167 – The Turn of Another Year

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

166 – Catching Up

 

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

164 – No Words

 

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

163 – Refreshing

 

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 163-wetleaveslifted 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

156 – Just being There

 

Lorenzo picked a red plastic tricycle wheel off the cushion and lowered his not inconsiderable frame into the armchair nearest the fire.  He’s a man of few words;  he settled himself down, and gazed around.  His wife, their seven children, half a dozen of the children’s partners, eleven grandchildren, and a couple of young boyfriends of the teenage granddaughters, plus a random cousin or three, were variously clambering on the backs of the sofas, curling their hair in the bathroom, stirring huge pots on the stove, wiping down plastic chairs, and counting out 32 sets of cutlery. Continue reading