes, we English are a cautious, fussy, elderly-minded people, living without large ideas among a litter of temporary expedients: far too taken up with the problems our muddle creates for us to have much faculty left for practising the arts of life.”  Thus wrote Gerald Brenan on his return to England after the tour of Spain about which he wrote in “The Face of Spain” (1950).  Spain had captivated him, as it does so many of us, yet he at least in part fell into the trap of seeing the host country through rose-tinted spectacles, and seeing only the negatives of the home nation. Continue reading

137 – A Strange Week

I’ve never been one for the nine-to-five. And fortunately, I guess I’ve never really had to do it. Journalism involved some quite strange hours, as did provincial and touring theatre. Campaigning for the rights of community care service-users and attending late-night Council meetings continued the irregularity, as did freelance training. But retirement? That should be a whole lot more straightforward. You’d think. Continue reading

134 – Elf and Safety

Although most of what I write about focusses on life and travels in Spain, this blog will ALWAYS keep the name “A Foot in Two Campos” because what I can never leave behind me, wherever I might live, is my innate British outlook and upbringing.  So when I see a narrow footpath with a massive drop, completely lacking any kind of fencing, every pore in my oh-so-British body screams “What would Health & Safety have to say about THAT !?!?!” and “THAT wouldn’t be allowed in the UK!!!” Continue reading

127 – After the Exam

Mostly, the whole experience of doing exams is almost forty years behind me.  And the Spanish GCSE, taken in 2011 at Poole Adult Education Centre, was a walk in the park.  But this DELE Spanish exam is no joke.  It’s the internationally accepted standard, so they have to be rigorous.  I wrote last week about the oral exam in “Testing Times”.  Two days later we all returned to Málaca Institute for the main ordeal, three more exams – reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing. Continue reading