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


138 – England, Oh England

Got into the wrong side of the car once last week.  Too used to getting into the left seat now.

Said “hola” to a stranger I passed on Shaftesbury’s narrow pavements.  Fortunately it was misheard, and fortunately too, greeting strangers is still socially acceptable in Dorset villages. 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


107 – Forgiving the Fanfare

I could have hugged her forever.  I wanted to hold her until eternity, hold her safe, never to let anything bad happen, ever again. Continue reading


81 – Letting Go

Growing up seems to me to be a process of stretching the elastic then finally letting go of the metaphorical apron strings.  The first time you go out alone on your bike, the first time you go out alone to the disco, the first time you drive your car without your instructor. Continue reading


58 – I Never Thought …..

It’s the end of May.  How much has changed in the past year.  Continue reading


57 – Two Campos – a Contrast

Rural life in Shaftesbury, Dorset – the farming is milk, cheese and meat.  Rural life in Colmenar, Málaga – the farming is almonds, olives, lemons, oranges, sunflowers, avocados, and honey. Continue reading