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La Luz

In Plenary on April 1, 2015 at 9:50 am

La Luz

In Plaza Mina, any little irregularity in the promenades cups a vestige of the water that a rising sun will soon suck up. Smoother surfaces are smeared with a fine film of it, in sweeps and swathes as if somebody has been at them with a mop.

It hasn’t rained. The place has been hosed down by the orange clad operatives of the municipality – nocturnals that keep it clean, locked into tit-for-tat with the diurnals that dirty it.

We stroll beneath a miscellany of species – Date Palms and Banana Trees, Bunyas, Peruvian Peppers, Yucas, Cabbage Trees, Elms and Screwpines – and above us the upper branches, of the palms especially, squawk with the raucous birdsong of monk parakeets: bright green birds that delight the eyes and terrorize their fellow avians. From top to bottom – from the airborne exotics to the wrought iron grille of the benches and the monstrous roots of a Moreton Bay fig tree – the square is testimony. A story is told in the light that filters through the potpourri of plant breeds and dapples the stone paseos, the tables on their terraces, the old kiosk. It speaks of a great, enriching influx from a New World, of plants and parakeets and money.

In the grid of the old town, away from the squares, the x of each intersection is replicated on the vertical axis and the eye as it looks down any street is presented with the same symmetry More

La Paloma Amarilla

In Plenary, Presentation on November 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

La Paloma Amarilla

Like all drunks, we wake up laughing.

Then we lie there for a long time, not moving.

“I don’t want to move,” says K. “I’ll find out how drunk I still am.”

The day presents us with its first demand. It requires a decision of us – breakfast in or out. Out will mean more movement and negotiation of human affairs than can currently be imagined. In will involve twenty-four quid.

“It can’t possibly be twelve per person,” I say. “For bloody breakfast. Have you checked?”

We’re both looking at the ceiling. It isn’t interesting but it’s reassuringly plain and white and motionless. Anything else I look at has a tendency to slip and slide in an alarming way.

“Yes, I’ve checked,” says K. “It’s twelve per person.”

“Ridiculous. We’ll go out for a tostada.”

We don’t, of course. Preparing to haul myself out of bed, I lean over to kiss her but she turns away.

“It’s not you,” she says. “It’s my own stench. I can still taste the papas alioli.” More

El Fuero Interno

In Plenary, Production, Uncategorized on August 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

El Fuero InternoIt’s bright and on the inside of my sunglasses, the lenses are dappled with droplets of sweat. I am running away from the island I have shared with you, on the straight causeway that connects it to the coast: a brilliant, broiling Atlantic void on my left and the great, grand Strait on my right – that tuna-stuffed Styx, the dazzling blue Rubicon that made this, to the ancients, the ultimate dividing line: the edge of the world, the coast of everything.

Tarifa wobbles in the drops – little playa chica and its No Shitting sign, the tuna sculpture,  the ludicrous but likeable outline of Santa Catalina, a derelict mansion.  I flick my head to dislodge the drops and get a better view. It’s all still here, in all its glare and glory – the ocean, the hills behind the town, the pink dome of the St Mateo church. The castle and the modern port with its rotating ferries, the tumbling roofs of the old town, the schools and the fish factory and the holiday lets further up the beach. The cargo ships that clutter up the sea lanes and the huge dune at Valdevaqueros where the kite surfers congregate.

I’ve done a couple of kilometres and I’ll give it another couple. Then I’ll go home. I’m running so that I might stay alive a little longer and live a little better while I’m at it. Keep the blood pumping and the pump strong. I’m running so that I can write, running to get endorphins flowing and synapses firing. More

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