In Plenary, Presentation on November 17, 2014 at 11:08 am
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
In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm
January and February. The eleventh and twelfth most popular months of the year, in no particular order.
It’s been a schlepp. The year has begun with some important changes for us, but what a schlepp. Up to our necks in boxes, budgeting and assorted banalities. Also, bunny replacements. We’re just getting over it now – lifting our heads and looking towards the horizon again, the year ahead.
Mentalities opening out like spring blossoms.
The cold hasn’t helped. Siberians – why can’t they keep their weather to themselves? We’ve been cold down here at the southernmost point of mainland Europe for weeks. Process that for a minute. Southernmost point. Cold.
Of course when I explain to our cousins in the north that we’re getting daytime highs of 13, 14 and 15 degrees the sympathy is limited. Those are just the highs though – our lows have been low and the houses down here are built to refridgerate, so when it’s 6 degrees outside, it’s 5 degrees in the living room.
For fahrenheit people, simply take the celsius figure and dip it in hot water, leave to dry naturally at room temperature for two hours and then soak again overnight, More
In Plenary, Practice on August 17, 2011 at 11:35 am
“Shush!” I tell K, by way of encouragement.
She is at her newly acquired sewing machine, struggling with the spool or the spindle or whatever it is. I am at the laptop twittering. She came back to the apartment this afternoon with some blue print cotton and in an impressively few minutes has knocked out a thoroughly decent looking sleeveless top. No pattern or anything to work from. Nothing gets K going like couture. It must occur to her from time to time that I am not so much of a catch on that front – my idea of fashion is a “nice white shirt” or – if the occasion requires serious effort – a blazer.
The buying of the machine was a mental milestone for her. We have both been nervous this summer. Not nervous bad; nervous good. We are approaching the end of our first year here and so all self-congratulation must now be put aside; we have to get serious – we made the move to chase our dreams and we haven’t caught up with them yet. We are beginning to see that year two will be more pivotal for us than year one. We will need very good Spanish and a lot of guts. We will need to embrace the shot in the dark, the white knuckle, the wing, the prayer. More
In Practice on July 27, 2011 at 10:46 am
I get in from my morning run and tackle the apartment. It was K’s birthday yesterday and I cooked her favourite – spaghetti in fresh tomato and basil sauce and a Caprese salad made with good buffalo mozzarella. My signature dish! A very simple meal for which I completely wrecked our kitchen; every knife, plate and surface in the place used, as usual.
Her two friends, A and M, arrive this afternoon to stay with us for a week so I make a little extra effort. I mop the floors to a shine and then put my sweaty self under the shower. Coffee and toast at my side I sit down to write, my own mind wiped a little cleaner by the sea air and the endorphins. It is often as I run that a story will begin – in the evenings I am too cluttered by the details of that day to find what I am looking for.
This morning my mind is that bit fresher. Deep cleansed. We have just returned from ancient Elvira; the city of pomegranates. The place we go to wash ourselves of worry and distraction, where we return regularly for a dose of clarity. More