Identity Crisis

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The neighbouring village has a street market each Tuesday morning. I often enjoy passing an hour or so there, even though I rarely buy anything. Today, instead of walking or cycling there, I’ve decided to drive, as rain has been forecast – I like to take exercise, but at heart I’m a lightweight. The heavy sky and erratic gusts back up the weatherman’s words, and I’m satisfied that on this occasion my laziness is justified. Sure enough, as I pass the poplar trees and white walls of the cemetery and head out of the village the first heavy drops splatter the windscreen and patter and pop on the roof. ... read more

The Guiri In The Red Suit

I’ve never been one for religions, myself.  Being too skeptical to have faith in anything (I’m not even completely convinced about the existence of Richard Dawkins), I’ve always held belief to be something that other people do, and that’s fine so long as they let me get out of the way first.  But even a card-carrying heathen like me has to be quietly impressed at some of the achievements; organised religions have built some cracking buildings, for example, and there’s nobody can hold a candle to them (ahem) for ceremony and ritual, whether you believe the rhetoric or consider it a work of fable. ... read more

Crazy

“Maybe we should buy a mule.”

We have this conversation every time the car has to be inspected, repaired, insured or (in the most extreme and unthinkable of circumstances) cleaned. After all, we have the space, the garden could use the manure, and we live an easily clip-cloppable distance from the village. It all makes so much sense. A mule would be appropriate.

We fantasise light-heartedly about building her a corral beyond the chicken coup, grazing her up the mountainside, maybe getting hold of a cart or a two-wheeled gig. ... read more

Little Victories

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The days are discouragingly short at this time of year.  At the moment we’re enjoying a run of bright, sunny days and chilly nights; when the breeze drops you’ll usually find me on the terrace, soaking up as much warmth as possible before the darkness descends, while either reading a novel or indulging in another favourite activity:

6 down. “A diversion in daddy’s day (7)”   PASTIME (pa’s time).

There have been one or two posts recently in the Spanish expat blogosphere asking what people miss from their home country.  For me, not a great deal – but if there is one thing in particular, it has to be the cryptic crossword.  A regular source of entertainment when I lived in the UK, that infuriating fifteen-by-fifteen grid was the perfect refuge when I’d bought the paper but couldn’t face the actual news just yet. ... read more