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
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
At the top of the stairs Marcelo took my arm solicitously. “Should you take the lift instead?” he asked. “We don’t want you to have an accident on the stairs, what with you having no health cover ….”. I shot a glance in his direction and he failed to hide his mischievous grin. But despite the joke, there was a worrying grain of truth in what he said. Continue reading
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
I hadn’t counted on Almería being quite so different. It has some lovely parts, but ¡joder! it’s bleak! In every direction, the sun glistened on nothing but seas of white. White plastic poly-tunnels, stretching further than could be imagined. A hundred miles, just poly-tunnels. Continue reading
It’s over two years now since the sounds outside my bedroom window that very first night, made me think about how we react to noise, especially at night “First Night in My Casita”. Back then, in July 2012, I took a firm decision that NOISE, however noisy, was not going to bother me. The combination of dogs barking, children shrieking, adults arguing, and church bells ringing, was clearly going to be a regular occurrence, and even as an inexperienced newbie it seemed to me to be something that I either needed to get used to and push to the back of my mind, or it would grow to become something unbearable. Continue reading
It was Culture Week in Colmenar. I have no idea what that means. It’s an odd word, culture. Can be off-putting to some. Can mean completely different things to different people. Continue reading
Ana-Maria stared at me in disbelief outside our front doors. “¡No hay cascadas de agua por aquí!” There are no waterfalls around here, she insisted. Yes, I said, well not in the pueblo, no, but up there, up in the mountains. I pointed vaguely upwards, or northwards, sort of over there …. Continue reading
Anyone with a teenager, or with teenage friends, or simply with friends a generation (or two!) younger than themselves, will be familiar with that furrowed brow you gain when trying to decipher a text message or a Facebook status that really seems to be written in another language. Continue reading
So, you think it’s warm all year round in Spain? Think again.
My village house is at 2,500 feet altitude, higher than anyone in the UK lives. And it’s cold in winter. We sometimes get snow – only occasionally in the village but plenty on the hills around us. We are not far from the Sierra Nevada where the ski slopes opened early this year, at the end of November. Continue reading