In Plenary, Production, Uncategorized on August 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm
It’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
In Practice, Production on December 14, 2011 at 10:48 am
The street light cuts out again.
I look up at the blinding, dotted flow of headlamps that sweep uphill from the city and pass me by; the majority of them attached to heavy goods vehicles fresh from the port. It’s noisy with their motors and hydraulics but across the street and just beyond the electrical plant a full moon – piss yellow and hanging low – illuminates the cloud above and below it; it is enormous and silent and very far from here.
On the embankment by the roundabout a whinny in the shadows. The horse is always there, tied to a stump and describing circles all day as it grazes. I feel sorry for it as I always do for horses in urban settings. Earlier though I saw its owner with it, giving it a run, and there was no bad feeling; they looked like an old couple – each knowing what the other was going to do next.
The light comes back on.
My eyes drop to the page. I’m reading novels again. This one is good even if the author has felt compelled to assign an adjective to each and every noun. It isn’t pocket sized so I need to carry it in my leather satchel; travel time is reading time these days since I spend so much of my day on the bus. I have also honed my skills at walking and reading as I saunter along between here and the school, dodging lizards and grasshoppers and the odd snail migration. More
In Plenary, Practice on November 23, 2011 at 10:37 am
I don’t usually write about work. Oh there are plenty of stories, believe me, but I shy away from the mentioning of either names or any obviously identifying circumstances or specifics. I don’t want to cause offence – to inadvertently portray a place that is shared by others in any way that they might find disparaging or insulting. What I see there is almost certainly not what they see there, and it can be jarring to become privy to someone else’s version of your events, especially if unsolicited.
Particularly where there are children involved I could never be sure, were I to write about them in any kind of detail, that I wasn’t being exploitative in some way. Nor would I want to excite anyone to a level of curiousity about me or my opinions that I might find uncomfortable. I don’t know what my opinion is half the time; why would I want to field questions on it?
No, better not. The hours spent at it accrue though, to the point where ignoring it completely seems a little fake. The proverbial elephant in the classroom. It has been a major part of the experience this last year and a learning curve all of its own.
The fact is, teaching the children – particularly the younger ones – has been humbling; an impressive experience that I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. More
In Practice, Production on May 9, 2011 at 8:53 am
I’m walking through a drab suburb to the school and a shift I’m not in the mood for.
The few of us who just got off the bus trudge along in single file and mp3 privacy. The pavement is an ill-considered reddish colour that meanders alongside a concrete cycle path and descends into the housing development where the school is. The adjacent gutter is strewn with the debris of the careless. I pass empty drink cartons, what look like the innards of a TV, dead batteries, dog do, discarded packets and wrappers – dietary supplements and low fat milk substitutes.
I will get to the school and instead of sitting outside and enjoying an hour of sunshine before work starts I will sit at a net book in the cool, concrete and fluorescent-lit classroom trying to do too much in the time available. More