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

155 – Christmas in Bethlehem

Christmas in Palestine.  It’s something that calls to many people, whether Jew, Christian, Muslim, or even agnostic.  Birthplace of the alphabet, of Judaism, and of Christianity.  With a million years of human settlement, it was one of the earliest places in the world to see organised human habitation and agricultural development.  Continue reading