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
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
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 lifted 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
The theory proves itself right, time after time after time.
Like-minded people, practising languages together. Continue reading
I’ll never forget the moment. It changed forever the way I looked at art. Madrid, May 2011. The square, Puerta del Sol, was filling with makeshift tents as “Los Indignados” occupied the centre of Madrid. Coming in on the metro from my college accommodation with a Spanish family, I got off one stop early each day to walk through the square, deliver donations of water, milk or juice to the well-organised communal kitchen area. I tried to understand the posters, the protests, and the petitions, before heading to my morning classes at the language school a couple of blocks away. Continue reading
Sometimes you just need fruit. It was the big food distribution day at Los Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche, and the end of lunch service until September. The people in the queue had already queued for breakfast and queued to get a numbered ticket for the groceries, and it was way too hot to be standing in a queue. Even the volunteers were wilting in the heat, and we knew it was nothing like as bad for us as it was for the people in the queue. Continue reading
“All English people are like lords and ladies, no?” She wasn’t joking. Perhaps she’s been lucky in the English people she has met, but she is convinced that all of us live in castles and have butlers. She may have been watching the wrong TV programmes. Continue reading
Dentists don’t often make me laugh. Sadly, it’s years since they were allowed to use laughing gas to knock us out before an extraction. And I’m a really rubbish patient. But my Spanish dentist is lovely. Film-star looks, craggy, sexy voice, about the right age ….. COUGH! Sorry, I wandered off for a moment there! Anyway, back on topic, he DID make me laugh. Continue reading
A bit of fun before the final exams. La Escuela Oficial de Idiomas ran an informal cookery competition amongst all the extranjeros learning Spanish, and we all had to bring a dish representative of our own countries. Continue reading
Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn’t it? “A notary, a copy-shop clerk and an immigration advisor go into a bar …”. Sadly it was no joke. It was a week of admin and bureaucracy. And it was time-consuming. Continue reading