140 – Back in the Arms of a Health Service

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

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

133 – Seas of White

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

119 – Noisy, Noisier, Noisiest

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